Future-proofing your business for a post-pandemic world

April 27, 2020

 

The effects of COVID-19 will be profound, and undoubtedly felt by millions of businesses. It is widely believed that the world is heading towards an economic recession. It is therefore more important than ever for businesses to have long-term plans and strategies in place for life after the pandemic.

Even if your workplace is currently closed, or your employees are working from home, benefiting from furlough leave or have been made redundant, there are actions that you can take now that will benefit you in time to come:

Assess your business

Assess your business and current situation, and review your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on these strengths and work on your weaknesses as a team, department, and business as a whole.

Collect and store information and intelligence

It is important to collect, identify and prioritise information and intelligence that you have regarding your business, as well as those of your clients and customers. This will enable you to consider how you can better serve your customers, work more efficiently by using your sources of information in a practical manner, and take a more focused approach to the services you can deliver.

Analyse your competitors

Keep an eye on your competitors. Review who seems to be succeeding, and those who look like they are failing. Consider what actions they are taking, or what actions they failed to take, and analyse how your business can thrive by learning from the failures of others.

Identify challenges

Identify the challenges your business may, or will be facing in the near future. Anticipate different scenarios and consider all potential areas of disruption and difficulty from supply chains, competition, workers, consumers, customers, clients, and the general market. Plan solutions against every possible scenario, including the worst you can imagine. It is impossible to foresee how the economy will respond post-pandemic, but now is the time to prepare in order to be ready to face any challenges your business may face.  

Prioritise outcomes, and plan for growth

It is important to be clear with staff about the outcomes that are expected of them, as well as setting focused targets for the business. By focusing on outcomes, businesses can adapt the way they plan, prioritise, measure and report their failures and successes. Re-evaluate your processes, operations and platforms and consider what was working and what was not. Learn from your mistakes, and plan to avoid similar ones in the future.

Focus on cash-flow

Bring your business back to its basic elements of success. Once you have drafted a suitable budget which takes into account the stresses and strains of the post COVID-19 economy, work within that new budget. Ensure your business’ bank accounts have sufficient liquidity, with overdraft facilities in place where required. Every business should undertake cash-flow forecasting in addition to reviewing cash-flow projection every week. It is important to look ahead three months into the future, and be aware of any tax or VAT payments or fees due. Remember to seek financial or legal advice if your business lacks specialist skills in these areas.

The UK Government is also offering a package of short-term solutions that may stabilise cash-flow for a period of time. More information can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19

 

 

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