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Advice for owning a business during a global pandemic

It’s hard to remember life before the world was rocked by the Covid-19 global pandemic. The days where business owners just went about their life, building their businesses, planning and implementing with (what seems like now) relatively few unknowns. No one could have foreseen the global impact on economies, businesses, strategies and consumer behaviours.

Long term effects

The flow-on effect for business is enormous, we’ve already seen some businesses thrive and others fail.  Those that thrive tend to be adaptable and have few overheads.  Those that fail tend to be dependent on a small number of income streams –  hospitality for example. The business landscape and workspaces, in general, have changed significantly over the last year. Economies have ups and downs.  Over the long term, a business will experience both.  It’s often not a matter of time but a matter of flexibility and awareness.

I think we all agree, now more than ever, the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. It is the businesses that do this that are feeling the least pain. Be fluid and ready to change, it’s great to have a plan but remember to constantly review this and update it with the latest knowledge. What you are looking for is how you can make the biggest gains with the smallest efforts.  Depending on your industry and your customer, this may entail increasing the number of products and services you have to meet customer needs, or conversely, it may mean reducing to only those that are highly profitable. 

So back to the plan, I sound like a broken record, but plan! Plan, forecast and create reserves and emergency funds.  An alarming number of executives say they don’t have a written financial plan because they think it’s too complicated or they don’t have enough time to work on one. If sales are slow, it is the perfect time to focus on the plan and review, review review!

Not all doom and gloom

There are positive stories out there and it’s important to seek these out. Learn from others mistakes and be inspired from those who have adapted to the challenges. There are many businesses who have thrived both from being in the right business at the right time (hello supermarkets), but also innovative and adaptable businesses who have tweaked their offerings to meet the new needs. A lot of professional service firms have done very well as other businesses now need their help, and I think we will continue to see this more and more as businesses see the value in seeking external expert advice.

Lastly, surround yourself with people who will question you, stretch you and often say no rather than just agreeing with you. A time of change can be a great time to launch a new product or service or business. Oh and make a plan! Contact us today and let’s work together!

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