Late August and early September usually herald all the ‘back to school’ adverts on TV and in the papers. These really used to annoy many of us when we were younger, particularly when they appeared only a week after the summer holidays had started!
This year the whole ‘back to school’ theme is tinged with controversy and concerns over COVID related issues. The spectre of uncertainty hangs over the Autumn period as different countries are added or removed from the Government list of ‘quarantine required’ destinations, infection rates fall and rise again and local lock-downs continue in some places. We also have the confusing picture of Brexit approaching, the effects of which can be easily overlooked in the present virus related crisis.
It is very difficult to plan ahead in any aspect of private or business life with so many uncertainties around. However, planning ahead is what is needed if your business and your family are going to be able to stay one step ahead of whatever the remainder of 2020 and 2021 throws at us.
As it is for the children in the UK at the moment, it is for the adults and business overall. We have all been in ‘school’ for the last few months as everything around us has been changing with unprecedented speed. It’s been not so much a roller-coaster as a downhill trip with no brakes. We learnt our lessons quickly and abruptly.
Looking ahead, there are a few things you can put in place to make life a little more certain. On the business front you can get your contracts and documentation reviewed to check that you have the most up to date payment terms in place to help stay on top of the pile when it comes to getting paid. You should also get your contractual terms for dealing with problems with suppliers or where you are supplying others reviewed, should we be faced with a national lock-down once again.
Also think about your employment contracts. Has the experience of the furlough scheme taught you anything about how your business works or how you could work in the future? Whilst we are touching on the subject of learning from the last few months, do you need to review your commercial property requirements? Where are the overheads that need cutting? rhw can advise on all these matters and much more.
On the personal front, let’s get to the point: If you don’t currently have a will, you need to get one. If you have one, when did you last update it? Give you and you family some security and peace of mind and don’t ignore this area. Obviously, if you need to move house, get a divorce or have a dispute that won’t go away, then rhw can help with all of that, but the one thing we reiterate is to get your will sorted out!
So, we are all ‘back to school’ this September. If you get your affairs sorted out now and plan ahead, you can become one of the teachers rather than a pupil who has forgotten their homework and is trying to keep up with the smart kids at the front!
Chris Hunter – rhw Solicitors llp
Let us help you get up to speed in these challenging times.