The post-pandemic business environment is far from certain. Every global crisis leaves a legacy. Some changes are short term, some are localized, other are related to specific traumatic events, but many of the changes we expect to see will be long-term, acute and structural.
The acute pandemic phase will end, but if we are to avoid a severe and long-term economic recession, organizations that have survived must ensure they are well positioned for the changed environment that develops.
At Collective 54, we want to help you become proactive not reactive in this “new normal”. Collective 54 resources, discussions and solutions will help you take stock of your current position and to define the new norms that emerge. The Collective is designed to help you plan a return to profitable operations so your business can play its full part in the recovery of the global economy. Quickly.
As the many states and cities establish the policies and procedures required to reopen, now is a good time to consider the practical steps you can take when restarting your business. The following is an overview of the eight-point checklist to consider as you prepare to restart your businesses.
- Stabilize the situation. Begin by taking control of your cash. Use your funds to prudently maintain current operations, while also making investments that prepare the operation for the future.
- Assess the situation. Use facts to make decisions regarding all the opportunities and programs that are available to you. Keep reliable resources, both internally and externally, and make sure that you’re paying attention to the opportunities. Start to think about the direction you want your business to take.
- Watch your attitude. As leaders of your organization, take a hard look in the mirror. Think about how you can improve your own attitude because it will affect your whole organization. An economic downturn is temporary, just like a robust economy is temporary. Your vision of your organization is permanent. The values of the organization are dependent upon the values of the leaders and owners of the organization. In your communications to employees, continue to restate the mission, vision and values of the company. That’s going to be important as you determine the future direction of the organization.
- Stop the losses. Now is a really good time to think about re-engineering processes. Eliminate the things that don’t have value, and tasks that are meaningless to you and your customers. In looking at what the future of the company is going to be like, now’s the time to do those things.
- Find the positives. Ask yourself these questions: Am I just going to be the same business when we return? Is it time to reinvent ourselves? We can build our business by adding the right positions at the right time of growth. Many professional services firms are really starting over when the economy rebounds. What are the positions you’re going to bring back? What will your organization look like? How do you want to reinvent yourself?
- Make a new plan. What’s it going to look like when business starts to come back? There are a number of things that you have to consider along with your pricing model. It’s a time to redeploy the best and most talented in your organizations to lead initiatives that you’ve never had time to do. It could simply be making the best out of your technology, or it’s customer-related. Perhaps it’s taking a look at developing a marketing plan that is about how you’ll get back into the business.
- Establish credibility with your clients. Differentiate yourself from your competitors in some way, shape or form. Sharpen that advantage. Think about what that marketing message is going to be, and how you want to start establishing communication with your clients. Many businesses already have that plan in place and never stopped communicating.
- Show a profit. What separates the winners from the losers is how well they capture, process, disseminate and leverage their unique knowledge. Strengthen your knowledge management system or, if you don’t have one, develop it. What does that look like to a business that’s in a state about to open up? As you begin to identify a path to profitability, it might begin by planning two to four weeks at a time, then looking at the next four weeks, quarter or six months. Understand the trigger points in which you need to either retreat or begin to bring more people back and grow.
The economy may not open up as fast for all professional services firms as we would like, but we need to be prepared for that and understand that the clients’ needs are going to be different from what they were before this started. Are you ready?
Sources: B&M News, April 2020