While it may seem hard to be optimistic about the business landscape, inevitably things will improve, and businesses will re-open. For this to succeed on an individual basis, most companies will need to review and reassess their current business plan. (Many companies may have done this already, tossing out rosy plans for 2020 expansion first put together in 2019.)
Carrying through on this review and reassessment means approaching what you have in place with an open mind and a willingness to think (and act) outside the box.
Here are factors to keep in mind if and when you decide to give your business plan a fresh look:
Why a Business Continuity Plan is Vital
As we have noted elsewhere, there are compelling reasons to have a documented business continuity plan (BCP) in place. These reasons include (a) enhanced operational efficiency, for a clearer understanding of how operations work now; and (b) the need to build trust by letting the public know you have a BCP ready for the eventual reopening.
While it’s impossible to foresee every potentially calamitous effect (i.e., a global pandemic few of us saw coming), businesses must have some recovery plan to go into effect at the right time.
Preparing to Pivot
Basic elements that factor into any plan to pivot your business include:
- Retaining functions and operations that still work
- Improving communications with key constituencies (your workforce, suppliers, customers)
- Identifying areas where cost-cutting makes sense
As we noted back in March, “Business and uncertainty never make for a good mix, but like it or not, uncertainty is where we are at this time.”
Strategies to Consider
Redirecting your business plan can encompass a variety of strategies. For example, as Forbes notes, “if you previously relied on foot traffic to a brick-and-mortar location for sales,” it could be time to “look at a digital expansion to accommodate the higher numbers of people” shopping from home.”
Other strategies to consider:
- Expansion of capacity to offer products or services remotely
- Identifying a customer need that’s been disregarded over time
- Reduction or renegotiation of fixed expenses
Businesses need to “strategize, communicate, and act with compassion,” notes The Economic Times. This may well require “a revision of sales revenue goals and product timelines along with a new operating plan.”
Explore a “relaunch map.”
McKinsey & Company suggests businesses contemplate a “relaunch map” that will “guide production, supply chain, and marketing and sales efforts, and help determine a recovery timeline for each site.” They offer the following actions to take:
- Development of a baseline reopening scenario (with plausible alternatives)
- Discontinuing business practices that lack efficiency, stifle revenue growth or otherwise fail to impact operating costs
- Reassessing staffing needs and numbers
- Diversifying into new types of products and/or service offerings
When the time comes, what will the “new normal” look like? While many of our prevailing assumptions about business operations have been tossed aside by the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses will still need to “define a solid framework for action in a highly volatile environment.”
TAB offers members and visitors to our website a vast array of COVID-19 resources—from workplace readiness and managing risk to leadership guides and preparing for the rebound. Check out our “COVID-19 Resource Center” today!