To bounce back from lockdown successfully, franchises will need to take full advantage of all the support offered to businesses in various forms. Franchisees and franchisors will need to be sure they have enough funds in the bank to weather any further storms, plus be well positioned to develop new promotions, ramp-up marketing, increase communication and therefore, drive sales.
The first question to ask is: have you taken all the support you are entitled to?
Check if you can get any payment holidays or deferments on any existing loans or finance. This is usually a quick process which can buy you time and can free-up cash flow to focus on positive, proactive marketing activities until business is back on track.
Secondly and related to this, is to find out if you could benefit from any of the new schemes that have been introduced as well as the more established funding solutions. This may be in the form of a Bounce Back loan, a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), asset finance or full use of bank and other facilities.
Remember the special deals available currently won’t be around forever, so make that decision now on whether you will need equipment or new vehicles in the near future? Taking advantage of the preferable rates of a Bounce Back loan now to purchase new equipment, for example, doesn’t mean you won’t be able to leverage additional funding later by perhaps re-financing on asset finance, therefore, releasing the Bounce Back funds back to you as additional working capital just when you may need it.
Here it’s important to take professional advice. A good and trusted advisor will consider all your needs and supply information about the best options for your franchise. Thirdly, look into restructuring any existing finance, as with the current interest rates and special deals available, this could result in savings. For example: in some circumstances it is advantageous to pay off a CIBILS loan or any other type of loan or asset finance facility through the Bounce Back scheme because the rates and terms are very attractive.
Fourthly, consider where your franchise business is going. Think ahead, how much has your business needed to change and what further changes will be required in the short and long term? What will it look like going forwards? Will you need to invest in more technology to future proof your proposition? Perhaps funding an acquisition could increase efficiencies, improve economies of scale and build a stronger, leaner more resilient business. Don’t forget there are also research and development tax relief benefits offered to organisations coming up with suitable new solutions which meet predefined criteria.
Lastly, an independent advisor will also be able to let you know about any other options out there. Having an advisor with a long-term view can help you move your business onwards and upward positively. At d&t, our friendly, experienced team are always happy to advise and help navigate the best way forward for individual franchise owners and franchisors. Our team add value not just numbers and are trusted to provide the most appropriate advice dependent on individual circumstances.