In his first blog of 2020, Sam Lyon, Head of Corporate and Commercial at Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors makes his recommendations for things that all family businesses should prioritise this month. He says,
“It’s been almost a year since the first lockdown and arguably, many of us are getting used to staying at home, remote working and the restrictions being placed on all aspects of our lives.
But that doesn’t make it easier, if anything, we are all getting weary as the pandemic and its wider impact on our lives continues. It can be overwhelming to keep on top of the key things that need to be done as family business owners.
This is why we have produced a handy and practical checklist of 5 key things that family businesses should do in February:
- Write to or phone your key customers
In times of uncertainty we all need reassurance. Your customers will value you contacting them to let them know what to expect from you, how to contact you and how you can help them. Focus on what they need from you right now e.g. what are their biggest challenges. Review your products and services and how you deliver them – could you make changes that will help your customers and in turn you?
- Make sure you are Brexit ready
The transition period is over; we have now left the EU fully. If you have not already done so, ensure you get to grips with:
- New export and import requirements;
- The new VAT and customs paperwork; and
- Changes to data protection, contracts and visa and travel requirements.
For example, are you aware that your terms and conditions may no longer be relevant?
- Update your cashflow forecast
Make sure you understand exactly what money you need over the coming months and year; why you need it, when you need it and where you will get it from. Will your sales be affected by the latest lockdown, are you reliant on suppliers and can they deliver, what if your customers can’t pay? Planning ahead can avoid significant problems in the future.
- Look after your people
Once you know your financial position you will know whether you need to reduce, increase or maintain your headcount and you can plan accordingly.
Communications with staff over these coming weeks and months are vital. Keep them informed. If you need to make staff redundant or put/keep some on furlough, make sure you follow the correct processes.
- File your self-assessment tax return and pay any tax due on time
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) must receive your tax return and any money you owe by 28 February (on 26 January 2021, HMRC announced it will waive fines for self-assessments that miss the 31 January deadline, as long as they are filed online by 28 February. Don’t leave this to the last minute. Ensure your tax return and any tax payments due are completed and paid before the deadline to avoid penalties.
Always at your side – As these continue to be challenging times, we want you to know that we are here, ready and able to help.”
If you are looking for guidance and advice that is specific to your business and circumstances, please contact Sam Lyon Head of Corporate & Commercial on 01228 516666 or click here to send him an email.