This time next year…

In one of the UK’s best loved sit coms, Only Fools and Horses, lovable market trader Del Boy famously promised his younger brother Rodney Trotter: “this time next year we’ll be millionaires!”

In one of the UK’s best loved sit coms, Only Fools and Horses, lovable market trader Del Boy famously promised his younger brother Rodney Trotter: “this time next year we’ll be millionaires!”  

I’ll be honest, many franchises have struggled in 2020 through no fault of their own and becoming a millionaire may seem like some way off!  However, my message is that tomorrow is another day.  Next year, there will certainly be more challenges to face.  However, preparing thoroughly with a healthy dose of positivity and a little Del Boy ambition, franchises will stand the very best chance of making the New Year a success.

Lately, businesses have needed a short-term focus on immediate survival, but now it’s time to think about the long-term future to protect your franchise. Firstly, do a mini audit on your accounts and put plans in place.  Evaluate your cashflow and projections.  If you’ve taken out grants, Bounce Back or CBILS loans, it’s time to factor in how and when you can repay these.  

Have you taken advantage of overdraft facilities or other high interest loans?  If so, consolidating debt could be a good option.  To get a better deal, discuss the situation with an independent broker who can advise about where savings can be made if borrowing is brought under a more cost-effective lending route.

Consider what payments have been pushed to a later date.  If you’ve deferred VAT you may to need to start saving now, as when it’s time to settle this bill your normal VAT will also be due.  Be ready for this financial double whammy.

For many franchises, cash flow may be tight going into next year and so looking at securing further financial support could be an appropriate solution.  Re-financing from a small Bounce Back loan to a CBILS loan of a larger sum, paid back over a longer period of time, may provide the cash injection your franchise needs to maximise marketing advantage while your competitors lag behind.

Also, dare I mention the B word? Brexit is just a few weeks away and regardless of whether we reach a trade deal or not, there will be changes to the way businesses import and export goods, the process for hiring people from the EU and the way businesses provide services in EU markets.  This handy link: gov.uk/transition enables you to take a Government ‘quiz’ to see how you may be affected, with links to further information relevant to your results.

Any business decisions about the future need to be carefully thought out, as knee-jerk, short term actions can mean losing sight of the bigger picture.  In turn, this could spell disaster by putting too much financial strain on a franchise over the long term.  Our experienced advisors at d&t are always happy to help with planning calculations and plain-speaking business advice to ensure a pragmatic approach.

Will we all be millionaires this time next year?  I think if 2020 has taught us anything it’s that no-one really knows what the future holds!  However, I do know that franchises which have the best chance of still being in the game this time next year, are the ones that have the forethought to plan ahead for various scenarios and take independent expert advice.

Now, if anyone’s pondering Christmas purchases – they Only Fools and Horses Box Set is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face!  Lovely jubbly!