Planning Not Panicking
Panicking? Planning? Or maybe Plannicking? It’s safe to say that everyone is probably doing a little bit of both at the moment.
Through all of the news and updates about COVID-19 pertaining to health, safety, social distancing, etc, the economic implications of this pandemic seem to be some of the most uncertain.
In order to prepare for the inevitable economic downturn, it is important to have a plan of action, a 90 day plan for example. Things are changing rapidly and you don’t want to be left in the dust when they inevitably change again.
By planning and not panicking, you will be prepared for the worst case scenario. That being said, with a 90 day plan of action, if the worst case scenario doesn’t play out then business performance will benefit exponentially, and if it does then you’ll be ready to face it head on.
12 Steps to Help Your Business Prepare for the Coronavirus Economic Impact
- Communicate: Communication is key and it’s even more vital in situations like this. It’s important that you continue constant communication with your team daily through video calls, emails, etc. Furthermore, you need to keep in constant communication with your customer base, your networks, your suppliers and stakeholders, and your community. Make sure to not leave anybody out of the loop! A good place to begin would be to answer the questions: who do we need to communicate to? how often? and through which method?
- Be Positive: In every crisis there is opportunity, even if it may not seem like it yet. Worrying never helps so continue to look for small wins every hour, turn off the news once in a while, and keep leading your people in a positive manner.
- Know the Cycles: We should always be aware of what is happening in the world. Continue to watch the impacts that this pandemic has had on China and Italy and see what is leading to their recovery as well. Make sure to also keep your eyes on the general market trends that are happening around the world and which are relevant to monitor.
- Be Ready for Change and Embrace it: The only constant in life is change, so this is your chance to get ahead and lead the change. Take a look at your vision and the things that are stopping you from getting there; maybe the business needs to shift, maybe there can be an update in products, services, or pricing- this is your chance to revamp the ‘old way’ of doing things.
- Cut Back: Now is the time to cut back if you feel that you need to. Stop the unnecessary spending, take the opportunity to reduce your cash out wherever you can, and slow things down or postpone if necessary. However, don’t forget to keep marketing and keep selling.
- Extend Credit: Get credit now while it’s still possible- loans, credit cards, overdrafts, etc. Make sure you implement the same practices with your personal finances as well. If you must refinance, try to do it as soon as possible. Furthermore, make sure you are paying attention to the rates and don’t just settle, find the lowest ones and start talking to a bank now.
- Staffing Cuts and Changes: While this is difficult, it may be necessary. Some ways to combat complete layoffs is to have employees take vacations if possible, reducing/ splitting time, pay cuts, or even through suspending bonus programs.
- Plan to Work from Home: No one knows how long this will last, so it’s important to be prepared to work from home for the foreseeable future. Make sure you and your employees have the technology needed, try to hold video meetings at least once a week, and make sure to have a reporting system in place so that everyone has a clear visual.
- Online or Deliveries: As we all begin to practice social distancing it’s important that you do what you can to make sure you are still focusing on your customers. Explore new ways to work, communicate and deliver your product or service. Maybe that means going virtual, or offering free no-contact delivery- do what you can to make your customers feel comfortable.
- Market and Sell: Don’t make the mistake of decreasing your marketing or selling tactics, continue keeping on top of it. People still need your products/services so work on getting creative and bringing new offers/rates to the table, negotiate current rates, and try to get cash up front.
- Repeat Business: Every contact you have with a customer influences whether or not they will come back so it’s important, especially now, to make your customer base feel valued. Create deals just for them, extend your offers, roll out new deals, and make sure you communicate with them regularly.
- Common Sense & Compassion: These are vulnerable times and we are all feeling a bit uncertain on what’s to come. It’s important to be kind to one another and to put others first. Practice things such as over delivering on customer service, or even little things like keeping things clean, using hand sanitizer, and maybe….not buying toilet paper in bulk…..
Evoke Management is always on the lookout for ways in which we can help SMEs and now is certainly the time when our extensive experience can really make a difference. With our team of part-time directors we are able to support all types of business with actions such as 90 day business continuity plans, negotiations with banks, loans, HMRC, and other finance issues, difficult HR decisions, access to governmental/other financial assistance, diversification and alternative markets, and internal engagement.
Whether you’re Plannicking, Panicking or calmly planning, we’re on hand to provide help, guidance and pragmatic advice to ensure you make the most of these difficult times.
Please get in contact with us to book in a free 30 minute video call with one of our experienced Directors.