If your business s affected by COVID-19m there’s no doubt you’ll need to speak to your bank – we list some ideas to help make the most of those conversations.
Agree frequency and timings of updates between yourself and your relationship director (RD)
It is important to demonstrate to your RD that you are manging the current unprecedented times and for you to provide timely updates.
Take time to explain
Provide detail as to how and why the virus has affected your business. Be specific and do not be afraid to state the obvious. Remember your RD will be dealing with many clients operating in all sectors. Clear statements of the issue, timings and remedies will be helpful.
Ensure that you have an understanding of what the ‘worst’ possible scenario could be as well as the likely outcome of the virus. Be ready to share these scenarios with your banker. These plans should include a financial pack to include profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow. As important, it must also include narrative on the following:
- What actions can be taken to preserve cash?
- How and how much cash will each action deliver?
- What will be the trigger for you to initiate these actions?
Be creative in how you think about what the actions available to you are, be prepared to model more that the obvious cost cutting actions. In an ideal world, each of these actions would be modelled through the forecast financial pack.
Be clear and concise in your request
Explain what additional support you require and what exactly you need from your bank. The request may require additional support from the shareholders, ensure that you have discussed this and have a clear understanding of what is available. This does not need to be permanent and the timescales for additional facilities and support should be agreed at this time.
Final point is to re-iterate the importance of communication
Your bank will want to understand your situation fully and where possible, will want to support you.