I was one of 12 industry specialists to be asked to contribute to a guide for business leaders on critical areas to consider to successfully grow or rebuild their business in the post-pandemic environment. Here are my suggestions under the three headings of Prevent, Prepare and Predict.Stuart Ayling
What to put in place immediately to minimise risk
The important thing to do now is to ensure your business is on a solid footing, as much as is possible given the significant changes that have taken place. This includes:
- Ensuring your team is well resourced and managed effectively with empathy, frequent communication, and consideration for their circumstances.
- Your customers are receiving clear, timely and authentic communication.
- Financial resources are being optimised, including cash flow, debtors and inventory management.
- Your internal processes are being maintained (or improved if your staff have extra time available) to ensure integrity of service and/or product delivery.
Where to focus next to prepare your business for the new normal
Every business will need a path to return to what will be considered the new business-as-usual (even though it sounds like a cliché). This will require careful consideration of how the business will best function given what has been learned during the coronavirus season.
- Maybe some team members are happier and more productive working from home?
- Maybe business procedures need to be reassessed to provide greater flexibility while still getting the job done?
- Maybe your market has shifted with new expectations or performance standards having arisen?
- Maybe customers are no longer available (e.g. gone out of business or moved buying patterns online)?
- Or maybe new opportunities have opened up that you can expand into.
Within the business, this evaluation process may feel a bit uncomfortable, like a combination of strategic assessment intertwined with operational planning. It will need to be agile, forward thinking and encourage innovation.
How to strategise for future success
Assessing core capabilities and strengths within the business will be critical. It would be a mistake to simply strive to return to what you had before without considering other options. How will you develop the skills, resources and focus required to be successful in the new normal? This may mean:
- A sharper focus on developing employee capability (including management, leadership, resilience and decision-making skills).
- Reassessing workflows and workforce structures.
- Investing in developing additional revenue streams such as new markets or new products.
- Reassessing the purpose and vision for the company.
To help guide your thinking and critical assessment consider:
- How much has the world changed for you and your customers?
- How do you and your team need to respond?
- How much time do you need to achieve that?
- How will you ensure your business evolves?
- Who will take action?
Take the first step
Vectis has practical, proven processes to help you work through your strategic review and implement your action plan. Take the first step and request a complimentary consultation.