Businesses need to create a new plan for the new year ahead. When the pandemic struck, no organization prepared itself for the worst. Who would’ve thought a pandemic would occur?
While thousands of businesses closed and millions of people lost their jobs, those left behind had to stay afloat. Companies struggled. To survive and thrive, many had to pivot impromptu. Nearly every business transformed digitally, and delivery services flourished. Remote work increased, and virtual meetings became the new normal.
With global lockdowns easing off and vaccines rolling out, business is picking up again. Thankfully, economies are slowly getting back up. Can small businesses expect the same? For some, it’s possible. But how about for the rest? If this is your dilemma right now, allow this article to help you get some ideas on rebuilding your business.
Address Customer Worry
According to Ernst and Young (EY), one of the four biggest global accounting firms, businesses should first address their customers’ growing concerns. After all, customers have the decisions and behavior that drive business growth.
Considering the pandemic has changed how consumers purchase products and use services, businesses should ease their customers’ worries. Companies should communicate with their audience about the plight of their business.
Will you cease operations? If yes, when? Will it be permanent? If not, when can customers expect you to resume operations?
These questions are only samples. But getting ideas on the right questions to answer and appropriately responding to them can assure your customers, especially the loyal ones, they can still get the products and services they need from your business. In addition, if you close temporarily, you can expect customers to return when you open again.
Establish a Timeline for Rebuilding
With your customers’ concerns settled and less of a worry now, you can start developing your plan for rebuilding. However, it’s easy to become disorderly when you’re frantic with ideas and activities you think can help your business get back on track.
Set aside your plans momentarily and instead establish a realistic timeline first. You should have a timeline that will indicate tasks from the top priority to the least ones. This will help you achieve business goals productively. This will also help you avoid weariness when things go as planned.
A timeline can also help you track your progress and identify areas of improvement and bottlenecks in your workflow.
Assess the Financial Damage
With a timeline, your first task should involve an assessment of the extent of financial damage that your business incurred. If you haven’t been paying enough attention to your financial statements, now you should.
Prepare all your financial statements: profit and loss statements, cash flow, and sales. At the basic level, compare them with previous years to identify which areas in your business suffered major financial blows.
From the result of your quick assessment, you can make decisions that should help your company’s financial health. You can either minimize expenses, find sources of funds, cut back on marketing or advertising, or, unfortunately, lay off your staff.
Evaluate and Adapt Operations
Evaluate your operations and identify what needs changing. Perhaps you can streamline some of your processes so you don’t spend too much on equipment or expertise. Furthermore, the change necessary to survive should adapt to current consumer demands and make resilient in case of times of crisis. According to McKinsey and Company, businesses that want to rebuild should redesign their operations with resilience in mind.
The top consulting firm also emphasized the need for businesses to include sustainability in their operations. This is to add customer value propositions and increase competitive advantage. A small- to a mid-sized gas station, for example, can employ new sustainable technologies. These technologies benefit the environment and your business, such as a nanosponge, for hydrocarbon remediation to prevent dripping petrol from contaminating the soil.
In truth, organizations were already being pressured to provide responsible operations, meaning sustainable actions.
Improve Business Workflows
Of course, to achieve adaptable and sustainable operations, businesses should make sure that their workflow can sustain and support pivoted operations. Changes in business workflows mean having the right tools to run your company. Remember that adapted operations can only be the result of adapted workflows.
With a timeline and plan, you can now execute changes to your business. While doing so, it will also be helpful to create a crisis recovery plan that will guide you if another global disaster hits. Hopefully, these tips can give you an idea of how you can rebuild your business and prepare it for long-term success.