As another year closes, it’s time to look forward to 2023. For many, the past few years have been challenging, and some good news next year could be well needed. For our final blog of the year, we’re offering some tips for how businesses could take control next year and get the boost they need.
1. Work on the business
Reflecting back to our blog in October, we explored why businesses fail and we offered some advice to business owners on how to tackle issues. The most important element for any business is that someone needs to be working on the business and not just in it. Business owners should conduct regular reviews of their business to identify opportunities and mitigate threats. This could be done by simply using a tool such as a SWOT analysis or seeking the advice of an external advisor. Either way, without this important review, problems could occur that you’re simply not able to effectively tackle. This may sound obvious, but we see frequently how often this hasn’t been done.
2. Take control of suppliers
Building on the review of your business, also in our October blog we looked at how to take control of suppliers. You need to ensure you are working with the best suppliers, that processes are evaluated to ensure they are effective, and that pricing is reviewed. There is never any harm in exploring other options so that you feel confident you are working with the right supplier for you. Don’t be afraid to make changes to ensure that things are always working to an optimum.
3. Manage customers
The more transparent you are with processes and pricing, the better your relationship with your customers will be. One of the biggest issues businesses struggle with is customers who don’t pay. If this is affecting you, perhaps it is time to re-evaluate your options. There are funding and insurance options available, but sometimes a simple change in terms & conditions, such as paying up front, could make a lot of difference.
4. Financial support
While the formal government support for those businesses struggling after the pandemic has now officially ended, there are still options out there for businesses that need financial help. We reviewed the Recovery Loan Scheme in our August blog, and there are multiple business grants available for growing businesses. Perhaps speaking to your local Growth Hub could be a good way to start if you’re interested in finding out what’s available in your area for next year.
5. Energy Bill Relief Scheme
Our last tip is to make sure you’re familiar with the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, as detailed in our September blog. The Energy Bill Relief Scheme essentially offers a discount on wholesale electricity and gas prices for all non-domestic customers, including schools, hospitals, the voluntary sector, and all other UK businesses. Discounts will be applied to energy usage initially between 1 October 2022 and 31 March 2023.
HM Treasury is conducting a review of this scheme, and decisions on continuing support will be announced by 31 December 2022. The review will look at how to continue supporting vulnerable customers and what support may be needed beyond March 2023. You can find all the latest information on the official government page.
Many businesses are being impacted by the difficulties of energy price hikes and inflation, but financial troubles do not have to mean the end of a business. One client we worked with was featured in the press recently because it was such good news. The furniture shop was struggling from the tripling of prices of their raw materials, alongside energy increases and the consumer impact of the cost-of-living crisis. We oversaw a pre-pack administration that managed to strike the right balance between enabling the business to continue trading without any operational disruption to employees, customers and suppliers, whilst also providing the best possible outcome for creditors. It saved 19 jobs.
This is just one example of how seeking professional advice early can be the difference between survival and a business going completely under. For anyone who is starting to feel the strain of financial difficulties, we encourage them to speak to a professional, such as BLB Advisory, to get the right advice before the problem escalates.