As we exit Covid-19 every business needs to have their own detailed and well-considered strategy in place. This must encompass the lessons learnt through tackling the onset of the crisis, surviving the duration and ultimately emerging well prepared to face the other side.
1. Good management information.
Be in possession of good management information. This will be critical to making good, strategic and agile business decisions as well as giving you visibility over liabilities deferred and those new due dates. The data may also highlight any additional funding requirements, whilst allowing you to effectively stress test and fine tune your business model.
2. Detailed cashflow forecast
Be sure to have a detailed cashflow forecast and if possible, a joined-up profit and loss and balance sheet (interactive with cashflow); this will enable you to really understand the impact of decision made right now on your businesses future cash flow. Businesses have been deferring a lot of liabilities and they need to understand what this means in the medium term, particularly if they’re trying to work out whether to borrow additional funds – how much do they need and can they afford to repay it?
3. Understand your pipeline
Spend time interrogating your pipeline including any transactional work that dropped off at the end of March and other opportunities arising. This will help you to assess the level of activity and the likelihood of these coming on stream. Be aware that where business diversification has taken place, this may have changed. A sensitivity analysis of the above is also recommended to identify any possible delays in expected upturn.
4. Analyse your supply chain
Carry out a detailed analysis of your supply chain e.g. components or staff, linking back to your pipeline and/or order backlog.
5. Analyse your staffing levels
Continue to analyse your staffing levels within your return to work plan being sure to measure both positive and negative capacity issues. For a diversified business, this will involve analysing each team, production area or service line as they will all come back online at different speed.
6. Stay close to existing and previous customers
Whether this is done by email, social media or, most effectively by phone/conferencing facilities – your customers will feel valued and looked after which in the long run may help you build your trusted advisor/partner/key supplier status. Your aim should be to feed the pipeline by re-confirming (or re-engaging entirely) in order to add certainty to a period which could be very difficult to predict.
7. Identify any competitive advantages
As you come out of Covid-19 are there any weaknesses in your direct / indirect competitors or even gaps in the marketplace that can be seized upon?
8. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Invest in your ongoing internal communication strategy. This will be critical to ensure that everyone within the business knows what is expected and any appropriate parameters to work within.
9. Build your safety cushion
Review your current retention model and consider whether instead of extracting all profits you should set a new benchmark so that the business can retain cash and reserves for contingencies.
"As we exit Covid-19 every business needs to have their own detailed and well-considered strategy in place."