Rebuilding your small business post-pandemic and planning your company's future
"When the crisis is over, put your energy into rebuilding your business, don’t waste time looking back" - author unknown
The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted all businesses around the globe. Economists claim that more than 60% of small businesses have suffered negative implications as a result of the pandemic. The nature of impact varies for every business; however, it is crucial to think about the recovery mode once the economy returns to normalcy.
Here are a few necessary steps for you to take when re-building your business and planning for the future:
Assess the damage
The first step when determining an exit plan is to assess the impact and the resulting losses. You must effectively understand how the crisis has affected your business and what is the nature of damage before you can start working on an exit plan.
Compare your current financial statements with the previous year’s numbers to determine the nature of impact and assess the damage.
Not just the financial impact, consider other factors as well. For instance, if you had to stand your employees down or shut some services down during the crisis, you will need to take that into account when creating your rebuilding plan.
Assess your current business model and strategy
Once you have developed a good understanding of the impact, assess your business model's relevance, and consider how your business can adapt to a new normal.
Your existing business practices may not be relevant any more. For example, if you own a restaurant, you might not be able to seat as many people as you used to before. You may need to look at reorganizing the dining area and implement social distancing policies to comply with the health and safety regulations.
Look for available financial and moral support
Get help and support if you think you will need it. Look for a mentor who can offer you guidance and motivation to refocus and rebuild your business.
Find out if you require funds to recover and rebuild your business. Determine if you need short-term or long-term financing. Look for available government funding programs and support. Talk to your bank and financial advisor about available options.
Create an exit plan
Go step by step. Focus on one area at a time. Think of all the re-organization and changes that you need to make to stabilize operations and rollback.
Analyze your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to ensure that your plan enables you to rebuild on what you do well, address what you are lacking, minimize risks, and take the greatest possible advantage of available opportunities.
Your business in the new norm needs to comply with social distancing rules, and must emphasize the health and safety of your workforce.
keeping the operational costs low,
encouraging your staff to work efficiently, and
building your cash reserves.
Make use of technology to augment, and not replace, people.
Create financial forecasts to develop a clear understanding of what your expenditure and income look like post-pandemic. Forecasts will help you eliminate monetary waste and set a lean operating budget.
Set a timeline to help you navigate through the implementation phase.
Take one step at a time towards recovery and keep track of progress.
Do not forget to include a contingency plan for an emergency. Crisis situations may occur again, and it is highly crucial to ensure that you are prepared better than before to face and survive difficult, challenging circumstances.
Consider this situation as an opportunity to reset your goals and strategy. Ask yourself: "How can we do better and different?"
"The True Test of Leadership is How Well You Function In A Crisis" - Brian Tracy