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Your business may have continued trading through lockdown, either at your normal premises or with staff working from home, or you may have had to close your business due to the government lockdown regulations. Whichever situation you are in, it is now time to start thinking about what your post lockdown business strategy will be.
I therefore thought it would be useful to highlight some key areas to consider as you start to develop your post lockdown business strategy. These will be relevant to you whether you are a business owner, director or manager in a business.
Here are some areas to consider in thinking through your post lockdown strategy:
What is the current position of your business? Understand where your business currently is. What is the financial position of the business? Which products and services are doing well and which are not? What do your customers think about your business? What are the strengths and weaknesses of your business? What is your business known for? Explore all aspects of your business so that you can make an honest assessment of where it is right now or if your business has been closed, consider the position pre closure, alongside your current financial position.
What are the changes that may impact your business? Consider the impact of the lockdown on your business. Has the behaviour of your customers changed? Have your customer preferences changed? This could be your customers want to buy more online, they may want different products and services or their staff may be working from home. What has happened to the supply chains of your company? Have you changed how your staff are working? Has the technology you are using changed? Are there new government regulations you need to follow? How are you going to ensure the well being of your staff and customers? Carefully consider all the changes and how they may impact your business going forward.
What are the opportunities for your business? Think about the opportunities that may have been created for your business. Have the changes above created opportunities for your business? Could you offer a new product or service to your customers? Could you attract new customers to your business? Could you change your working practices or adopt new technologies to make your company more efficient and effective? You may have found better ways of working during the lockdown that you can adopt. Really consider the new opportunities for your business.
What are the risks to your business? Consider the risks that your company now faces. What are the risks to your business going forward? The lockdown may have created financial and cash flow pressures, you may be unsure about how your sales will recover, you may feel your competitors are in a better position that you to capitalise on recovery, you may be concerned about your team or you may be worried about your lack of online selling on your website. The risks will be different for every business but knowing your risks will enable you to plan to mitigate them.
What are your new business vision, strategy and goals? Now you have considered the current position of your business, the changes, opportunities and risks, the next step is to develop your new vision, strategy and goals for the business post lockdown. Given that there is a lot of uncertainty you may start by looking at these over a shorter timescale than you would normally. You may develop a vision, strategy and goals for the next three to six months to start with and then develop these further as you gain more certainty about the future. The aim is to get to a vision, strategy and goals that will guide your business post lockdown.
What is your plan to achieve the vision, strategy and goals? Once you have clarity about what you want your business to achieve you can prepare an action plan to achieve this, alongside an updated financial plan and forecast. Think about the key steps your business needs to take, timescales and responsibilities. Your plans will need to incorporate the opportunities and changes discussed earlier, as well as actions to mitigate the risks. Remember to build a review mechanism, flexibility and agility into your planning so you are ready to vary your plans as things change or when you need to try something different.
What else do you need to think about? Other areas to consider when thinking about the above include key meetings you need in the business, the key data you need to collect, how you will monitor and review your actual business performance, managing and focusing your team, learning and development for your employees, your own leadership and management approach, communication with your customers, sales and marketing, processes and procedures, technology, communication with all your key stakeholders and any outside help and support you may require.
Hopefully, this article will have given you some areas to consider in developing your post lockdown business strategy.
Author: Liz Makin
Published: May 2020
Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including anxiety management, communication, resilience, soft skills, stress management, time management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.
Please email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk to arrange a FREE consultation session to discuss our business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services for business owners, directors, managers and professionals.