Coronavirus Business Support
-HMRC's Time to Pay system:
The HMRC Time to Pay System can help businesses facing short-term cash flow issues. Companies that need to access this system can find government advice here.
A dedicated helpline has also been launched so businesses in financial distress with outstanding tax liabilities can get help fast on 0800 015 9559.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme:
The government has also announced a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, to allow small businesses to apply for a loan of up to £5 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees.
The Government has announced the £330 billion will be made available and if more is needed then it will be provided. These loans will be interest free for 6 months.
Coronavirus £10,000 business grant:
The government has also announced a £10,000 cash grant for the country's 700,000 smallest businesses which it increased from an initial £3,000.
Business Rates retail discount:
The government has also announced it will temporarily increase the Business Rates retail discount in England to 100% for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value.
Businesses in the hospitality and leisure industry will also be eligible for up to a £25,000 grant.
Banking Working Capital support:
Some banks have begun to make dedicated funds available for firms experiencing coronavirus-related hardship.
For example, NatWest bank have announced £5bn of Working Capital Support for business that will see disruption. Lloyds Banking Group has announced £2bn of arrangement fee free finance available to support small businesses and Barclays have highlighted their 12-month capital repayment holidays and its £14bn SME lending fund.
You can find more at CBI
Statutory Sick Pay Refunds:
Refunds will be given for businesses and employers that are required to access Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)s.
3 month mortgage repayment holiday:
The Government has announced that individuals experiencing difficulty with making mortgage repayments will have a 3 month mortgage repayment holiday to provide breathing space.
Government Business Support Helpline:
You can contact the Government Business Support Helpline using the numbers below:
101 Stategies for Contractors during Covid-19
One of the first things you could be doing is providing some free advice/ consultations to any previous clients.
It could be framed as a general catch up and used as a way to share your thoughts on what's going on in the industry and how you expect things to shape it. If they have any input that's useful on a project they're working then it's a great opportunity to re-engage with an old client and possibly find avenues of opportunity.
To eliminate the back and forth of scheduling a meeting/ free consultation we'd recommend Meeting Bird which is completely free.
Create a Profile on Talmix
Talmix provides a range of global opportunities for consultants and specialists that can range for a day or two up to 12 month projects. With a network of more than 40,000 specialists, there are a range of opportunities.
The sign-up process is pretty straight forward and you can browse through projects right away.
Move Me On Profile
Move Me On has an impressive array of clients they can boast about from Amex, Nike, Shell, L.E.K and Hello Fresh, they offer roles that typically require quite a few years experience. The minimum role they hire for is a senior analyst for £400/day.
Create an expert profile on Catalant
Catalant works with 30% of the top Fortune 100 companies. It's an interesting proposition that combines software with experts to ensure that strategy is executed.
Sign up to Toptal
Toptal's claim is that they only hire the top 3% of all freelancers.
They have an impressive array of clients such as Airbnb, Shopify and Bridgestone and hire into Finance, Project Management, Product Managers, Developers and also build their own consulting teams.
You've probably heard of Upwork before. We've used it ourselves to hire a range of different talent and skill sets can vary quite considerably.
They have categories for Accounting & Consulting, Data Science & Analytics, Engineering & Architecture and IT & Networking to name a few.
Add your slide decks to online marketplaces
Feeling confident in your slide design?
There are a few online resources where people can download slide templates from and one of the best is Envato.
Create a SkillShare class
It seems like SkillShare advertises on every other YouTube video, but what you can be sure of is that they drive a huge volume of traffic to their website and have a variety of learning categories that people can explore.
If you have a skill or interest that you feel comfortable to share then become a teacher on SkillShare. To set expectations, it's unlikely that this will become a major income stream in the short term but it could turn into a good stream of side income.
Learn more about becoming a teacher.
Create an email newsletter
There are some really great newsletters out there and despite what some may say about email open rates. For example, Morning Brew made $13M last year through their newsletter alone. They made $3M the year before with only 10 staff.
With a free subscription to Mail Chimp, it's pretty simple to implement this strategy as a way to engage potential customers.
For reference some of our favourite newsletters (and ones that could provide some inspiration) are:
- Morning Brew offers hilarious breakdowns of big investments and finance news.
- TL;DR sends out daily tech news.
- CB Insights offers great commentary on M&A and industry verticals.
Create a Podcast
Podcasting revenue is likely to exceed $1bn in 2021.
Each week, more and more specialist shows emerge and creating a podcast can be a great way to rapidly build your network and connect with leading industry figures.
Make a list of all the customers you want to target & research
Now is a good time to take a step back and put together some really specialised insights on your potential customer target market.
Reach out to recruiters & work together
Given the current circumstances, the recruitment industry (in most sectors) is likely to be under serious strain.
Reach out to any recruiters you've worked with in the past. Sure, see if they have any roles but you could offer to help them put together a project scope, provide any introductions to people you know or find a way that you can support them with some free consulting or advice.
It's unlikely that you'll generate any business in the short term, but supporting recruiters during this time will ensure that you're one of the key people they think about for future roles.
Reach out to Chambers of Commerce/ LEPs to offer support
This could be an opportunity for you to help support a struggling business within your community.
Add your business to Google My Business
Adding your consulting company to Google My Business is a great way to get your services seen in local searches.
Registration is simple. Add your business details and where you operate your business from and you'll receive a postcard in a few working days with a code to confirm your account.
If you don't have an office address that you can register from, you may use our address for only £12.50 a month (for a limited time) by signing up for our virtual office package.
Keyword research to understand your industry
You could use keyword research to understand search volumes and general interest in services in your industry/ consulting skills set.
The two best tools for this are:
- Google Trends - see how interests have changed over the last few months
- Uber Suggest - find keyword volumes
Reach out to more junior colleagues you've worked with
If you've worked in projects with more junior colleagues who were also working as contractors then reach out to them.
For one, it's good to support more junior people during this time. Additionally, they may be working on other projects or know people in their network they could refer you to.
Join Industry Associations
There are a broad range of industry associations that are likely to cater to your industry. There may be free online events, discounted memberships available or ways for you to try and test a membership before joining.
British Services offers a comprehensive list to browse by location and activity.