Beyond COVID-19: Preparing your business for the future

5 min read

Your business is likely in a state of shock right now, an induced coma it will need to recover from. However, we have sincere hope for the future!

So, as you batten down the hatches and steel yourself against the current turmoil, keep one eye on the road ahead.

“What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficult, and every difficulty has an opportunity.” – J. Sidlow Baxter.

What you should be doing now

First and foremost, you should be looking at your business model, cashflow and government assistance available to you.

Take stock of your finances, review your cashflow and speak to an advisor if you can. Take a fresh look at your business model and operations – can you move online or become a delivery service? Last, but not least, take full advantage of all government assistance on offer. Understanding and receiving relief will be essential.

So now what? What can you do about the future of your business?

Keep your eyes on the prize

An exceptionally important aspect of this process of transformation is the recovery phase.

This too shall pass, and we need to keep our chins up and look to the future we all know will come.

Let’s not cast any predictions on exactly when and how your business will return to normal trading. Know that it will return in one form or another.

Being adaptable and agile will be key to survival.

There are some steps you can take now and in the near future to prepare for business after the pandemic measures are slowly lifted.

Disruption brings opportunity

Yes, you’re likely hurting as a business right now and prospects may seem bleak. But there’s silver in that lining.

Many industries and businesses will be disrupted and undergo massive changes. With this disruption, however, there’s also opportunity.

New opportunities will emerge, new ways of doing business will eventuate. Certain products or services will become extremely valuable and some will diminish. Look for fresh opportunities amid the chaos as often as you can.

Disruptions have a long history of prompting innovation and this crisis is no different.

There are scores of examples of small businesses here and overseas that have reacted to the unprecedented disruption by pivoting to run their business in entirely new ways, while making sure they’re complying with government social distancing guidelines.

Looking to the future, there are also further business opportunities to position yourself for. When the time comes, be ready to adapt and make lemonade from lemons.

Plan your business’ recovery

You may be in survival mode right now but some planning on how to recover will pay dividends when we eventually resume a type of normality.

It will also help you stay positive and give you and your business something to look forward to.

Keep in mind the developments so far and understand that your business may look different in the future. Be prepared for altered business plans and focuses when the pandemic recedes.

What can you do?

  • Prepare business operation, sales and marketing plans for a recovery path.
  • Leverage learnings to enhance supply chain resilience and develop contingency plans for future crises.
  • Understand how government assistance will benefit you in the months to come – not just right now.
  • Revaluate viable products and services. Learn lessons around viability from current circumstances.
  • Do your best to predict roadblocks to recovery and avoid them if possible.

Don’t neglect your marketing!

Don’t abandon your marketing – adapt and be ready to come back strong.

Marketing campaigns, ads and general messaging should have been adapted during this time to remain relevant and timely.

Avoid trying to be a health expert and instead concentrate on being useful to your base and remaining sensitive.

What you can do:

  • Don’t abandon your marketing and brand presence. Momentum is key to recovery.
  • Instead of abandonment, reprioritise marketing channels and content during the outbreak.
  • Make sure your content is relevant to the current circumstances.
  • Show empathy and be careful of how you phrase messaging.
  • Avoid giving health advice.

The difference will be in our response, our positivity and our creativity. Let’s get through this together and keep our eye on the road ahead.

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