Update 9th November 2020
When I wrote the below blog in May 2020 I didn't think I would be updating the news in November with more of the same! It's a miracle so many of us have survived so long to be honest, especially as now its clearer than ever that although the Government have extended the Self Employment Income Support Scheme until April they have no intention of updating the existing criteria - leaving 3 million small businesses (more than half) to fend for themselves for the long winter.
However the news isn't all bad. The Government have extended the Bounce Back Loan scheme until January 31st, with the added bonus that if you applied back in the summer but not for the entire amount, you can now apply for a top up to your existing loan.
Back in May I suggested that the loan was a great idea whether you needed the money to survive or not, never sniff at cheap money to invest in your business! However it seems that in a lot of cases this money has been used, where the SEISS has not been an option, to subsidise business and living costs through the pandemic.
This option has become even more attractive now that the government have extended the repayment terms from six years to ten. For those of you that borrow the entire £50,000.00 that brings your monthly repayments down from around £800.00 a month to around £400.00 a month.
Here is the full blog from May, still our most popular pandemic blog!
Pros and cons of the Bounce Back Scheme
- Publish a book and give away 1000 copies per year. All up this strategy would cost you less than £10K and for many people in this group you would only need 2-10 clients to come in and you'd be miles ahead. Talk to the team at Rethink Press.
- Create a scorecard. Our Key Person of Influence Scorecard has been taken 65,000 times and generated hundreds of clients. Our database is a huge asset because we know at least 50 things about everyone on our list. A scorecard will cost you about £2-4K to do it properly and then you'll spend money on ads promoting it each month (we get a lead for every £10 of ad spend). Talk to the team at ScoreApp.com
- Buy some AV equipment. I did a separate post on this talking about the gear I use. With £1000 you can get some good mics, tripods and lights and dramatically improve your ability to create videos for your business.
- Create a podcast. You'll need about £100-400 of microphones and a subscription to something like Buzzsprout for hosting (£12pm). I would encourage you to spring for a professional producer. It might cost you £150-500 per episode but it will be much better and less of your time. Create a unique intro and outro and you'll seem like a pro.
- Win some awards. Our digital agency (sotechnology.co.uk) won a major award for our e-commerce work. Ever since we've won almost 100% of the work we pitch for and we don't negotiate on price. Winning the right award can be transformational. There are agencies that can help you to find and apply for awards (eg: craftedbyaugust.com). I would add to this category applying for an Investors in People award (if you have staff) or an ISO accreditation (especially if you pitch to larger corps).
- Get professionally produced videos on YouTube. Creating an excellent showreel, explainer video, testimonial video or lesson could be a massive asset for your business. Even at this time, if you have existing footage you could get it professionally edited or you could create an animated video. Professional video starts at around £2K-5K but it is an asset that keeps yielding rewards for years to come. Talk to ReallyBrightMedia.com
- Get a proper business plan written. An externally produced business plan can unlock more than just funding. When you are too close to a business, you can miss the forest for the trees. Having a professional create a business plan can lead to a bigger vision for your business, unlock further funding and create a central document for your team to work towards. Talk to Add Then Multiply or Robot Mascot.
- Build some technology. An e-commerce store, an e-learning portal or a customer portal. Any thoughtful investment into technology will normally unlock scale and profitability. If it's created well from the start, it will also last for years. Talk to sotechnology.co.uk
- Take a course. The ROI on education and training can be as good as it gets. Every time you develop yourself or your team based on best-practices from a quality training provider, you are standing on the shoulders of giants. The most costly thing you could ever do is try to reinvent the wheel through trial and error. Talk to us at Dent Global to do a business accelerator (£6.5K) or maybe now is the time to do an MBA (£45K). *
- Create a small army of robots. Automation can be a powerful investment if you work with an experienced provider. You can automate your marketing, your operations, customer-service or finance functions. You can begin to automate areas of your business for as little as £5K.