There is no question we are in uncertain times. Commentators are saying that the UK economy could shrink by 14% in 2020, marking the deepest recession for more than three centuries. Whilst this definitely is a crisis, there is also a strong possibility that this crisis will be short-lived and there will be a quick rebound.
President Trump has an election in November 2020. Love him or hate him it is highly likely he will do everything in his power to re-invigorate the US economy, which will have implications for the world as a whole.
So what are you doing right now?
Here is our 10 point plan to not just survive but to thrive through these uncertain times. You can either watch our video or read about our plan below:
Cut down on the amount of news and social media. Try to avoid as far as possible listening to or reading how bad things are or could be. Start watching videos, and reading motivational blogs and books from people like Brad Sugars, Darren Hardy, Tony Robbins and going back in time the great Jim Rohn. Getting your head straight is key. Surround yourself with people and advisers who are positive about the future.
Also take action- look for small wins. Being overwhelmed by the challenge can be damaging so try and look for easy wins to get into a positive mindset.
Most successful businesses are built on great people. Keeping a great team together is essential and it is your job as a business leader to keep your team focused and energized. Talk to them about your plans and exude positivity. Ask for their thoughts and suggestions and take the time to listen. The frequency of team meetings needs to be increased- daily huddles using zoom or microsoft teams are a must.
3. Prepare a forecast and cut back
Prepare a cashflow forecast for the next 3 to 6 months. Identify pinch points. Ultimately, cash is king so look at cutting back spending, reduce waste and deferring certain expenditure. However, keep spending on marketing and selling.
4. Get credit
If you need more cash then make sure you speak to suppliers (in particular your landlord), get payment holidays from finance houses, defer tax liabilities, increase bank facilities and if you haven’t got your Bounce-Back loan or applied for your CBILS loan then get it while you can. The Government backed loans are almost no brainers and won’t be around for long. Having surplus cash over the coming months will be key to help you firstly survive and then thrive. For those with bucket loads of cash the next six months could see tremendous opportunities with businesses for sale, bulk purchasing discounts, properties reduced for sale and great staff coming on to the market. Only with surplus cash can you exploit the opportunities.
Lots of people have been talking about businesses needing to pivot.
Pivoting isn’t just about say a restaurant offering a takeaway service, or a retail shop going on line. Every business can pivot. Look for small changes- look for those 1% improvements in how you operate. Look for new product lines and services, look at how you can go virtual, look at new geographies to enter into, look at new collection and distribution systems, look at joint ventures. Look for hundreds of small improvements in every part of your business. Together they will have a significant impact on your business.
6. The team
Take the opportunity to cut out the weak links in your organisation, the excess staff, as soon as possible. If they are furloughed don’t wait till every one returns to work, start the process now. Speak to AHR consultants or your own HR providers. Retrain or re-deploy good team members to new services or roles within your organisation. Suspend bonus schemes. Talk to your A players and make sure they are on board.
7. Home or Business premises
Many companies will have their team working remotely from home. If this is going to be permanent could it be more efficient? Invest in new technology and systems. If you are planning to get your team back into your business premises start preparing now. With social distancing likely to be around for months you need to make sure everything is in place from increased cleaning of the premises, paper hand towels for toilets, social distancing, one way systems around your building and so much more. Don’t leave it to the last minute- read the Government guidance and start ordering and planning. Carry out a practice run yourself to identify the problems. You will be surprised at the issues and how long it takes to get everything in order.
8. Marketing and selling
Review your marketing and how you sell. What worked before the crisis might not work now. Your marketing material may need to be more empathetic and more caring. Increase the sense of urgency. How are you going to meet with your customers? How are you going to demonstrate your products and services? Think about more video demonstrations. Your current literature and systems might no longer be appropriate.
9. Repeat business
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to significantly increase customer communication. Our businesses are dependent on customers and only by communicating with them can we maintain relationships into the future.
10. Plan for the next 3 to 6 months
Hopefully the above has got you thinking. If it has then now’s the time to get an action plan down in writing.
There is so much more we could discuss with you. Check out our numerous other blogs and videos.
Being positive and taking action is essential. If you need help contact us. Together I am confident we will not just survive but thrive.
The content in this blog is correct as at 28/05/2020. See terms and conditions.