Running a business right now is pretty difficult. The coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic has wrought havoc with the vast majority of companies in the vast majority of industries.
Alongside the threats the virus itself holds, businesses have had to learn how to operate in a constantly changing landscape, where customers can’t spend time in their commercial premises, where staff can’t work alongside one another and where demand has reduced due to job loss, redundancies, reduced working hours and reduced pay.
If you’ve managed to get this far without collapsing, chances are you can make it through the other side. You just need to make sure that you manage the absolute essentials in your business and keep them up and running so that everything else can carry on ticking away nicely without too much trouble or interruption. Here are just a few areas you might want to direct your attention towards.
Taxes are extremely important to absolutely any business that’s making money. In the US, you’ll be filing to the IRS, or “Internal Revenue Service”. Established in 1862 by President Lincoln back in 1862, the IRS is a U.S. Government agency that operates under the authority of the United States Department of the Treasury, taking key responsibility over the tasks of collecting taxes from anyone who owes money.
This agency is allowed to enforce tax laws against those who fail to pay their correct taxes by the annual deadline. In the UK, you will be dealing with HMRC, or “Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs” which is a national department, again, dealing with processing and taking money for people’s owed tax. There are similar services for the vast majority of countries around the world.
In fact, you can count the number of countries that don’t take tax on just one hand! These are Bermuda, Monaco, the Bahamas, Andorra, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). So, unless you live in one of these areas, chances are, you’re going to have to pay tax, as a legal requirement, as long as you’re generating profit. Now, you could attempt to figure out and file your taxes yourself.
But there’s a good reason that the vast majority of businesses use the services of a professional accountant. When it comes down to it, taxes are complicated and time-consuming. Even if you can do them accurately yourself, chances are, your time could be much better and much more profitably spent working on other more productive areas of your business.
An accountant can take this workload off your hands and can take care of all of your taxes andfor you. If you don’t have an accountant, you can generally outsource to a third party who will be able to take care of everything on your behalf! Just make sure that whoever you choose has great reviews and a happy portfolio of clients behind them.
Marketing is hugely underestimated when it comes to keeping a business operating during hard times like these. All too many businesses are making the awful mistake of cutting funding to their marketing departments in a bid to save money and better distribute resources. However, you need your marketing team to make people aware of your products and services and to entice them into buying. So, keep your marketing budget well funded.
Sure, money may be running short. But you need to make sure that all of your staff are paid the right amount and on time for the work that they’ve carried out. It can be tempting to delay pay to avoid fees and fines on your part, or to generate interest in your own accounts, but at the end of the day, your staff have their own bills and financial commitments too. You have a deal with them.
They do the work, you pay them. Once the work has been delivered, you need to stick to your part of the deal. If you pay your staff late, you’ll notice a significant reduction in staff satisfaction and can even see yourself losing staff members. The recruitment process is lengthy and costly and you want to avoid it at all costs. Make sure you have someone in charge of payroll and that everything is managed down to a tee.
Every business needs multiple types of insurance. Again, this can be a tempting area to cut costs, but avoid cutting insurance policies wherever you can. At the end of the day, if you ever find yourself in need of claiming your policy, it will prove way more than worth what you’ve invested into it. Some types of insurance to consider include:
Commercial Contents Insurance – if you run a commercial premises of any kind – an office, a store, a warehouse or anything else – you need to make sure that you protect all of the items and stock within it. This could save you a fortune if your commercial premises faced a disaster such as flooding, fire or anything else.
Indemnity Insurance – indemnity insurance is also commonly referred to as “professional liability insurance”. It is an insurance policy that will help you to protect yourself in cases where you may be accused or found to be at fault for things such as misjudgment, malpractice or errors, and omissions.
Product Liability Insurance – if you sell products, you also need product liability insurance. This will protect you if anyone experiences personal injury or damage to property as a result of using your products.
Gadget Insurance – chances are you and your staff use a whole lot of gadgets to get your work done. Whether that’s computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones, you want to make sure that they’re protected from all types of damage, including accidental damage, loss and theft.
There are, of course, plenty more areas that you might want to focus on when it comes to managing your business’ bare basics and essentials. But hopefully, some of the above ideas will get your mind working, and can see you get the ball rolling in the right direction!