COVID-19 did more than disrupt our lives, our businesses and our economy. It changed the way businesses operate and shed light on gaps in strategy. Now is an ideal time to take a deep look at your business plan and its performance so you can build a COVID-19 Recovery Plan. Looking closely at your financials, your business’s performance, and your alignment with audience needs can help you determine if changes are needed. Doing so can ensure your business comes out stronger and more profitable.
Before you build your Recovery Plan, be clear about your definition of recovery. What is your goal? Are you looking to:
- Recover from your revenue shortfall?
- Reestablish employee motivation?
- Realign to audience needs?
- Something else?
Before defining recovery, it might help to list the ways your business was impacted by the shutdown – look at financial impact, operations, employee satisfaction, partner and distribution channel stability.
Once you have a good handle on your business leading up to and through the shut down, and you’ve reviewed your strategic plan to identify what’s possible and not, you’re ready for the next steps.
The goal of your Recovery Plan is to have a planned path forward. A plan that will help employees feel comfortable and confident, customers perceive your organization as prepared and strategic, and distributors/resellers that feel they selected the right business partner.
You should be thinking through the different scenarios that may come about, taking into consideration:
- Ongoing shelter in place
- Opening businesses back up slowly
- Future shutdowns
Once you are clear about the possible future scenarios, rank them in terms of likeliness to occur. Consider how your business will operate as the economy opens up. Will you need to take any measures to ensure the safety and health of your employees and customers? Start to build a list of the things that come to mind and any costs you may incur; this will help you build your budget.
It’s important to review your current strategic plan. Identify what works and what doesn’t work given the current state of things. As you identify these items, rate them on a scale of 1 to 5 in terms of impact on your business – 1 is low impact, 5 is high impact. Reflect on how business has been the last few months. Identify any struggles or gaps. Capture those on your list and rate their impact. As you review your business, consider your mission, vision and values. It may be an opportunity to refresh them.
Building Your Plan
By now you’ve identified problems and challenges and rated their impact on your business. Your next step is to identify actions you can take to resolve those problems and challenges. Each action should have a time frame assigned to it. Is it something you can do this week, over the course of the next one to three months, or the next three to six months?
As you review your business, consider your mission, vision and values. Look at your organizational structure, partnerships, supply chain, etc. Do they need to be revised? Don’t jump to an answer. As you think about the different futures, think about these elements and how they each play a role in your path forward.
Review your budget. Leading up to the shut down, what was going well? What are your most profitable offerings? Which products have taken a hit? Is there a way to strengthen your most profitable product or create a product line expansion?
After you are done building the list of actions you will take, think about what resources (staff, money, time, materials, etc.) you will need to complete each.
I’ve developed a framework and action plan to help you build your recovery plan. If you would like to schedule a white board session via Zoom to work through this together, let me know. I’m happy to help.