Beat the virus: Karren’s Brady’s top tips for small businesses

Karren Brady

Businesswoman Karren Brady has shared her suggestions for how small businesses can adapt, survive and even grow as the coronavirus pandemic continues into 2021.


Karren is supporting Tide Charity which will provide cash grants of £1,000 to help small businesses.

Brady acknowledges that the Government has given large amount of financial help to businesses, as loans and grants, business rates relief and the option to delay paying tax bills. However, for some businesses, it hasn’t been enough. She says:

“Some small businesses have fallen through the cracks. Many aren’t financially resilient. Tide Charity’s grants of £1,000 will help companies with cash flow problems and those that are truly on the verge of collapse.

“Small business owners are having to dip into their own savings to keep their business afloat. Almost a third are taking from their savings or borrowing from family and friends so Tide Charity grants aim to help these businesses survive and meet their most immediate needs.’

You can support Tide Charity by making a donation or by sharing this link with your network: www.tidecharity.org.uk

Here are Karren’s six suggestions for owners of small businesses. What would you add to this list? Get in touch with us to let us know.

1. Investigate options 🔎

“If you’re a retail business, investigate shifting as much as you can online. If you’re a food business, you could investigate doing deliveries. If you’re a service business, you could investigate offering the service remotely.

“You might be able to find synergies with other local businesses. You might build partnerships now that could become very important for the future.”

2. Reach out to customers 🖐

“This year, it’s been vital to be reach out to customers, to tell them what you’re doing to make your business safe and encourage them to return.

“Think about your marketing and how to make your proposition unique to attract new customers. Research by Tide found many people want to support their local independent businesses so make sure that you’re making connections locally as well as nationally.”

3. Communicate openly 📣

“As business owners, we often have to give good news or bad news. It’s important to do this honestly and find collaborative ways to solve problems.

“Worrying and speculation don’t work. One positive outcome of this year is that people have learned to make decisions quickly, accept and embrance change, and lead your team to more forward.”

4. Control your costs 💷

“Look at where you’re spending money.  Try to cut back on everything but the absolute essentials. And make sure you’re getting paid.”

5. Call in support 🔗

“Tide’s research found a high level of altruism among small companies. 80% said they’d support other small businesses in their local community. This is encouraging because being a small business owner can feel lonely.

“It’s vital to keep this community spirit alive – it’s one of the positive things we can take with us this from 2020.”

6. Dig deep 💪

“For many businesses, the crisis has been an opportunity to reset. To think about their values and what they stand for. It has encouraged quick decisions and versatility. Now businesses will adapt or die.

“When you dig deep, you’ll find resilience in yourself. At some point, the pandemic will be over so get ready: your short-term goal is keeping your busienss alive, prepare your long-term strategy for when we come out of this.”

Q&A – your chance to ask Karren

Karren joined our CEO Oliver Prill and Craig Beaumont of the Federation of Small Businesses for a Q&A on 17 November. A recording will be available soon.

Have your say

How is the coronavirus crisis affecting you and your small business? We’re keen to hear from you – get in touch with us on LinkedInFacebook or Twitter.


Photo courtesy of Karren Brady www.karrenbrady.com
Blog post adapted from article published by Daily Mail on 17 November 2020:
This is Money | Why Brady’s backing small firms flattened by Covid: Baroness hopes £1,000 grants will provide lifeline for small firms

Suzanne Worthington

Senior Writer

Tide Team

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