The Business Forward Innovation and Resilience clinic went LIVE on Twitter this month, supporting local business by sharing resources and answering questions on what support is available to individuals and businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.
From networking at home, to speaking to your bank – here are the answers to all the questions this month!
How can I use Linkedin to find new clients instead of networking in person?
Advanced search can help you narrow down by job title, company, location etc to target those you want to connect with. You can also try and explore Linkedin groups.
How can I raise funds to help get a project off the ground?
Crowd Funding is a great way to engage your community and raise awareness about a project. CrowdFunderUK have put measures in place to help businesses, providing 100% free fundraising for crowdfunding campaigns with support through Enterprise Nation.
What support is available for self-employed people?
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has recently announced a government scheme to support UK’s self-employed affected by the coronavirus outbreak. This includes:
If you’re self-employed and struggling with your finances, you might be entitled to claim Universal Credit – a payment that will help you with your living costs.
If I’m looking to start a business in this current situation, what funding and support is available?
If you’re looking to start a business, you can speak to the team over at Enterprise Hub who will offer advice and guidance on funding options available.
During COVID-19, what conversations should I be having with my bank?
Banks can help by offering mortgage capital and repayment holidays. They also offer access fee free overdrafts for short term cash flow problems.
You should also be speaking to HMRC about deterring any tax or VAT payments.
The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports small and medium-sized businesses with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to six years.
Are there any support resources available for employers during COVID-19?
ACAS have advice for employers and employees worried about the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK.
Should my business stick to digital services even after COVID-19?
Yes! The current situation has fast forwarded the need for businesses to get more digital. From your book keeping to marketing – it is definitely time to test what works and watch how other business are successfully adapting.
How can businesses ensure they are hiring a diverse team to maximise their potential?
- Review your job adverts – are they appealing to everyone or would some of the language put off certain groups applying?
- Ensure you have diversity on your interview panel. We all have in built unconscious bias and so ensure you have different voices making the decisions
- Actively profile diverse role models in your business. That old saying “If you can’t see if, you can’t be it” has some truth to it, so try and show existing role models where you can
- Look at where you are advertising your opportunities. Would they only really be seen by one select group? Connect up with organisations and publications reaching different target groups and invest time in promoting opportunities there
Are grants available to help businesses during COVID-19?
There is a Small Business grant that has been made available to businesses who are in receipt of small business rate relief. There’s also a Retail, Leisure & Hospitality grant. These grants are available to apply for through your local authority.
How can I get more creative on social media?
Video is a great way to be creative! Simply use your phone, a cool backdrop and it can look professional! Make sure to check out Canva for templates and creative inspiration!
Is it worth blogging for business? and what platforms can you use?
Blogging is a great way of boosting SEO (with website), producing more content and showing you’re an expert in your industry!
54 St James Street’s monthly clinic for the local business community will be running live Twitter Q&A’s with the next one taking place on Thursday 1st April at 11am
Simply head over to Twitter and search @54StJamesStreet to get involved. You can use the hashtag #BusinessForward to put your questions to a team of expert advisers who will reply with advice and guidance