Business Continuity and COVID 19

COVID19 restrictions are relaxed and BEEP! BEEP! we are off and running.

The Chaos

But where are we running to? The marketplace has changed and a new normal begins to take form. However, the tough times are not over, the recovery is expected to take many months or years. For many of us we have pivoted and reshaped our businesses to survive. The reality is we cannot expect to simply revert to the pre COVID business models.

This is a critical point. If we are being honest, we have not really been managing our businesses. We are operating in a very agile way, pivoting very quickly, and reactively learning without a systematic process. With limited product development, detailed market research, operational planning, or resource planning. Many start-ups begin in this fashion, and many go broke within the first twelve months.  

The New Normal

Business Continuity

We are in the emergence of a new normal, one that will be different, yet the same. Different in how markets looks and how the businesses need to operate. But the same with respect to the drivers of profitability and growth. The four primary elements of business productivity, financial productivity, process productivity, asset productivity and human productivity. Businesses and consumers will be under financial stress for months to come. Competitors in your old and new market spaces will be vigorously jostling for or buying your customers. Many consumers will not have disposable income or will have formed new buying patterns. Many will be price sensitive and seeking lower price suppliers.   

Imagine you are in France 1916, you are on the western front, you have just survived days of artillery shelling. There is carnage all around you and the shelling has just stopped. It is your move. Do you tuck in behind the sand bags and hope you don’t freeze to death, or take shrapnel when the artillery restarts. Or do accept your position is not great, and ask your self what do you have worth keeping, what can you do to improve the state of play.

What are you doing about this impending competitive state?

Business Continuity

Well, now is the time businesses need to get scientific and start evidence-based decision making. In coming months, only the efficient and effective businesses will thrive.

Your business has survived and now you have the opportunity for a “do over”. A great opportunity to reshape the future of your business before your old business processes resolidify. Your business can not afford to make mistakes and have false starts. A whole of business, evidence based strategic plan will focus the businesses future and aligns its core pillars. A sales and marketing plan will not be enough. Revenue alone will not be enough. Monitoring the standard accounting ratio’s, cash flows and P&L’s will not be enough.

Obviously, the western front metaphor is of businesses in the COVID 19 environment. So, it is your move. Are you going to bunker down, or are you going to get up an take control, not to survive but to redesign your business and reposition the business for continuity and not survival.

Challenging the New and the Old

In focusing on business continuity, consider more than just sales and marketing. Challenge your whole supply chain, capacity, capability and your operational processes and models. Businesses will need to challenge many decisions including;

Business Continuity
  • Now reality tested, what is the truth of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats?
  • What in your business proved worth keeping and what’s was just good for surviving?
  • Will any of the newly identified survival markets be part of your ongoing offerings?
  • Will the old established markets snap back or have they reshaped?
  • How can improved productivity deliver low capital capacity?
  • Do you have capacity to deliver your new spectrum of offerings?
  • Who are your competitors in the new normal, have they changed?
  • Has your revenue and cost forecasting changed?
  • What is your financial and business COVID19 legacy
  • Have your business cycles changed?
  • Will your financials hold up? (GP, NP, EBIT, RONA, ROI, cashflow, financing, working capital)
  • Do you have the right staff for the new normal?
  • Does the business culture need to pivot?
  • Do I need a advisory board?
  • etc

Your new legacy

Business Continuity

Preserve your business continuity and legacy. Don’t waste the hard work you’ve done through the COVID19 event. Now it the time to throw out the old organically grown business models. Now is not the time to be reactive and revert to old business practices. Its time to be a leader and grab the road runner by the throat. Its time to take some time out to cast a new business sculpture.

Its time to refine your market offerings, plan for continuity, plan for increased capacity, plan for a productivity driven lower cost base and plan for the preservation of your legacy. 

If you’re unsure about how your business and family can deliver this, seek the assistance from Woodhouse.

You can also check out our videos on family businesses.


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