Taking Stock: Small Businesses continuing to survive the COVID Pandemic and beyond
In the last two years, the COVID pandemic has had a tremendous effect on how businesses operate, and small businesses have faced and continue to face many challenges, both internally and externally, which made them vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects even more so than larger companies.
In this blog, we discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted small businesses and how they have survived despite everything that was going on around them. It will also look at what new opportunities arose for entrepreneurs, and how they used the pandemic to their advantage.
There are approx. 6 million SMEs in the UK, accounting for 99% of all business and 33% of employment. With months of restrictions, lockdowns and constant uncertainty small businesses have been unable to escape the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and these impacts have taken their toll in many ways and not just financial.
The impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on existing small businesses.
We are all well versed in the “half-life” that has existed for many in recent times. Small businesses and indeed small business owners have had to face two years of relentless uncertainty. When restrictions and lockdowns were imposed this had an enormous impact on how they were able to run and maintain their small business. With devastating effects Industries such as hospitality, retail, beauty, and tradespeople were effectively shut down overnight until further notice hitting not only those businesses directly but also all those involved in supplying them.
Although the government stepped in with some innovative aids (who had heard of Furlough two years ago?), it was still felt by many small business owners that there was at times a lack of clarity and many were unable to access a number of the schemes.
These business owners were then facing severe uncertainly both for their business and income but also just as importantly, for themselves in terms of their mental wellbeing. Small business owners (also trying to support their own families) further carried the burden of trying to ensure stability for their employees who themselves risked burnout and endless sleepless nights, to say the least.
Once restrictions eased, and the effective roll-out of the vaccine programme took hold, small business owners were finally able to breathe a small sigh of relief and are now hoping this means more stability for them and recovery for their business. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced cash flows for many small businesses, and it is predicted that small businesses that experienced financial difficulties during the pandemic won’t get back to normal trading until spring/summer 2022. This is a long time to be able to weather a financial storm and continue to trade without experiencing cash flow issues.
New business opportunities through the pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people were placed on furlough or unfortunately lost their jobs. Some took the opportunity to realise aspirations that they had not previously been able to investigate and fulfil, whilst others found opportunities to start a new business due to changes that the pandemic brought about and gaps that appeared in the market.
New small business start-ups in industries such as online retail, recruitment, home baking, couriers and property maintenance have seen a significant increase. These start-ups are seeing remarkable success, but the owners need to ensure that they know how to continue that success and have the financial stability to be able to expand their business and realise its full potential.
Looking ahead for small businesses
If the pandemic has shown anything about small businesses and their owners it’s the determination, resilience, and creativity that they have managed to achieve throughout the last two years. These small businesses need time to heal, but they also need to ensure that they have a steady and stable cash flow something that is typically hard for small businesses to manage but even more so coming out of a pandemic. From dealing with constant late payments of invoices, having to give extended credit terms through to trying to manage credit control on a daily basis only adds to the strain business owners are already faced with when trying to build up their business or recover from the pandemic. This is where accredited funders such as Partnership Invoice Finance can help with the continued success of both existing and new start-up businesses by providing them with invoice finance options.
What is invoice finance?
Typically, smaller companies have fewer external financing options available to them than larger companies. Invoice finance is a recognised tool that small-medium businesses use to manage their cash flow, grow their business, and outsource their credit control. It is a safe and flexible alternative lending facility that is often easier to secure for small, relatively new businesses than other forms of finance.
If you need a flexible line of credit to help manage cash flow, then invoice finance is a real, and viable option for your business; it’s secure and safe. Rather than trying to do everything yourself, you have access to professional outsourced credit control, 5 days a week throughout the year, with no break for holidays, or those urgent jobs that keep you away from chasing the money you are owed; all this plus access to your cash when you need it.
Get in touch
By contacting an accredited company such as ours, we will not only help you with your credit control and cash flow but also provide you with the security and the comfort of knowing this vitally important aspect of running a business is taken care of – giving you one less thing to worry about. We are a trusted funder and work with your company to ensure that your invoice finance plan is tailored to suit your business needs.
Contact our experts today for more information.