Here, in his second blog on planning for the unknown, our SCR Growth Hub business advisor John Hassall, guides businesses on emerging successfully from the coronavirus lockdown
As discussed in my last blog, there is no blueprint of a business plan that is guaranteed to be successful, however the businesses that plan now and do so for the next 18 months at least, are likely to have the best chance of returning to economic prosperity quickly. Last time, we looked at the early planning stage (May to June 2020), now we move onto business planning stages 2 and 3, which takes us right up to December 2021.
Stage 2 – July to December 2020
There are lots of known unknowns in this stage and therefore it may prove to be the most challenging to deal with.
My checklist for stage two is as follows:
- Continue to monitor your cash flow extremely closely – make sure everyone in your leadership team understands your cash flow perfectly – no exceptions.
- If there is a need for additional cash, know where it is coming from or plan to cut your costs well in advance (possibly a combination of the two).
- Do your best to communicate brilliantly with your team – they are as worried and uncertain as you are, perhaps more so.
- Become closer to your customers than ever before – they will need your help and you will need theirs.
- Pursue your refreshed vision with the passion, energy and enthusiasm of a new start-up.
- Take a heightened interest in your profit and loss report – this is not the time to be transacting unprofitable business that will eventually impact on your CASH position.
- Preserve cash – this will be a bumpy journey for many – the only way your business will survive is if it has CASH.
- Be ready and prepared for some unexpected business interruptions e.g. a second wave or local outbreak.
- Make time to laugh and smile together as a team!
Stage 3 – January 2021 to December 2021
Let’s hope that we have a vaccine available by the early part of next year and normal life can return. Having navigated the previous nine months you should now be in a position to look forward with more certainty and to benefit from the increased confidence that will come from having worked through the initial stages of the COVID-19 crisis with your team.
My checklist for stage three is as follows:
- Review your cash position – can you start to release some of your reserves to support the growth of your business?
- Revisit your business plan – can you take a more optimistic view and revise your forecast in an upward direction?
- Reflect on the performance of each individual in your team. Who has stood up and supported you? Who has let you down? Who can help you to turn your future plans into reality? Reward those who have made a difference.
- Segment your customers following the experience of the past nine months – which relationships are you going to nurture and who are you going to let go?
- Consider stepping up your business development activities – decide if your business is ready to exit survival mode and re-enter success mode.
- Make sure that your energy and enthusiasm for the next 12 months is burning brightly.
- Maintain that heightened interest in your profit and loss report.
- Continue to be ready for unexpected business interruptions.
- Take some time to recharge your batteries – it will have been a tough few months and there are more challenges ahead.
Let’s not beat about the bush; the next few months are going to be extremely challenging for the majority of business owners and leaders. However, many businesses will come through these incredibly difficult times and emerge stronger than before and go on to achieve new heights.
With careful planning, you will be prepared to meet future challenges and I am ready to help you to plan for the unknown.
If you require information or guidance, please contact the Growth Hub team via the website https://www.scrgrowthhub.co.uk/covid-19-support-for-businesses/