Michelle Mone’s 8 emergency tips for SMEs struggling with Coronavirus

As all UK business owners, from solo freelancers to larger employers are worried about how Coronavirus is going to impact their business Businesswoman and entrepreneur Michelle Mone OBE has offered 8 key points that can be acted upon in these trying times.

Mone was named the Business Start-Up Tsar by David Cameron in 2015 and now sitting in the House of Lords, Lady Mone is focussed on small business, women in business and innovation.

Ask for help

If you are struggling speak to your accountant, business adviser or peers and ask for advice. I welcome the package the Government has proposed, make use of it if you can. Here’s the link: www.gov.uk/business-support-helpline

Don’t be embarrassed

Communicate to your clients or customers, tell them that you would really appreciate their help and to be paid on time. Small businesses can ask bigger businesses for support. Ask for exposure and shout outs online online and chase up some good reviews. If you don’t ask you don’t get!

Diversify

Think of other valuable skills that you have. Ask customers if there is any other type of service you can provide. We all need to be as creative as we can.

Communication

Communication is key with your team and customers. You can still have meetings using Zoom, Blue Jeans and Skype. I had a very productive meeting yesterday with five people using Zoom.

Change

We all have to change how we work now. Wether we work remotely or not it’s all hands on deck without your usual company hierarchy. If necessary consider a staggered approach to going in to the office, warehouse or depot to ensure social distancing. Can you sell online or via social media? Just think about new ways you can still trade.

Organise

Are you able to stockpile your products? Use this time to get your office, warehouse or workspace clean and organised. For example do a stock check, organise your files, move your office around. Think about the things you would love to do but are always too busy. Use this time effectively as this crisis will be over soon.

Think and Plan

You may now have some time to think about the future, focus on innovation and reassess your goals. Sometimes on the day to day hamster wheel of work you don’t get time to think about the future or your goals. You should also plan how to come back after all of this is over, especially if you predict a bounce in your industry, will you be ready?

Be Responsible and Kind

Be kind to your employees if you have them, and employees be kind back. You all need to work as a team so think about how you can all help the company in order to survive. We need to change the way we work now, stick together and stay caring.