Hi Fire.

I am going to take a stab and guess you might be in the business of selling products or services. There was a really good article written in The Register which is worth a read. Now, remember, I am a retail expert so view through that lens.

Buy now, receive later: Is it okay to take shoppers’ payments and dispatch goods after lockdown? UPDATED

Retailers must be incredibly confident if they are going to continue to sell (if they are a non-essential service) while in lockdown. Unfortunately, there are many businesses on a knives edge and whilst this might look appealing to generate cash flow, there are fish hooks they need to to be aware of.

– Do you have the stock on hand?
– Can you manage to monitor stock while you are selling it (so you don’t sell stuff they don’t have)?
– If you don’t have the stock, when and where is it coming from?
– Will it still come in a timely manner post-Covid?
– Will the price possible need to change post-Covid if it is something you produce because material costs change? Will the customer pay the difference so you don’t lose out or will you wear that?
– What happens it the customer changes their mind and wants a refund?
– Will you be able to accommodate this (remember lots of customers circumstances will change in the coming weeks as businesses close).

If you do continue to sell with the product/service to come later, I only hope that customers, continue to be kind if the pre-purchased items are no longer available or take a lot longer than was anticipated.

Imagine the stress if post-Covid those customers have unreasonable demands asking for refunds and cancellations.

You really need to consider if you cost structure is going to change as a result of Covid. Eg.if the product you are selling post-Covid might cost you more than you sold it for in-Covid?
Not only will this tip your cash flow but also tip your state of mind.

Some of what I have stated may not relate to your situation. There is no rule book for Covid but there is a rulebook for prudently managing businesses in tough times.