• Do you have an overly complicated corporate structure?
• Do you have underperforming areas of your business that you believe will continue to underperform? Can you sell those areas of the business?
• Are there opportunities that you haven’t taken advantage of in the past?
• Are there opportunities to merge or acquire a key supplier to minimise supply chain risks?
• Are there opportunities to acquire a struggling competitor to gain market share and economies of scale?
• Are there any ‘outside the box’ short-term opportunities?
Review your business strategies and establish a new business plan
You should have identified your customer base/target market and what it is that they value at this point. Now consider how you will deliver that value.
Use your SWOT analysis to develop or revise your business strategy and plan. Keep in mind how COVID-19 impacted the way we live, work and use technology and re-set your assumptions that underpin key areas such as:
• customer (return or stay away)
• supply chain (efficiency or resilience)
• technology (transformation or enhancement)
• workforce (size and competency)
• processes (automated or manual)
Some aspects of your operations may take longer to recover from COVID-19 related disruptions, particularly where those operations are reliant on factors in other geographical locations or segments that were harder hit by the pandemic. For example, if your accounts payable function is outsourced to a service provider in a different location for which movement restrictions have yet to be lifted. Factor this into your assumptions for the business plan. Document these assumptions.
Examples of questions that can assist you in revising or writing your post-COVID-19 business plan
High-level strategic questions
Have you considered and written down your business and personal objectives, actions and priorities?
Have you considered your key targets you wish your business to achieve over the next one to three years (for example, the return on investment you want to achieve)?
Have you considered who will be responsible for implementing each section of the business plan and by when?
Do you have adequate resources (staff, finances, etc) to bring the business up to the level you want?
Have you incorporated the lessons learnt from running your business prior to COVID-19 into your business plan?
Have you incorporated your analysis of the market conditions post-COVID-19 in your business plan?
Have any of your key customers and/or suppliers been affected by COVID-19? If yes, have you considered how this may impact your business and developed responses to minimise such an impact?
Has COVID-19 led to other businesses in your area closing? If so, have you determined how this may impact your business?
Questions on business operations
Should you add new products or services and/or removing existing products or services?
Should you look to reduce operating costs?
Should you make investments in new technologies and processes?
Have you had discussions with other businesses in your area and industry?
Questions on business location, including online
Given the potential changed market conditions, is your business in the right location/does it have a sufficient online presence?
Does the business have the right support to deliver products or services ordered online?
Have other businesses reopened, or planning on reopening, in your area?
Is the size of your premises too large or small given the future potential of your business?
Questions of staffing
Do your staff have the right skills needed to implement your new business plan?
Have the potential changed market conditions impacted on your ability to retain existing staff, and on the hours they previously worked?
Do you need to recruit new staff?
Questions on your investment needs
Do you still have the plant and equipment your business needs?
If you need to acquire equipment, have you analysed whether it is better to pay for, lease or hire purchase the equipment?
Is the acquisition of the equipment (including maintenance costs, other running costs and insurance) justified given the possible changed market conditions?
Is the necessary expertise readily available to install and operate such equipment?
Have you considered adopting new equipment and technologies that will help your business be more efficient and effective than it was prior to COVID-19?
Questions on your inventory needs
Have you reviewed historical information to see which stock is slow-moving and/or has a low profit margin? If it is, have you considered removing it from your product range?
Have you assessed whether the changed market conditions will impact the buying patterns of your customers?
Questions on your pricing policy
Have you undertaken an analysis to determine whether the prices you charge are making the profit you want to achieve?
Have you prepared a pricing strategy under the new conditions?
Questions on marketing
Have you prepared a marketing strategy to incorporate into your new or revised business plan?
Have you included the marketing costs in your budget?
If you, as a business owner, is not sure how to lead your team beyond Covid-19 and want to learn what the most successful business owners are doing NOW, then join "Hume Business Leader of the Year' Michael Osborne and Co-Director of Sage Business Group Tim McCarthy for a special webinar on leading your team on the road to recovery.