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Thread: The business of the virus

  1. #1
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    The business of the virus

    Thought a thread to seperate to discuss the effect on business rather than the human cost,

    So, thoughts on Boris's new measures?

  2. #2
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    Just watched it with great interest, they had to do something to support small businesses but will it be enough who knows, I'm a one man band and run a recruitment business and pretty much every client I've spoken to has put recruitment on hold so Im not sure what the future holds

    Tough times that's for sure

  3. #3
    Well he dodged the question on SSP

    SSP to people that are used to earning a decent weekly wage is a trivial amount

    I know a good few that cannot or could not manage

    There is no ďwaiting periodĒ now - I think it was previously 4 days but they are missing the point.

  4. #4
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    Could be this crisis heralds some form of universal basic income, short term, maybe...

  5. #5
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    Myself and my wife both are one person bands.

    Both of us will see a slow down.

    We will see what happens.

    I can see some sort of universal income for sole traders being implemented.
    Last edited by Montello; 17th March 2020 at 19:11.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    Myself and my wife both are one person bands.

    Both of us will see a slow down.

    We will see what happens.

    I can see some sort of universal income for sole traders being implemented.
    Universal credit?

  7. #7
    Small businesses to get. A £3000 grant in April if you receive small business rate relief. Will this have to be paid back ?

  8. #8
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    I think we all need to recalibrate what we think of as a reasonable income. We may be better to think of these times as being in financial suspension or stasis. If we can avoid slipping back too far we will have done remarkably well as individuals and as a society. We can’t expect the taxpayer to underwrite our previous levels of income. Let’s get used to the idea of getting through this.
    Last edited by Gurmot; 17th March 2020 at 20:10.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by lenlec View Post
    Small businesses to get. A £3000 grant in April if you receive small business rate relief. Will this have to be paid back ?
    If it is a grant then no, but I think it only applies to hospitality/retail.

    My worry is the loosely worded advice - such as work from home where possible, or avoid non-essential travel. They cause chaos as many businesses can't have everyone working from home and without a clear government dictact can't claim compensation/insurance.

  10. #10
    Master RustyBin5's Avatar
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    Well Laura Ashley is the big name of today to go bust. Already had Flybe go to the wall. I expect many many more fairly large businesses to fold in a very short period. High street retailers live hand to mouth at the best of times on wafer thin margins - remove two months of footfall and I can see most shops closing for good.

    The unemployment figures will make very grim reading indeed by the end of the summer.

  11. #11
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    We have a small travel company, and our income has been switched off for the foreseeable future. We also have financial exposure to fully refund anybody if their trip canít go ahead due to FCO advice.

    Our best case is that our guests are level headed in rescheduling, or that their trips can go ahead as planned if theyíre still a little way in the future.

    So itís a question of how bad and how long for us.


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gurmot View Post
    I think we all need to recalibrate what we think of as a reasonable income. We may be better to think of these times as being in financial suspension or stasis. If we can avoid slipping back too far we will have done remarkably well as individuals and as a society. We canít expect the taxpayer to underwrite our previous levels of income. Letís get used to idea of getting through this.
    This is how I see things as well, for a while many will be cutting their cloth differently.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gurmot View Post
    I think we all need to recalibrate what we think of as a reasonable income. We may be better to think of these times as being in financial suspension or stasis. If we can avoid slipping back too far we will have done remarkably well as individuals and as a society. We canít expect the taxpayer to underwrite our previous levels of income. Letís get used to idea of getting through this.
    But that is EXACTLY what the banking/financial sector expects & gets. Now the airline companies have been making demands & those demands will probably be met, again by the taxpayer. Not seeing much evidence of politians recalibrating ( lol ) their income, what did they just award themselves? Remind me who pays the politians? Guess it's ok to underwrite some huh?...smh!!

  14. #14
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    I see all carphone warehouse to close by april.

  15. #15
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    One of My mates is getting twitchy.He is retired but has no pension.He put His money into property and lives on the rents.If His tenants donít get any money neither will He.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gurmot View Post
    I think we all need to recalibrate what we think of as a reasonable income. We may be better to think of these times as being in financial suspension or stasis. If we can avoid slipping back too far we will have done remarkably well as individuals and as a society. We canít expect the taxpayer to underwrite our previous levels of income. Letís get used to idea of getting through this.
    Perfectly expressed.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Gurmot View Post
    I think we all need to recalibrate what we think of as a reasonable income. We may be better to think of these times as being in financial suspension or stasis. If we can avoid slipping back too far we will have done remarkably well as individuals and as a society. We canít expect the taxpayer to underwrite our previous levels of income. Letís get used to idea of getting through this.
    I think this can happen if mortgage payments and car payments etc. are suspended. If the nation is not going on holiday, eating out, or buying luxuries we should all be able to live on a fraction of what we usually do.

    The measures proposed today look like a step in the right direction. However my main income is as a freelance designer and the measures announced today donít mention any help for people like myself which is a worry when clients cut marketing spend.

  18. #18
    I run a small business with 16 employees, we have a good pipeline of work but nothing is getting signed off, with nothing coming in and a healthy wage bill going out at the end of the month there is only so long I can bank roll the wages with no payments coming in.

    Iím paid on dividends, come the end of the FY will I even get a wage with no work with profit?

    Worrying times ahead.

    Iím also a bit annoyed at the attitude of employed people, I have allowances to make sure they can pay their mortgage for a short while when a crisis like this hits, a bit of respect wouldnít go amiss in these worrying times.

  19. #19
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    Same here, one man band. Actually, lets give myself a bit more credit. A self employed professional in landscape design and construction.
    Been doing so for near 30 years. Downside to be ing a man and van is that don't charge near enough as some "companies" out there who actually make a profit as well as a wage. The difference probably being that although I clearly do a fantastic job, as i don't advertise and work is from recommendation/word of mouth, I am successful in my work, but not necessarily a success at being a businessman, but hey, its job satisfaction, and the knowledge of doing what you want, when you want...?

    Nub of the matter, clients won't want me in their garden, potentially? No work, no pay. Lets see if measures come for the self employed. we all pay our dues and contributions, so wonder what our "cushion" is....

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanlad View Post
    Same here, one man band. Actually, lets give myself a bit more credit. A self employed professional in landscape design and construction.
    Been doing so for near 30 years. Downside to be ing a man and van is that don't charge near enough as some "companies" out there who actually make a profit as well as a wage. The difference probably being that although I clearly do a fantastic job, as i don't advertise and work is from recommendation/word of mouth, I am successful in my work, but not necessarily a success at being a businessman, but hey, its job satisfaction, and the knowledge of doing what you want, when you want...?

    Nub of the matter, clients won't want me in their garden, potentially? No work, no pay. Lets see if measures come for the self employed. we all pay our dues and contributions, so wonder what our "cushion" is....
    Where are you based

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Gurmot View Post
    I think we all need to recalibrate what we think of as a reasonable income. We may be better to think of these times as being in financial suspension or stasis. If we can avoid slipping back too far we will have done remarkably well as individuals and as a society. We canít expect the taxpayer to underwrite our previous levels of income. Letís get used to the idea of getting through this.
    Totally agree- me and my business partner have been discussing at length what the effect will be on our business- currently there isnít however we canít imagine that staying the same especially when more restrictions are put in place. We both agreed a wage weíd be happy to simply live with and any left over will be put put aside for the following month and so on. There is very little point in worrying, all we can do is consider the possibilities and do everything in our power to mitigate the effects of those before it happens.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by deanlad View Post
    Same here, one man band. Actually, lets give myself a bit more credit. A self employed professional in landscape design and construction.
    Been doing so for near 30 years. Downside to be ing a man and van is that don't charge near enough as some "companies" out there who actually make a profit as well as a wage. The difference probably being that although I clearly do a fantastic job, as i don't advertise and work is from recommendation/word of mouth, I am successful in my work, but not necessarily a success at being a businessman, but hey, its job satisfaction, and the knowledge of doing what you want, when you want...?

    Nub of the matter, clients won't want me in their garden, potentially? No work, no pay. Lets see if measures come for the self employed. we all pay our dues and contributions, so wonder what our "cushion" is....
    Where you based ? Iíd be happy to have a contractor working in my garden


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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dandanthewatchman View Post
    Where you based ? Iíd be happy to have a contractor working in my garden


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    SE London, However work anywhere.Literally. Colleague who I've also worked with on throughout the years Sheffield based the same situation.

    Im still confident enough to work, unless i have to self isolate, as being in the garden, i don't necessarily have to come into contact with clients.
    Bigger issue will be if/when suppliers get locked down so no materials...

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by lew07 View Post
    One of My mates is getting twitchy.He is retired but has no pension.He put His money into property and lives on the rents.If His tenants donít get any money neither will He.
    Is your mate God?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kungfupanda View Post
    Is your mate God?
    I think He must be. Although only He will know for sure

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by MB2 View Post
    If it is a grant then no, but I think it only applies to hospitality/retail.

    My worry is the loosely worded advice - such as work from home where possible, or avoid non-essential travel. They cause chaos as many businesses can't have everyone working from home and without a clear government dictact can't claim compensation/insurance.
    Our business continuity insurance (Sun Alliance) offers no cover for loss of revenue due to disruption from the virus as the fineprint has been tightened drastically since the SARS/Swine/Bird Flu epidemics. The only scenario where cover would apply is if an employee was diagnosed with the virus and the PHE closed us down. Since testing is scarce, an employee would need to be gravely ill before they even had access to a test.

    HMG's announcement of support today is encouraging, it remains to be seen how difficult it is to actually access funding.

  27. #27
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    Economic stasis or decline is good for carbon emissions and the environment, climate, and thus our kids and grand kids so there's' always that at least.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by kungfupanda View Post
    Is your mate God?
    They both are, probably an Eastern religion.

  29. #29
    Master RustyBin5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger View Post
    Economic stasis or decline is good for carbon emissions and the environment, climate, and thus our kids and grand kids so there's' always that at least.
    Plus the fact the next years tax bill will be lower for the self employed

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by gilford View Post
    I run a small business with 16 employees, we have a good pipeline of work but nothing is getting signed off, with nothing coming in and a healthy wage bill going out at the end of the month there is only so long I can bank roll the wages with no payments coming in.

    Iím paid on dividends, come the end of the FY will I even get a wage with no work with profit?

    Worrying times ahead.

    Iím also a bit annoyed at the attitude of employed people, I have allowances to make sure they can pay their mortgage for a short while when a crisis like this hits, a bit of respect wouldnít go amiss in these worrying times.
    I am in similar boat, but with less staff. We have spread out as much as possible and trying to practice infection control. I had to remind them that whilst, for example, some could do some of their job from home if we are not shipping then there will be no sales, debt to collect etc. very quickly. I also said was an opportunity if we could be smart and remain open and others close.

  31. #31
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    This. Look at the recruitment industry for example. Whilst you would think recruitment will be toast in this market actually you would be wrong. People like Amazon and the supermarkets will be hiring in droves, ecommerce and manufacturing will have big requirements, logistics and transportation, food couriers and in times of crisis you can bet that the Government will start creating jobs (whether that is more civil servants, military, law enforcement etc).

    It is about adapting to the new reality and being better than the competition and making a huge difference to your customers plus reminding your collaborative business partners across the market that we are all in this together and we will look out for them and share our learnings to help them survive the next few months. As per your example some of your competitors will close and some will sharpen and become fitter businesses and hopefully your business fits into the latter category.
    Last edited by ryanb741; 18th March 2020 at 01:43.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanlad View Post
    Bigger issue will be if/when suppliers get locked down so no materials...
    This is my fear, Iíll be fine as long as the building sites stay open but if thereís no materials thereís no work and no wages

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    There could be a market for people who are certified as having had and recovered from the virus. Yes, I know there is a question regarding if you can catch it more than once but certified survivors could be a valuable commodity in the medium term.

  34. #34
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    It hit me yesterday. A mixture of oil price and corvid meant I've started a months notice period. Self employed and in this climate no-one is hiring. Fecked now!

  35. #35
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Confidence is going to kill the economy - the fact there is none.

    The problem will be that well paid salaried people tend as a group to plan for the worse and those will slash all spending to the bone until they feel confident that they are not going to lose their jobs.

    My brother-law and I both earn decent money - we both expect to be unemployed by sept and thus will spend absolutely nothing...

    At the other end of the scale - as the gig economy shuts, more and more people will need more simply to bail out family members on their rent, food bills.

    keep tracking this:

    https://t.co/C3VogMn3NU?amp=1

  36. #36
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    Pissed off with my wife - toddling off dutifully into her office job. She needs to tell her boss she needs to work from home. Disappointed

  37. #37
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    Very troubling and worrying times ahead I fear, for once my decision to stay in the military and not run to the airlines feels like the right one.

  38. #38
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    I have had a series of events in the last year that have left me feeling very fortunate at the moment.

    I was a co owner of an online business that sold mainly to other small businesses, long story short I was bought out from that business last year, I then went on to purchase a property which I refurbished and sold only last month.

    Any one of these could have left me and my family in a financial mess right now, Iím itching to buy another property but for now I think itís best to thank my lucky stars and wait for everything to stabilise.

    To the other business owners on here, I really do hope you see this through intact, if I still had the online business now I would be weighing up if a government business loan is worth it, yes it helps in the short term but loads you with debt once the recovery comes, itís then a matter of are your customers still going to be there in 6 months time to pay off the loan?

    This is a serious leveller for the over borrowed, lots of people are living way beyond their means and only just make it wage to wage, I think the used car market is going to be overrun with PCP cars being handed back, expensive gym, sky tv, mobile phone contracts, holidays, etc will be hit hard..

  39. #39
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    As mentioned before I am in recruitment (Our core markets are retail and hospitality that as we know have been hit hard for roles across HR, Sales, Marketing roles £40-£100k) and although as Ryan mentioned earlier some sectors will boom (the big boys particularly) but as a small business we aren't geared up to cater for them and tend to take people from them and place them in smaller companies where they get a bigger role, more money autonomy etc....

    I have been speaking to multiple clients this week and candidates as to how they see the market in this uncertain time

    The vast majority of candidates certainly those who are in work are now putting there search on hold (understandably given a lot have the security of being employed and not wanting to risk that)
    Likewise pretty much all my clients are putting a recruitment freeze in place or are reducing staff numbers as a result

    As such I expect a huge decline in revenue streams from recruitment and so I will be focussing my efforts on the consultancy side of my business, which up until now accounted for around 10% of my revenue (Salary and benefits benchmarking, coaching, Employment law etc..)

    As a consequence I am branching out my business to focus on consultancy services rather than getting people into roles, I will be looking at supporting companies/individuals who may be letting staff go or individuals who find themselves out of work as a consequence that need support be that cv writing, coaching on interview techniques etc I order to assist them in getting back into work through coaching

    I am meeting a company later today with 800 staff who expect to cut 40% of the work force and as such we will be consulting with them and offering a tailored support plan to those most affected

    I hope it does work as traditional revenue streams have dried up

  40. #40
    To deanlad: we are social distancing, but are still going ahead with some planned landscaping work, because the contractors will not enter the house. So might be worth proactively contacting future, current and ideally past clients and explain how you will keep your distance, and respect their need to reduce contact as you work. Might even generate some new business, because it looks like lots of us will be spending a fair bit of time in the garden this summer, and people will be thinking that already.

  41. #41
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R0bertb00th View Post

    The vast majority of candidates certainly those who are in work are now putting there search on hold (understandably given a lot have the security of being employed and not wanting to risk that)
    Likewise pretty much all my clients are putting a recruitment freeze in place or are reducing staff numbers as a result
    The speed at which things are moving is that this morning, I was in a meeting and we killed 60 vacancies in two minutes and moved onto other business. I expect to be having conversations about large scale redundancies in the near future as well.

  42. #42
    Grand Master Raffe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    The speed at which things are moving is that this morning, I was in a meeting and we killed 60 vacancies in two minutes and moved onto other business. I expect to be having conversations about large scale redundancies in the near future as well.
    Same here. We were in a massive hiring exercise and decided in two minutes to put everything on hold. Not a single dissenting voice.

  43. #43
    Grand Master Raffe's Avatar
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    Posted this on the related stock market thread:


    Deutsche Bank just lowered their GDP forecasts for Q2/2020. You better sit down before you continue reading this.
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    Japan -3.9%. EuroArea -23.6%, Germany -28.4%, US -12.9%. Mind you, this is quarter-on-quarter, so not a full year projection. They say China's GDP has contracted by 31.7% in Q1 and will recover by 34% in Q2 (due to componding, this is -8.5% for H1/2020). Absolutely terrifying.

  44. #44
    Grand Master
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    Must admit Iīve just poured myself a stiff drink, this is multiple times worse than 08...savers got thrown under the bus last time, whoīll it be this time and what will be the new, new normal
    Last edited by Passenger; 18th March 2020 at 14:14.

  45. #45
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    How times have changed...

    I had estate agency/property business in the eighties which was destroyed by the governments mismanagement of the economy which led to the huge interest rates and collapse in property prices in early 1990s. I, and plenty of my peers, lost our businesses and livelihoods. No "help" from the government then even though it was pretty much entirely their fault!!

  46. #46
    Master RustyBin5's Avatar
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    Biggest breeding grounds for this virus are schools. They shut on Monday I think so that should see more people stay home to look after them. Hopefully we see a slowdown of spread as a result. Iím sure a little good news would see markets pick up slightly and create a little optimism out there.

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by redmonaco View Post
    How times have changed...

    I had estate agency/property business in the eighties which was destroyed by the governments mismanagement of the economy which led to the huge interest rates and collapse in property prices in early 1990s. I, and plenty of my peers, lost our businesses and livelihoods. No "help" from the government then even though it was pretty much entirely their fault!!
    The fault of whoever elected them.

    Everyone thinks they should have help, who is going to pay for it all?

  48. #48
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    Not much more in the PMís update relating to business support. I guess weíve had our Ďturní and will have to see what comes about.

  49. #49
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    So it looks like companies will ask for a blanket pensions holiday.

  50. #50
    I'm another that's self employed but thankfully I put away money each month incase of bad times so I'll hopefully get through it ok. I feel sorry for self employed people living hand to mouth as its not going to be much fun for them in the coming months.

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