When the COVID-19 pandemic begins to finally ease, will your business be ready to ramp up operations? The real question here, of course, is whether businesses will be able to operate the way they’ve traditionally operated. Company leaders must strategically plan for what’s next — the “new normal.”
What Is the New Normal?
What does the new normal really look like to businesses beyond adapting their physical space to meet social distancing guidelines and putting hand sanitizer in appropriate places? There is no clear answer to that question. What is clear, though, is that now is the time to take a step back and plan for the future of your company.
How Can you Plan for the Future?
Be realistic. Every sector of the economy was affected by the pandemic, some more than others. You need to take a big-picture view of how your industry was affected. Once you’ve done that, you can drill down and determine how those issues rank in order of importance for your business. Invite different perspectives:
- If you have an advisory board, get their input about what you’re seeing. People from outside your company may have valuable input about how to handle these issues.
- Hearing from people throughout your company is critical. Suppose, for example, you believe the move to remote work should be permanent. That may work well for those who have enough physical space to have a defined office, but not for those living in a small space with no room for a private workspace.
Be flexible. Everyone is affected by what we’ve collectively been through. Be open about the fact that we’re all finding new ways to navigate how to do the things we took for granted a few short months ago.
Be open to innovation. We’ve been forced to acknowledge that the way we’ve always done things isn’t the same as the way they’ll be done going forward, at least for the foreseeable future. Chances are good that a new process or procedure will evolve from the chaos we’re facing now. Embrace that when new ideas are put forward.
Be aware of your finances. The way you think about your company’s finances now is not the same as it was before. Will you be able to attract the capital you need? Where will it come from? What will it cost? How much are costs changing in your supply and distribution chains? What is your cash flow position in the short and medium term? What can you do to make your situation better?
The situation you’re now facing probably won’t be the same in three or six months. The pandemic is predicted to ebb and flow over the next year or two. Consequently, as you plan for the future, you need to have these goals in mind as you make decisions:
- Rebuild your company to be resilient enough to weather a volatile environment; don’t equate resilience with efficiency or profitability.
- Value your employees and their opinions because they are the ones whose work is keeping the company functioning.
- Value your customers the same way.
- Don’t be afraid to address and correct any uncomfortable issues that arise as you strategize your company’s future.
If you need more help navigating your company’s future, contact an MCB Advisor at 703-218-3600 or click here. To review our business planning articles, click here. To learn more about MCB’s tax practice and our tax experts, click here.
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