High inflation, low growth and spiralling energy costs – we are facing a cost-of-living-crisis like never before and the Bank of England has now stated that the UK will slip into recession later this year and not recover until 2024. But despite the bleak forecast, it doesn’t have to spell disaster for your firm.
Dan Pollard, Founder of Fergus, is offering some top tips for tradespeople to recession-proof their business’ by checking cash flow, quick invoicing, strong leadership and great customer service – all of which will result in confidence in your team, healthy finances and more business.
Dan says, “A realistic cash flow forecast is your first step. It is essential to know your monthly revenue and fixed commitments so that you can always pay all of your overheads.
“If you’re not sure you will make enough, you can ask ‘what needs to change?’. Take a look at your debtors. Set up payment plans to retrieve any owed money. Don’t give credit, always take deposits, and invoice every day. If you invoice in 24 hours, a customer is more likely to pay in 24 hours.”
Other areas that Dan suggests concentrating on include using delivery services, ordering only what you need, reducing non-productive time away from site, boosting chargeable hours and getting everyone on board with working remotely.
“Remote ‘stand ups’ – brief meetings where the team remains on-site but catches up via video call – can do wonders for business,” says Dan. “They allow you to check in with your team to find out how the jobs are going and what everyone needs in order to finish on time, meaning that you can remind everyone to keep up with paperwork. By doing this remotely a few times a week and keeping it brief, everyone can stay on-site to maximise working hours but remain connected and offer a great customer service.”
With the downturn in the market and spiralling costs, Fergus can help you stay ahead of the game. It allows you to create quotes on the spot, send out invoices or chase late payments with automated SMS messaging. The cost and purchase of all materials can be logged, and by uploading price books, material costs will appear in quotes automatically and can be adjusted by creating tiered mark-ups for different clients or job types.
Staying on top of admin doesn’t just mean keeping your business in excellent shape; it means ensuring jobs finish on time and on budget so you can offer a great customer service that sets your business ahead of the rest.