FIRST THINGS FIRST
What are the key challenges my business is likely to face due to the current situation?
COVID-19 will have short- and long-term business impacts. The extent of this impact and the challenges you may face will vary from business to business and the situation is evolving day by day. If you currently wholesale, you may find that many of your stockists are temporarily closing their doors in Ireland and overseas and this may have immediate implications for your business which you should bear in mind, including the following:
- You may not be paid for work already dispatched
- Orders that had been placed with you may be cancelled
- Future expected orders may unfortunately not materialise
- As a result of the above, you may experience challenges with cash flow
While your business may face these challenges, know that you are not alone and the DCCI team is here to assist you through this unprecedented period and guide you to supports for which you may be eligible.
What are the practical things I should do immediately?
Planning and communicating is key to alleviating any effects on your business, employees, supply chain and customers. It is very important that you reach out to your business contacts as soon as possible. Our suggestion would be that you do the following:
- Make contact with all of your key customers to understand their current status and their plans for addressing COVID-19
- Make contact with all your key raw material suppliers to understand any issues with supply
- Ensure that you have the correct level of raw materials on hand to satisfy the change in demand over the next two to three months
- If you have employees, actively engage with them to make sure they are aware of changes to your business so you can assist them in getting through this challenging time (see further details here on Government supports available)
- Re-forecast your sales for the rest of the year to understand the changes needed to your business plan, including the need for finance
- Keep up to date on news feeds in relation to COVID-19 and keep in regular contact with DCCI, your Local Enterprise Office, and your customers and suppliers
- You may find it beneficial to download the Business Continuity Planning document published by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. This user-friendly checklist identifies some of the key risks to the continuity of business activities and outlines preparatory actions to consider in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.