The ever-evolving pandemic situation has and will continue to, put companies all around the world in unprecedented circumstances. Companies across industries have all had to go through immense change, though not all have experienced negative impact.
For industries that have done well, we've all heard stories of how companies producing medical equipment, face masks, sanitisers are thriving in this new normal. Business tech, especially teleconferencing tools like Zoom, have also seen astronomical growth rates (Zoom grew from 10 million daily active participants to over 300 million this year alone!)
However, in most other industries such as retail, food and beverage, hospitality, companies also have had to undergo profound change. Hot topics have been around placing more deliberate attention than before on cash flow – such as ensuring sufficient liquidity – as well as future-proofing through ensuring remote work and digitisation.
The most important first priority is then staying afloat through this pandemic with the massive government support – this lets businesses survive temporarily, waiting out the entire pandemic. However, businesses also need to take a longer-term view of the situation. Short-term survival would mean nothing if you do not evolve and improve, and this would only leave you further behind your industry peers who have invested in digital capabilities and transformation.
Here are the three steps for businesses to take into order to emerge stronger from this pandemic.
At this first stage, businesses no doubt are more focused on immediate, short-term needs; you need cash to stay afloat before you can consider other plans. Does the business have enough cash to retain all employees? Is there sufficient cash on-hand to keep rental and other payments going for the next 6 months?
For companies, including those most badly affected by the pandemic (e.g. aerospace, hospitality, travel and tourism), the Government has extended extensive support through the Job Support Scheme (JSS) to help businesses mitigate the financial cost of employees’ wages, helping companies stay afloat and not fall victim to the pandemic.
After a business has ensured survivability in the short-to-mid term, you can now then focus on strengthening your recovery plans as a first step out of the crisis. This starts with a cash flow plan – ensuring visibility of cash on hand, and strategies to optimise working capital to help ensure an always-available cash float.
Thereafter, companies should look into ways to conserve more cash on hand to build up a safety margin too. This can help businesses adjust to any uncertain, higher-than-expected costs while you navigate and transform through this period. To emerge stronger from this crisis, businesses need to use this time to then build up their business resilience. You can also look to tools such as CardUp, which lets you conserve more cash on hand while still covering operational overheads such as rent and payroll, by shifting these payments onto your credit cards to defer outflow of cash.
While some companies are still struggling to accept the parameters in which they have to operate in this new normal, the most successful ones will leverage this downtime period to prime their business for success in the post-pandemic world. There are many schemes and initiatives supported by the government and other players for businesses to transform, evolve and digitalise. These include the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) scheme that lets businesses continue hiring more employees so as not to halt growth plans, as well as the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credits (SFEC) grant to let you continue upskilling your workers.
While what the ‘new normal’ will be is still slightly murky and unknown, one thing is for certain – that digitisation is becoming more necessary than ever, and increasingly so at an accelerated pace. New, untapped potential channels such as digital marketplaces, e-commerce platforms, digital priorities such as data optimisation, digital payments, and new business processes such as remote working, cloud computing are becoming more necessary than before. These priorities need to be a part of the rethinking and transformation of the business strategy, or businesses risk getting left behind on other industry peers.
CardUp is the market-leading card enablement platform which lets you shift your business payments currently made by cash, cheque or bank transfer onto your existing credit cards, even where cards are not accepted. While CardUp charges a fee to enable card payments to be made to recipients with no card acceptance, this still presents one of the lowest cost of financing compared to other traditional options such as bank loans.
Our lowered fees with our Business Transformation Support helps your business better manage working capital needs by freeing up more cash at a lower cost. We also strive to support your business’ transformation through this pandemic with our suite of business digitisation tools, which can help digitise your company emerge stronger and thrive better in the new normal.
Through CardUp, you may pay large business expenses such as rent, payroll, supplier invoices and more using your credit card. Your recipient receives payment on time via bank transfer while you only pay when your credit card bill is due up to 2 months later — this allows you to enjoy interest-free cash in the meantime.
To support businesses through this prolonged period of uncertainty, we have reduced our fees to as low as 1.3% (u.p. 2.6%) for business rent and tax payments. This helps to lower the cost of funds while deferring your cash outflow for up 2 months when your card bill is due.
Our platform lets businesses manage their payments anytime, anywhere, in as simple as a few clicks. Finance teams are now able to add their recipient and payment details, as well as invite their colleagues onto our platform to view, edit or approve payments. Recurring payments can also be set up, saving the team hours upon hours each month.
Learn more about how our platform supports remote finance teams here.
During this period, your business may also encounter some pressure on your receivables, due to a myriad of different reasons. Your receivables process might be previously reliant on face-to-face collection, or that your business customers are also having trouble with their on-hand working capital.
CardUp Collect lets you collect credit card and PayNow (new!) payments from your business customers online with no transaction fees or technical setup required. Doing so also lets you offer your clients credit card or PayNow payment options, helping them free up more cash on hand by tapping on their pre-approved credit card line for their payments to your business.
Learn more about how CardUp Collect has helped our business customers here.
As the pandemic situation rolls on, businesses all around the world will continue to undergo change for the foreseeable future. What's important is then making sure you have a sustainable and realistic plan to see your company through the different stages.
Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions on our support package, or click on the button below to drop our business transformation consultants a WhatsApp message on how you can get started and ready to emerge stronger through this crisis.