As if operating a business wasn’t already difficult enough, operating one through the challenges of the pandemic and the continuation of COVID restrictions has turned the typical challenges into feeling like you were operating in a war room and constantly putting out more fires than ever.
This crisis-mode type of management causes us as leaders to adapt and grow. Although this experience will teach us so many things for the future and give us the experience to navigate through additional crisis, the question remains: How can I get my business back on track after the pandemic?
Like every disaster or crippling challenge that we experience, we can give up — or we can use the challenges as fuel and an opportunity to become more resilient, clearer and stronger than ever.
There’s nothing we can do about the revenue lost, the customers that moved on or the team that may have fallen apart. However, we can assess where we are, get a solid plan in place to rebuild, and use the information we’ve learned to position ourselves better so that we can navigate through the next crisis that may come in the future.
Here are the three ways to get your business back on track after the pandemic:
Be honest with yourself when assessing the damage. Let’s get clear and accurate on how this truly impacted your business. Don’t see it worse than it is, or better than it is, just see it where it is. How can you do this? Rather than operating from emotions, let’s operate from facts. Feelings are not facts. Take time to gather the facts, figures and hard data on how the pandemic really affected your business. Getting clear on your financial data and the damage that it caused to your current and future business is the first step.
Step 1: Review your financial statements. There are three financial statements that every business owner would want to review and analyze: the balance sheet, the income statement and the cash flow statement (Shareholders Equity statement, if applicable)
Step 2: Review your KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) or Business Metrics that you specifically use to measure your business performance. Looking at the hard numbers and analyzing the data is the only way to find out where you really are. And knowing where you are is the only way to get you where you want to go.
Analyze your business model. The most successful businesses that were able to sustain, and even grow through the pandemic were ones that remained flexible, were able to adapt to the new conditions and maintained solid communication with their customer base and their employees.
As you are rethinking a more crisis proof business model, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to find solutions:
- Do you need to find a new solution or a new way to solve your customer’s problem?
- Is there a way to reimagine your business and operate in a multidimensional style where you are maximizing the ways you are able to deliver your services and product that you never imagined before?
- Do you need to adapt to the current conditions and add an additional source of income; create additional products and services to offer your customers that can be supplied in a new way?
- Do you need to adjust your long-term business plan in order to adjust to the current business environment?
- Do you need to pivot to a new or different target market or adjust your current marketing strategy to attract a new or wider audience?
- Do you need to adapt or adjust the way in which you interact with your team and your employees?
The pandemic has also created a change in your customer’s needs, stability and spending. Depending on the industry you’re in, you may have noticed a decreased need for certain products or services. Instability in the economy can create a drop in consumer spending for certain industries and discretionary items.
One of the greatest changes since the pandemic is the need — or, more so, the desire — for employees to work remotely. Although this is certainly not a viable possibility for many businesses, there are certain businesses and industries that can make small shifts to accommodate a more flexible schedule or allow employees to adapt by working from home a certain percent of the time.
Consider how you can use this experience to crisis proof your business in the future. Although this may seem like a pandemic that will never happen again, the reality is there are moments like this in business all throughout history.
Although there may not be another COVID-19, the chances of you experiencing some other sort of unknown crisis in your business between now and the next few decades is greater than not.
The businesses that survived the last 18 months were those that were able to adapt and continue operations or those that had a high percentage of liquidity. Depending on your situation, you may want to develop a plan on how to build savings for your business or have financing options for the future.
Having financial stability during times of challenge can be a life-or-death situation to your company. Preparing for a worst-case scenario, having a plan B, having an open line of credit or other funding options will give you greater odds of surviving through any financial crisis. As difficult as the pandemic has been for businesses, it has surely taught us a lot and that being flexible, having adaptability and being financially solid will certainly help anyone navigate through the next crisis.
If you want to learn more about ways to elevate your business join Candy Valentino, top business mentor and female entrepreneur, and other multi-million- and multi-billion-dollar entrepreneurs at Founders’ LIVE, October 20-22, 2021. Founders is a unique business development company that supports early to late-stage entrepreneurs in their journey. Founders combines the popular mastermind format with core business fundamentals, scale and development strategies, entrepreneurial education and an unmatched community.