Furlough and What Needs To Be Considered – Joe Sword Shares His Thoughts

With furlough ending on the 30th September 2021, a lot of pessimism has been portrayed about how the scheme finishing will likely pull the carpet from under businesses’ feet. Many economic analysts predict that a range of redundancies and insolvencies are likely to occur off the back of furlough ending, but there’s also a huge chance for business owners to really drill down what’s important and what they want from their business.

Many owners will probably say they want to make X amount of money but what is the reason behind why they want to make that money. What motivates you to succeed and what do you aim to achieve? Getting a solid, appropriate answer for this is likely to take a fair bit of time if it’s not already been formulated, however it is so vital for long term stability and sustainability.

Switching the perspective from turnover to profit is also something I’d recommend, after seeing so many businesses focus on turnover only to see profits not rising in alignment and therefore causing long-term issues. I remember a quote said to me a while ago which was ‘turnover is vanity, profit is sanity’ and there’s a huge element of truth in that. By focusing on profit, you consider all of your overheads, how much you’re putting into the business and whether or not it returns investment. This may sound rather obvious, but you’d be surprised how many business owners choose to avoid this. By cashflow forecasting and scenario planning, you’re not only safeguarding your business through planning and gaining a detailed grasp of your finances, but you’re also discovering the gaps in your business where you can generate future success.

As well as this, you need to gage the market and environment your business is in. If you look at the wider world, the pandemic has accelerated the digitalisation of many industries so this needs to be accommodated or you’re going to fall behind. What type of digital sales and digital marketing is needed to achieve growth in your business? There’s no point spending all your time and resources on a particular platform such as LinkedIn for example, but your target customers don’t necessarily use LinkedIn all that much.

Identifying the customer journey and how they’ll get to you is crucial, as with this knowledge you can build your brand or product to entice them appropriately. This then links into pricing and offering a multitude of options to attract the widest scale of audience. If you just charge a flat £100 fee for a service, you may be overpricing customers out whilst on the other hand a customer may want a premium or upgraded package and are willing to spend more for additional services. All of this can be done through research and communication with your consumers, whether that be through feedback forms or just picking up the phone and interacting with them personally.

Looking inwards into your business is also something which I can’t recommend enough. This just isn’t looking at finances or what technology you’re using, but documenting all of the efficiencies, systems and processes that you use in your business. Again, this could take a lot of time but by recording this and seeing how much you duplicate things or where things could be duplicated, you’re streamlining your business operations. This not only increase the chances of being more profitable but you’re only making the business more valuable from a shareholder perspective. When doing this, the question will arise whether team members offer enough value to be kept in the business. This can be tough and stressful, however it’s something that is fundamental as a business owner. Can certain roles effectively be automated or even outsourced for a reduced fee compared to a full-time salary? If, like thousands of businesses, you’re bringing people back from furlough it will need to be decided whether it’s beneficial to integrate these individuals back into the business or continue without them. If you choose to keep people because you’re sensitive to their personal situations or you don’t want to hurt their feelings by getting rid of them, you’re only holding them back by keeping them under false pretences. Getting to the core of these important questions and issues could be the difference between your business struggling or your business thriving.

Furthermore, as a business owner the accountability for your team lies with you. It’s up to you to be able to communicate clearly with your team, helping them to buy into the vision of the business whilst listening to their doubts and concerns. This is even more apparent during the post-COVID world we’re entering and with furlough ending, you will be needed to deal with these uncertainties in a compassionate and respectable manner.

Everything mentioned relates to mindset and being able to cultivate a healthy and progressive mindset which is so key to your leadership. You always need to be learning and looking for ways to improve. One of the best ways to achieve a healthy mindset is surround yourself with individuals who you can trust but also who will offer different opinions, sometimes conflicting, to yours. This provides a fresh perspective that if used logically, can take your business to the next level. Putting yourself outside of your comfort zone is paramount to success.

The likelihood is that most business owners will have already put the preparations in place to deal with these issues before the furlough deadline. If there are certain things still left unanswered however, you really need to weigh up these concerns in a rational yet calculated manner. We’re currently in the midst of probably the most certainty during the most uncertain 18 months we’re ever likely to face. There are huge opportunities for business owners to re-evaluate and reassess their business model, using the unpredictability to their advantage.


We hope this has outlined to you some of the concerns that business owners will be dealing with as the furlough scheme concludes on the 30th September 2021. If you require any further information on our advisory services, or anything accounting related for that matter, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us at Nordens where one of our trusted advisors would be happy talking you through your query.

Beyond Accountancy

At Nordens, we're more than just accountants - we're business experts who can help you achieve your biggest goals.

Nordens Strategic

Our specialist strategic division at Nordens boasts some of the leading entrepreneurial business minds in the country. We cater towards delivering consistent success stories, whilst helping businesses achieve above and beyond their initial goals.

Through highly-tailored guidance, coaching and advice, Nordens Strategic are able to define exactly how your business can reach new levels of success.

Regardless of how you define ‘success’ for your business, our strategic service is guaranteed to bring about real and lasting change. By partnering with some of the UK’s top business coaches, we’ll steer you along the path to a greater future.

Accounting 2 You

Every business, no matter how big or small, needs to make the right decisions, and how to best manage your accounts can put huge question marks over your business. Accounting2You is here to take that pressure off and provide you with all the answers you need.

Our bookkeeping branch offers a fully inclusive, comprehensive service that you can trust. Since 2005, our specialist bookkeepers have been successfully managing the accounting of both individuals and small businesses.

With experts in payroll analysis, credit control and financial recording, Accounting2You will lead your business efficiently, and with real purpose, towards a prosperous future.

Voted as EXCELLENT - 9.9 out of 10 based on 167 reviews

Chris Dyer

Director - Metro Bank

Nordens are always very easy to deal with and extremely professional and efficient. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to my clients for their accountancy needs, no matter how complex they may be.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Jamie Brown

Co-Founder - Chicmi Limited

Very good to work with - the team go above and beyond to make the accounts easy and efficient. They're all super friendly and a joy to work with.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Simon Rose

Director - Rose Opticians

I have been using Nordens Chartered Accountants for 5 years and very happy with the service provided. All members of the team are very knowledgeable and have a wealth of experience which has proved very beneficial to my organisation

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Rebecca Bossick

Founder & Director - Physio LDN

Very easy to contact and put me in touch with the right person whenever I need to ask any questions. Extremely knowledgeable and can help me manage my various businesses whenever I need.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

James Aconley

Principal - Pauline Quirke Academy

Great accountants, always available to offer advice. The team have transformed my business.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Christopher Wilce

Founder - Dataphone

Having worked with Nordens over the last 5 years, not only to look after my annual accounts but they have also provided outstanding professional advice. They have guided me through a Company share buyback with clear and objective advice. We have also been using Nordens strategic services for a couple of years, which has helped bring about significant improvements that exceeded my expectations. With experience of working with several local accountants over my 29 years in business, I’m very pleased with the service I have received from Nordens.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Dave Hodges

Director - Linekers

Trusted our business with Nordens for over 10 years now and watched the company grow into the successful innovative business it has become today. Deservedly so. Every aspect of financial advice we need is always given promptly and with a smile. We have total confidence in all aspects of advice Nordens give. If you are looking for accountants, its a no brainer!

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Tony Charles

Founder - Foundation Sports Limited

A fantastic, modern, vibrant firm that care about the clients and their staff in abundance. It is rare to find an Accountancy firm with such vibrance and focus and relationships. It is no wonder they win award after award in their field.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Peter Horlock

Managing Director - Prime Time Boilers

I have been with Nordens for many years now and they are a great accountants.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Simon Cushing

Founder - Vivid Finishes

We have used Nordens for the last 5 years and have had a great service throughout. The guys are very passionate about what they do and have played a part in the growth of our company, highly recommended.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Andrew Martin

Managing Director - AMD Interior Architecture

Great Service at Nordens from a friendly very approachable team Particularly Kirsty Willis and Joe Sword who have been helping us since we started the business in 2016.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

James Robinson

Director - Forma London

Nordens provide a first class service. We moved to Nordens last year and have been impressed with the level of service provided. Keep up the good work!

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Latest News

We've always got our ears to the ground when it comes to interesting, useful and topical information relating to business and accountancy.

Business Credit Rating Score…
Most of us are familiar with credit scores, essentially a 3-digit number that shows how likely you are to be accepted for credit. The higher the rating, the more likely you are to be accepted for a credit application, whilst th...
Changes To National Insurance…
National Insurance is the bedrock of the state system, basically a tax on all earnings and self-employed profits from an individual. National Insurance Contributions (NICs) can be a confusing and complex situation for many, not...
Nordens TV

We love making videos that break down convoluted accountancy jargon into plain-talking, actionable and accessible facts.

Tax On Cryptocurrency? –…
I’m sure plenty of you have heard of cryptocurrency, especially the popular variants of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Cardano to name but a few. In fact, there’s thousands of different coins and tokens in circulation, with ne...
10 Easy Ways To…
Growing your business can often be an overwhelming and complex task, however by simply following some key guidelines you’ll place yourself in the best position to advance and cultivate success. Check out our Top 10 ways to grow...
  Why I Founded Nordens
Accounting 2 You

In November 2002, having sold our other business interests off earlier in the year, I decided to set up Nordens Chartered Accountants. The easy part was knowing how to do it, as I had established and built a smaller practice a few years earlier. The difficult part, for me, was not following the traditional accountancy path. Having run businesses, both successfully and unsuccessfully, I wanted to help business owners resolve their short term problems and work with them to achieve their longer term goals. Business has always been my interest and I love that I can help business owners achieve what seems like the impossible every single working day.

Mark Norden Signature

Mark Norden

We're Professionally Certified

Our limited company accountants have a range of qualifications from The Institute Of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). We worry about the bye-laws, regulations and ethical guidelines of the ACCA so you don’t have to! That makes us an ACCA-accredited employer as well as a Professional Passport-accredited one!