No one saw this coming and yet here we are. A pandemic of epic proportions accompanied by devastating economic consequences.
Smart, methodical business planning and execution has been replaced by reactiveness and a sense of urgency.
As the country settles into this new reality and implements steps to confront the medical and financial fallout, you still have an organization to run.
Unless you were forced to temporarily close down, you still face issues such as making payroll, securing materials and inventory, meeting customer delivery deadlines, and keeping employees safe and healthy.
You probably didn't have a plan for this, indeed most did not, but now you are forced to create a roadmap for survival and endurance.
While there are many moves you could make, it's important that you have some of the basics covered to afford you the time and opportunity for future planning.
Your Strategic Advantage
Steering your business through this rocky period is vital to its longevity. Now is not the time to use the pandemic as an excuse to compromise on quality and service.
Reinforcing customer expectations will have huge dividends for you as a trusted, reliable partner despite challenging times.
Don't be afraid to over communicate with your current customers. Be the company you can count on in good times and bad.
Position your business to gain market share by extending your outreach to potential customers.
Be flexible and adapt to their needs to the extent possible through cost-effective measures and innovative product offerings. Demonstrate the value and competitive advantage you can bring to a new supplier relationship.
Monitor Cash Flow
Paying close attention to cash flow is critical to any organization, especially now.
Your financial statements should provide you with timely, relevant, and accurate information.
Use them to project where you will be three-to-six months down the road.
If necessary, prune expenses where you can afford to, even temporarily until the crisis eases.
Negotiate better terms with your suppliers, creditors, and others given the current circumstances.
Having a solid credit history will make credit managers more receptive to your request.
Keeping employees engaged and motivated starts at the top. Communication efforts by business owners and their leadership teams should be consistent, timely, and transparent.
The health and safety of your employees is paramount at all times, but particularly now.
Review the measures your team should be following to ensure social distancing in the workplace, including the use of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves where applicable.
Consider frequent meetings to communicate measures you're taking and to listen and address employee concerns.
Your employees may have ideas or suggestions for improvements or changes to operations, processes, and other areas to address any disruptions to your business. They are the frontline workers who contribute to your success.
The business climate and the economy are transitioning to a new normal in a post-coronavirus world. Be sure you've got the basics covered so you are better prepared for what's next.
For more information about managing your business in this challenging time, contact CONNSTEP (800.266.6672).