Coronavirus and retail

Over the weekend, I was asked to talk to a small retailer who has seen trading collapse and offer some advice about how to manage.

In quite different circumstances, I have some bitter experience of that. It got me thinking, and here are some thoughts on trading and survival that might be helpful:

1) it is often said that ‘cash is king’ and that’s never more true than now – it won’t be the most profitable who survive, it will be the best financed.

2) for that reason, consider your sources of funding now. Banks, investors, the government Business Bank – all are potential sources of vital liquidity, but all take time – don’t wait until it is too late.

3) You are going to end up managing cash outflows in a very granular way, and it isn’t fun. Deciding which suppliers get paid is a serious test of your values and your resilience. Start thinking now about your priority list.

4) And by the way, if you say you are a people business, make sure your people get paid, first.

5) Finally, a warning. Read some articles on ‘wrongful trading’ and don’t ever take supplies, loans or other debts that you know you can’t pay for – bad things will happen if you do.

I’m sure there are other tips out there – share yours in the comments, to help the community, please.

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