The current COVID-19 pandemic is challenging to say the least. The silver lining is that it is presenting small business owners with a unique opportunity to reimagine their business with a clean slate.
Many business owners feel as if they do not have a second to spare to step out of their business and take stock. However, COVID-19 has changed the business landscape inescapably, giving them a welcome chance to reflect on their own performance and look at key areas for business improvement.
It’s pretty much a given that things will not be returning to business as usual. It’s imperative that you make a business plan that can accommodate for an unpredictable landscape.
We know that this is the most unusual time that your business will ever have to face but if you are proactive, you will be able to make the most of it.
One thing to be aware of is the need to focus only on current issues. Sinking your teeth into the high-priority issues should be, well, your highest priority. Dismiss any issues or concerns that are no longer relevant. You need to be savvy about your business planning by taking all the knowledge you’ve gathered over time and using it to help you keep your business thriving.
Our top key areas to focus on
Most businesses will have reduced or eliminated their non-essential expenses entirely. Once you’ve cut out any superfluous expenses, take stock and ask yourself what investments you would like to make for your business, whether monetary or not. Here are some good questions to start you off:
- What resources do you need to support your business goals, product deliver and your staff?
- Is all your software up to date?
- Are all of systems and processes well-understood by your staff? Are they being used correctly?
- Can you utilize new technologies?
- Are you getting the best deal on your business insurance? This expense can cost hundreds or even thousands a year more than it has to. BizCover New Zealand is a great platform to compare quotes from NZ’s top insurers. Click HERE to start comparing quotes online.
- Is it time for a new marketing strategy?
The big picture
Look at the big picture before you write your new business plan. Doing this will lay the foundations for making sensible business decisions in the future. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Why did you get into business in the first place?
- Is the reason you are still in business now different?
- What goals do you hold for your business over the next year?
You need to establish why you are still in business, what products or services you are selling and you need to know where your business is heading. Once you’ve got that clear you will better be able to decide where to invest your time and money.
Evaluate your products/services
It’s so important to reevaluate the products/services that you offer. This will ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the product/service and its price/cost structure, competitors, and the customers that you are trying to sell it to. This will inform what your business plan looks like moving forward. Some key questions to look at are:
- To make sure that you reach your business goals, do you need to explore new products/services or do you need to drop some of your existing ones?
- Can you branch out into new markets or sell to new consumer groups?
Look at your team
By now you should have an outline of why you are in business and what environment you are providing your products/services in. The next step for you to boost your business is getting your team on board. You should ask yourself how best to get your team to support your new plan. this may involve restructuring your business. To do this you should outline the skills your current employees possess, then assign them to the roles and tasks that are required moving forward.
In the process of restructuring you may find that you don’t already have the employees necessary for some critical roles. In some instances you may be able to upskill members of your team but in other instances you may have to hire someone new. This is also a wonderful opportunity to keep your team fresh.
If your business is going through tough times you might be tempted to let some of your staff go to cut costs. Although it might be good for cash flow in the short-term to reduce your staff, it brings some serious side effects along with it. Not least of these is reduced morale amongst your remaining staff. Redundancies in your business can weigh heavily on the remaining staff. This may result in a poorer quality of work and reduced productivity.
Your team is critical to your overall success and the longevity of your business. Now is a great time to get your HR team on board if you have one. If you don’t you can always engage the services of an external HR consultant. they can walk you through all the options available to your business.
Launching the plan
Your new plan is probably something very different, and to make sure that it gets the best possible chance at success, you will need to focus on team engagement. Apply SMART rules and set daily, weekly and monthly actions ,physically tick them off and constantly reassess and review them.
Before you set your new business plan in stone, make sure that you have listened to your team, and let them help you create new business goals, as you want them to engage with your goals and really own them. This will enable them to better understand the bigger picture and undertake their responsibilities.