Now that the last of the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, many employers are gearing up for their staff to return to their places of work.

Whether you had to shut your business down temporarily or make significant changes for staff to continue working from home, preparing for the “new normal” after two years of disruption is likely to cause a few headaches.

From premises to staff, and from stock to cashflow, there undoubtedly is a lot for business owners to think about. SWIG Finance Business Manager, Rachel Thomson, says that the key to successful change is all in the preparation.

Rachel Thomson

So, in case the prospect of change seems daunting to you, Rachel has created a listicle to help you identify about the key things to think about.


🗹 Do you have enough staff working at the right times for you, or are any adjustments needed?
🗹 Do your staff require refresher training if you have been closed, or had staff furloughed, or on seasonal working?
🗹 What will your policy be on staff working and COVID?
🗹 Do you need to review your sick pay policy?
🗹 Do you have a procedure or plan involving COVID testing going forwards?


🗹 Do you need to change anything following the relaxation of covid rules, for example, you might need to amend signage or alter entry and exit routes.
🗹 Are there restrictions you want to leave in place (social distancing, limits on numbers, face coverings etc), can you do this legally?
🗹 Are your premises in the condition you want them to be? Are they clean and tidy? Are displays suitable?


🗹 Do you need to review stock holdings – what do you need to order?
🗹 Have trends changed because of the pandemic? Does your stock need to change because of this?
🗹 Is your supply chain fit for purpose?
🗹 Do you have any obsolete or out of date stock that needs selling off quickly or disposing of? How will you do this?

Cashflow and Finances

🗹 Costs are rising so now is the time to keep an eye on your costs, review all your utilities and make sure you are getting value for money but also make sure that you are receiving the service you need.
🗹 It can help to produce a simple cashflow forecast so you know what is going out and what you expect to have in income – use this to monitor your cash.

Your Customers

🗹 Do you need to remind your customers of any bookings? Is your cancelation policy (if any) relevant?
🗹 Do you need to change the way you attract new customers?
🗹 Are there any covid rules you want your customers to follow? How will you let them know and get their buy in?
🗹 Has your market changed completely? Do you need to pivot your business again to keep up with 2022?

Looking after number one

🗹 Look after yourself, you are number one in your business.
🗹 Ask for support if you need it.
🗹 Join a local networking group or association so you can meet other business owners and support each other.
🗹 Take some time each day for yourself – a short walk, read your favourite magazine, do some exercise, look at the sea with a cup of coffee – make sure you recharge!

Government guidance for employers over returning to the workplace can be found at

About SWIG Finance

SWIG Finance, the South West’s leading CDFI, was established more than 30 years ago to support businesses who are unable to secure funding from mainstream lenders. By empowering underserved businesses in the region to overcome their financial barriers, SWIG Finance is working to create a balanced financial eco-system.

We are passionate about bringing social and economic benefits to people and places. We do this by providing support and finance to Start Ups and growing SMEs that can create and secure employment opportunities.

As the South West’s leading delivery partner for Start Up Loans UK, we can provide Start Up Loans from £500 – £25,000. For more information visit

We also have business loans from £25,001 to £250,000 available to South West SMEs who cannot access sufficient funding from their bank

If you would like to have an informal discussion about your funding requirements, get in touch with our friendly and professional team to find out how we can help: / 01872 227 930.