By Barry Worth, Partner
“Your destiny is by choice and not by chance”
So, what do you think? Is our business reopening going to be business as usual or are we going to go through a 21st century Industrial and Consumer Revolution?
For those of you that think the business community will start back up as we were that we referred to as normal before the Pandemic; my personal opinion is, you’re missing the boat. I firmly believe that business and consumer choices will be changed forever. With such high unemployment, dependence on technology and the adaptability of technological processes and procedures, companies learning how to work remotely, employees adapting to working remotely and saving time and money with no commuting, these are all factors that I believe will change companies, industries and our economy forever. I do not consider myself I futurist but rather a businessperson that tries to envision what lies ahead in the world and the effects on the business community.
Okay, let us assume I am correct. What do you do when you have an investment in the current business model? Well, you need to: (1) be aware that there will be changes moving forward in many parts of your business – so stay agile and flexible (2) Have your short-term business plan to reopen (a good 90 day plan). Survival is of the utmost importance right now. In the plan, address HR needs, customer needs, vendor supplies and requirements, financial needs and requirements, marketing and sales needs. Make sure cash needs can be met and fulfilled either through cash available internally or through owner’s funds and Bank line of credit facilities. (3) Firm up your employee base (your most important resource) and firm up your supply chain (you may want to consider developing more vendors so as not to run out of materials/products and be dependent on any of your vendors).
Please keep in mind that when we are in these uncertain times, you can not do too much planning. I personally believe that the three most important things to do are to:
This means that you will need to address ALL aspects of your business moving forward that are addressed above and more on a long-term basis. Many of you have worked very hard over your business life to build successful businesses, given people jobs – which means there are many families depending on the success of the business as well as your family.
Therefore, YOU need to watch closely during this start-up time and be sensitive to changes in customer needs and desires, make sure you are addressing the needs and adding value to your customers. (1) Delivering timely services and finished products are a must. If you are having problems meeting timely delivery because of vendors, this is where it is imperative to have a larger vendor list to use alternative vendors. DO NOT become dependent on one or two vendors if possible. If you are having problems internally – do what you need to do to change processes, scheduling or whatever the need. (2) Try to look at your operations with an independent eye and make sure your Business Model is still valid and appropriate for your business as well as your customer’s needs. Do not be afraid to change your Business Model, with proper Planning it is not as difficult as you might think. Having the correct Business Model is an important factor to success.
You have two choices – be proactive and make change or react to the change from others.
So, what will the New Normal look like? Who Knows? Every business will need to find out that answer for themselves – You need to stay alert and flexible and creative – keep an open mind. Just stop and think about when you started your business. However, now you have experience and a head start to make changes. For many of us, we have had two months to think about our business, changes we could make and what changes might come about because of the new environment. Business in its most efficient manner is ever changing and needs attention to modernize and adapt to an ever- changing Global Economy. Those that change with the times and are willing and able to adapt, will be the WINNERS. Be a WINNER and PLAN for the future! Owners of businesses need to be VISIONARIES in addition to all their other activities. Take some time and work on the business not only in the business.
Most small, medium sized businesses are reluctant to do planning for any number of reasons. Primarily, because of lack of experience as well as time and cost. Using the right facilitator(s) can make the process much easier, more effective and not as costly. There does have to be commitment on the part of the company personnel and business owners. Owners need to look at planning as being another investment in the business just as they look at purchasing a new piece of equipment or hiring an individual. The ROI can be much greater than you think. The real question is: What is the cost of not planning?
There are many negative impacts from the current Covid-19 situation but there could be new opportunities if we open our thought process and get the creative juices flowing. I can guarantee you this – if you are not thinking about the new possibilities and opportunities available because of changes in operations – your competition is. You were caught off guard reacting to the business shutdown. Do not be caught off guard with the business reopening.
“FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN DO AND NOT WHAT YOU CANNOT DO”
Should you desire to explore what this entails, you can contact me at (314) 795.6014 or Steve Finkelstein at (314)409.6869 and we will be happy to forward you an Experience On Demand Business Plan Outline and discuss details of the process. Should you want to see some of the other articles on Management and Planning. you can go to our website (in the Media section) to find some excellent advice and articles. The website is: www.experience-on-demand,com. For more information see the link below for our latest webinar: “Get Ready for the Covid-19 Business Reopening”.
Barry Worth, Partner at Experience on Demand
Steve Finkelstein, Sr. Partner at Experience on Demand