PKF'S business blueprint for weathering downturn
A leading East Anglian expert in corporate recovery says businesses in the region experiencing a downturn can help reverse their fortunes by taking simple steps to be more robust.
With the rising interest rates, increases in fuel and food costs, consumers are bound to want to keep their money in their wallets, says David Merrygold, corporate recovery partner at accountants and business advisers PKF East Anglia, which has offices in Great Yarmouth, Norwich and Ipswich.
In the wake of comments from Bank of England Governor Mervyn King, who says businesses now face their biggest challenges for 20 years, Mr Merrygold advises that they need to start careful planning to help weather the storm and to continue to encourage consumers to spend their money by offering them good value.
He says: "Look at your forecast for the rest of this year and the next. Have you made allowances for increases in lighting, heating and diesel for transportation? If you have under predicted then you'll need to change your forecast.
"Transport costs will be passed on to your business by suppliers, so you will need to recalculate your own service costs and cash flow, in other words, you may need to put up your own prices.
He added: "While you don't want to scare off your potential customers with price rises, you can introduce loyalty bonuses to make them more palatable. Ensure you continue your marketing - if you cut back on this aspect you lose your future customers. You can also make good use of online media and networking to promote your brand.
"Above all, don't procrastinate and wait until you produce your annual accounts to take action, the time to act is now."
BLUEPRINT ACTION PLAN
Re-evaluate your projected costs - are they realistic?Keep a close eye on your cash flowBe objective - spot your own weaknesses and address themOffer promotions or loyalty bonuses Don't cut your marketing budget
Chase bad debts or recruit a professional firm to do this for youKeep an eye on what your competitors are doing