If you are like most business owners, one of your primary concerns is correctly guessing what the business climate will be like when the health emergency subsides. Habits, personal pursuits, and relationships will all likely be affected in some way. These unexplored realities will have an impact on you and your business. If you take the time now, while we are in this state of global intermission, to fully prepare for what is next, your company will enjoy a substantial competitive advantage.
Use this chronology and take written notes (doing this in your head doesn’t work) to access your circumstances. Taken together, your conclusions can be developed into an action plan for addressing and implementing the changes, that you will determine are required to emerge from this hibernation, to re-establish your position, and build a more sustainable company.
Before you start, remember: Success in business is process driven on all fronts.
1) Secure the business (if you haven’t, do this immediately)
• Determine current cash on hand and obligations for next 3 months
• Review all loan and grant programs that may be available
• Speak with your banker
• Keep open lines with employees and provide encouragement
• Keep in close touch with customers and vendors, ask what they are seeing and expecting
2) Take any worry energy and channel it into creative energy
3) Assess the overall impact of this emergency on your industry (External)
• Anticipate what our markets will look like in 6 months and six years
• What specific challenges will impact the industry
• Will companies like ours benefit, stagnate or cease to exist
• Consider what threats to your industry might remain
• Will there be hope in 6 months or continued adversity?
4) Assess strategic realities and immediate business necessities? (Internal)
• Determine your value to the post-Covid-19 world
• What will the future be like?
• How will the company meet the (new) needs of current and future customers?
• Are we an essential or non-essential business?
• What are our options?
x Duck and cover
x Keep doing what we’ve been doing,
x Adapt or die? (Can we lead a re-engineering of how business is done in our industry?
• Question whether management skills and the supporting organization is sufficient to support the changes that must be made
• How will job costing be affected
• What will our facility requirements be?
• What promises can we make to customers and employees that we know we can keep
5) Marketing – Finding and retaining customers (the revenue machine)
• Ask yourself – In what ways have my target markets changed?
• Then, access your offering and business development platform
• Determine if enough buyers remain in your market and may currently be interested in buying
• How will my customer and prospects expectations change?
• What additional services will they expect?
• What pricing adjustments are required?
• When will it be timely to begin promotional and collections activities again?
• How can I direct my team to be better prepared to serve my customers?
• What changes are required to our Website, SEO, promotional plans, newsletters, email campaigns?
6) Building/improving the foundational systems
• What culture-centric programs are required to inspire the workforce,
• What operational protocols are needed to better operate under control?
• What changes might be necessary in inventory control, plant and equipment assessments, and new supplier relationships
• What management changes or skill improvements are necessary?
7) Creating and Implement your plans
• Create a detailed operational platform for all departments
• What skills or other resources are required to assure a successful implementation?
• Are these skills available from outside sources?
• Implementing you plan, and creating an Operations Manual as a byproduct of the exercise, will assure a more sustainable future and insulate the company from minor disruptions
• Create a timetable for implementing these changes
8) Review and improve
• Operating under control must be part of the culture in all areas of the company.
• Continuous improvement of operational platforms assures a business that is proactive, easier to manage, maximizes return and allows the leader to allocate his or her time as they determine, not the other way around.
There is no bad time to recognize you might not have all the answers. If you need guidance during this period, or a referral to other of the varied professionals (law, accounting, restructuring and much more), just let me know.
During this “world intermission” (I am home too), a free, 1 hour virtual business sustainability and leader support consult can be arranged directly with me, by clicking here. Simply state your specific support requirement in the message section.