We know that this January’s 2021 lockdown has brought a lot of uncertainty. We’re here to support you every step of the way during these challenging times.
We’ve put together tips on how to keep business running smoothly during the lockdown in this guide
What’s in the guide:
- Financial Support & Funding
- Can I Still Deliver Services?
- Staying Safe When Offering Services in Home
- Expanding to Online & Remote Services
- Tips From Professionals on Bidvine
- Bidvine Video Calling
- Stand Out With a Profile Badge
- Take Advantage of Special Offers
Financial Support & Funding
The UK Government is currently offering a few different options for financial support for self-employed professionals and small businesses.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
- Applications due by: January 29, 2021
- Who is eligible: Self-employed professionals based in the UK who have recently been impacted or are continuing to be impacted by the coronavirus
- Funding available: 80% of your average monthly profits, covers 3 months of profits, up to a maximum of £7,500
This grant isn’t a loan. If you are eligible it won’t need to be repaid, however it will be taxed under Income Tax and Self-Employed National Insurance. You will need to report it either on your 2020 or 2021 Self Assessment tax return.
To learn more about the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme visit this page.
Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)
- Applications due by: March 31, 2021
- Who is eligible: Small and medium-sized businesses based in the UK. Businesses established before 1 March 2020 that have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus
- Funding available: Loans between £2,000 – up to 25% of the business turnover or a maximum of £50,000
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
- Applications due by: March 31, 2021
- Who is eligible: Small and medium-sized businesses based in the UK, with an annual turnover of up to £45 million. To receive this loan you’ll need to demonstrate that your business would be viable if it were not for the pandemic. You’ll also need to show that your business has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus.
- Funding available: Loans of up to £5 million
To learn more about the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme click here.
Can I Still Deliver Services?
According to current government guidelines, everyone who is able to reasonably work from home should do so.
If you are able to offer your services online or remotely then this is the best alternative to meeting in person. Jump here to read more about tips for offering online services.
If you are a tradesperson or cleaner and it is necessary to work in home, then you can continue to do so according to current guidelines,
“Where it is necessary for you to work in other people’s homes – for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople – you can do so. Otherwise, you should avoid meeting for work in a private home or garden, where COVID-19 Secure measures may not be in place.”
As the lockdown continues, it is important to stay up to date with local guidelines. You can find the latest guidance on the National lockdown here.
Staying Safe When Offering Services in Home
If you offer services where it is necessary to work in the home of a customer it is important to socially distance and if possible keep things zero contact.
Before Your Arrive
- Arrange all the project details remotely. Message customers in the app, call ahead to discuss. You can also confirm that everyone is feeling well when speaking with the customer.
- Walkthrough repair work with video calling. Need to see the project to provide an accurate estimate? Use Bidvine Video Calling to walkthrough the repairs remotely.
- Discuss payment options ahead of time. Then, call the customer when the work is complete to confirm any payment details.
- Keep doors inside the home open. Ask if the customer can leave the doors within the home open to minimise contact with door handles.
- Bring personal protective equipment (ppe). Wear a mask and bring hand sanitiser with you. It can also be helpful to bring your own box of tissues.
- Bring a garbage bag. Take away any waste or materials with you at the end of the job.
- Prepare your lunch and any beverages. This makes it easy to use your own cups and containers.
While You’re at The Job
- Sanitise or wash your hands before you arrive.
- Socially distance. Stays 2-metres away from customers while on the job.
- Stay in separate rooms. For example, the customer might be able to stay in a different room or different floor while you are completing the work.
- Avoid busy areas within the home. As much as possible, avoid hallways and staircases where customers are more likely to be moving around.
After Leaving Work
- Sanitise or wash your hands after you leave.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces. Use cleaning products to sanitise frequently touched surfaces after the job is complete. If you are driving to the job you can also sanitise the frequently touched surfaces within your vehicle such as handles and the steering wheel.
For guidance from the government on staying safe while working in home visit this page.
Let customers know what steps you’re taking by updating your profile and mentioning it in your bids. This can lend customers peace of mind when they’re looking to hire.
For more tips on how to stay safe while offering trades services visit this blog post.
Expanding to Online & Remote Services
Looking to keep business running smoothly during lockdown? Consider offering your services online.
Not sure how to transition your services to offer online options? Here are a few ideas to get you started with expanding your business online,
- Product photography: have clients ship the product to your home, then capture the photos right at home, and send the product photos online to your customer.
- Photo editing: did you previously edit photos for clients after an event or photoshoot? Consider offering photo editing, scanning, and restoration services.
- Photography lessons: share your expertise with customers and help them learn the best way to use their camera to capture great photos at home with photography lessons.
- Video editing: Help clients create professional looking videos by offering video editing services.
Click here to update your profile and add any additional services you offer.
- Online Fitness Training: Do you provide personal training, yoga lessons, boxing lessons, or another form of fitness training? Easily edit your service settings to offer these services online.
Music & Language Lessons
- Online Lessons: If you offer learning services like music, language, or maths lessons, simply click here to edit your profile to let customers know you offer these services online.
Coaching & Counselling
- Online Coaching & Counselling: Easily hold life coaching, career coaching, as well as therapy and counselling sessions online with Bidvine Video Calling.
- Online Design Services: Graphic design and logo design can be easily offered online, simply update your profile to reflect that you offer these services online.
Tips From Professionals on Bidvine
Looking for more information on how to expand your business online? Get insight from professionals on Bidvine who offer online services!
Learn how to create a great atmosphere for online lessons and get set with technical tips from Sandra Preciado, in this expert article.
Then get ready to teach your first online class with Elisa Lavera who shares insight on everything from choosing a great microphone to camera positioning.
Want to share your tips with professionals on Bidvine? Send us an email at email@example.com.
Bidvine Video Calling
Whether you’re holding a life coaching session, arranging a walkthrough for a trade project, or offering lessons online, Bidvine Video Calling makes it easy to connect with customers right in the app.
Here are some top tips on offering online services with video calling including a checklist of what to prep beforehand.
Stand Out With a Profile Badge
If you’ve expanded to offer online services then a great way to highlight this to customers is with the Online Badge. Offer free chemistry sessions or discounts? Put a spotlight on these special offers with the Discounts Badge! Click here to update your profile with a badge.
Take Advantage of Special Offers
We know that now, more than ever, every little bit helps. If you have yet to create a Tide business account, with our special offer you can create one for free and get £40 in your account plus £40 in Bidvine credit. Terms and conditions apply. Learn more here.