10 STEPS TO SUCCEEDING IN THE “NEW NORMAL”
Whilst time and space prevent me from providing a detailed explanation of the steps I am about to share with you, here are 10 steps you should take NOW to ensure your success.
1. Make cashflow management a high priority
Model your cashflow under various “high-low” sales and profit scenarios.
- Plan for the best
- Prepare for the worst
- Then implement a strict cashflow reporting process that enables you to keep a very close eye on your cash position
- Noting that external business funding is going to get tight and the old maxim “the bank only lends money to people who don’t need it” will apply.
2. Re-define your target market
Ask yourself, will my market niche still be viable in six months time? And, if not, find a new one by:
- Looking at the market leader, finding a weakness in their strength and attacking at that point
- Noting that the next 2 years are going to be a battle for market share
3. Understand the new/ changed needs and behaviours of your customers
- Then adapt your product or service accordingly
- And change your marketing process and messaging to suit
4. Disrupt or be disrupted.
The combination of a shrinking market, growing unemployment, a battle for market share and a new-found willingness (on the part of businesses and consumers) to adopt new technologies, represents the perfect breeding ground for industry disruption.
- Ask yourself: If I was going to disrupt my industry how would I do it?
- Then do it to yourself, before someone else does it to you.
5. Pay attention to key sales and profit drivers.
Formulate a business improvement plan for each aspect, measure and manage.
- Increase lead generation
- Increase lead conversion
- Increase price (if possible)
- Decrease cost of goods sold
- Eliminate unnecessary costs
- Increase gross margin
- Increase customer retention
- Defer accounts payable
- Accelerate accounts receivable
- Decrease head count
- Increase staff productivity
- Find ways to automate manual processes. Reducing time, cost and staff frustration with repetitive manual processes.
- Ensure that the process is always accountable. Start small, measure success and build upon it.
7. Show appreciation to your loyal customers and staff.
- Consider special offers you can make to loyal customers.
- Openly acknowledge the contributions your staff have made to keeping the business alive and engage them in the conversation about what they believe would be valuable in securing future viability.
8. Take a flexible approach (to issues like working from home).
- Involve your staff in the business planning process to ensure you have strong goal alignment and buy-in from your whole team
- Be willing to try different things and accept failure as the price you must pay to find the right path.
- If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something else. Try anything else.
9. Develop new policies, procedures and systems that make it easier to manage, maintain and measure performance.
- Consider how you can deliver your products and services if another lock-down occurs.
- Re-engineer your business operations so that when future disruptions occur, your business can continue without missing a beat.
- Consider the efficiencies have you gained during the response to COVID-19 and work out which of these should be considered as permanent changes to your business?
10. Make business planning part of your continuous improvement process.
When you have completed the above nine steps, you will have a new business plan.
- DO NOT tuck it away in the bottom drawer and forget about it.
- Treat it as a living document
- Update it on a monthly basis and be willing to discard, re-write, or re-imagine, as required.
Do these 10 things and you will give yourself every chance of surviving the “new normal” and coming out the other side stronger than you were before.
Ignore any one of these steps and your business will be in jeopardy!
See you on the other side!