What’s your COVID-19 Business Recovery Plan?

Have you got a COVID-19 Business Recovery Plan in place?

Recent events have made a lot of people wonder what the future holds, both for themselves and for their business. This is the ideal time to stop and have a think about strategic business planning for the year ahead. Here are some tips to make that planning more productive.

Get your team involved

Business planning works best when it’s a team effort. Involve your key staff and your advisors, such as your accountant, bookkeeper, your mentor (if you have one), and others, your key advisory circle, who can contribute meaningfully to the planning.  If you’re looking at specific areas such as IT or marketing then looking for experts who may offer insights may also help.

Ask people to bring their ideas to the planning meeting and try to hold the meeting away from the business to avoid getting caught up in daily activities or book short sharp zoom meetings to focus on one area at a time and try to keep to a tight agenda.

Review your business

Start with a review of your business as it currently stands, focusing on four key questions:

What’s working well for us at the moment that we should continue doing?

What’s not − what should we drop or do less of?

What has the most business potential for the future?

What lessons have we learned?

Decide on changes

Your combined thinking may produce some required changes. For example, you may need to adapt your existing products and services, seek new markets or distribution channels, or change your business model entirely.

These changes are more likely to occur if there is consensus. Bear in mind that resistance often comes when people feel their comfort zones or their jobs are threatened. Address these issues right at the start.

Figure out capacity

Any changes will likely require some investment in new skills, new products or services, or other changes in your capacity to deliver.

Get help from your bookkeeper to complete a return on investment (ROI) analysis if you need new equipment or even new staff. You need to know how much extra business needs to be generated for a reasonable payback and also how the business can access the funds for the growth. For example, will you need a larger credit line or new capital investment?

Get everyone on board

Once you’ve established where you want to take the business, concentrate on the next 12 months. Set some end-of-year goals, and then work backwards to create the stepping stones that will take you there, working on 90-day plans of action with achievable goals helps crystalise this process.

Your role now is to get everyone on board by clearly communicating the plan to them.

Consensual goals are more motivating than imposed goals, so get at least your key staff involved in the goal setting. Immediate goals are easier to focus on than longer-term goals so make sure each person understands what is required from them this week, this month and this quarter.

Follow up

A major challenge with all business planning is that it is often done at the beginning of the year when optimism and motivation are high. However, these emotions can quickly fade as people get caught up in their daily activities and new projects.

Business goals won’t be taken seriously unless you set regular dates to review progress – again every 90 days. Once people know that you will be calling them to account at these progress meetings, they will be more motivated to keep your planning on track.

Need help?

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