Save Your Business! The Winner’s Way to Resilience.
COVID-19 has plunged the global economy into differing levels of uncertainty. Businesses of all sizes are suffering, and the only certainty we have today is that uncertainties abound.
You face a delicate balancing act – transition safely into keeping your new business running while taking steps to engage your customers/clients wherever they have moved due to the pandemic.
To survive and recover, you will first need to set your priorities straight. Right now, that means keeping your existing customers, not bringing in new leads or boosting profits. Keep that in mind, and you’ll be able to adjust your plans, six-month budget, and team accordingly.
There are two ways to deal with a pandemic crisis:
Go on the defensive: Cut costs and pull resources behind the essential areas to maintain relationships with existing customers.
Go on the offensive: Play the riskier game of assessing your ability to attract new customers/clients. Based on your analysis, “put the pedal to the metal” to acquire new customers by committing additional resources to sales and marketing.
Have you considered that adapting your product(s)/service(s) to the needs created by the crisis would serve you better? This strategy requires investing in resources that would provide you the data about current customer behaviors.
From there, you would form a cross-functional team to propose how to adapt your sales process to capitalize on the current demand for your product(s) or service(s).
Cutting your costs.
- When deciding where to cut back, the first question you should ask yourself is: “What is nice to have, and what is essential?”
- Any products, services, and expenses that do not directly contribute to your product/service, client experience, or staff wellbeing are considered for elimination before anything that will impact your company’s operations.
- If, after this step, your budget is still starved, ask yourself the more challenging questions:
- What looks essential but could be diminished without negatively impacting key functions?
- What is a reversible cut?
- What is an irreversible cut (reducing staff or canceling technical projects)?
Your redistributing strategies.
- Pull resources from marketing to focus on customer service.
- Will eliminating research and development stabilize your finances?
- If not, will redeploying teams from non-essential activities to functional tasks resolve your downward spiral?
- Will eliminating vendors get you there?
- Be conservative when proceeding with reductions.
- Your goal is not to disrupt your future but to slow spending until your revenues catch up.
- Rely on your cross-functional team to adjust to optimal capacities, such as customer satisfaction.
- Listen to your people, so you are measured in your reduction moves, but not so much that you cannot reverse your decisions.
- This process will also show you where you were spending unwisely, which you will be more aware of in the future.
- Assess all the different segments of your business.
- Will you save money by redirecting resources to the most at-risk areas of your company?
- Project your worst-case scenario for the next six months, and anticipate what areas of your business will struggle the most.
- You are examining how productive your employees are.
- While some meetings are essential to ensure different team members are heading in the same direction, try to open up more time for client-facing activities.
- Another valuable time-saving tip involves automating specific processes by buying specialized SaaS software.
- Consider what tools are worth the extra expense to free up staff.
Keeping your clients happy.
- Your clients may be weighing the pros and cons of keeping their contract with you, and you want to make yourself indispensable.
- To do so, align yourself with your customer’s needs.
- Research how the pandemic has impacted your customers/clients?
- What is happening in your customers’ lives right now that they will need your help?
- Offer more perceived value at little cost to you.
- Consider giving your clients extra services that only you do.
- Idea: Offer extra virtual consultations or meetings, making your team available outside of regular hours.
- Be sensitive to customer satisfaction.
- Modify how clients/customers can pay for contract renewals since they might also be going through hardship.
- Always make a point of asking if there are any ways you could help them with every communication.
- Show your clients that you are willing to go the extra mile.
- SaaS businesses can also give users enticing freebies, perhaps in exchange for extending subscriptions.
- The aim is to add value at a little extra cost to your business.
- Be conscientious. If you can find a way of contributing to the fight against the pandemic and the economic downturn, you’ll give your business a whole lot more value.
- You would be setting the foundations for a more purpose-driven company.
Be transparent with your employees.
- Be transparent about your financial situation.
- Building trust and even stronger relationships with employees during the pandemic is paramount.
- Saying thank you for the higher productivity that has allowed your company to “keep the doors open” will pay off in the future.
- Be flexible as to where employees do their work.
- Productivity is what matters.
- Let employees chose so this discussion does not distract from serving customers/clients and delivering products/services.
- Know that all your employees and vendors are with you.
- Create dialogs to confirm their commitment to your business.
- Instruct team members to create virtual social events to informally survey suppliers, vendors, contractors, and employees.
- How are you ensuring that your workplace practices align with public health directives for your internal and external teams, suppliers, vendors, and employees?
- Keep your customers/clients, employees, vendors, suppliers connected and informed, so no time is wasted on health issues, except those that are personal occurrences that would be handled on a case by case basis.
Where do you stand today?
- What is the current state of your company’s finances?
- Project your cash flow for the next three months.
- Are your projections optimistic through the next three months?
- Do you have access to credit or other assets to resolve your negative occurrences?
- How many months before your business uses all available cash or transferable assets?
- Are practical digital tools available to all individuals who support and are responsible for productivity for your business?
- Do you have a cybersecurity vendor that is responsible for your systems, platforms, and touchpoints?
What are you planning to do for the next three months?
- How are you planning on managing your company’s cash flow moving forward?
- Have you formed a team to improve your cash flow management?
- Is increasing prices an option in today’s environment?
- Do you have a recovery plan?
What are your next steps for growth?
- Do you have a strategy to inspire your employees to drive demand?
- How do you expect to manage your cash flow needs and become resilient?
- Will you be able to secure the financial support needed?
- Is there a cross-functional team working on your operational efficiency for both the short-term and long-term?
- Are you reorganizing your supply chain to ensure your growth projections have the materials to ensure success?
- Are transparency and empowerment consistently communicated to your people to build a robust collaborative organization?
- Are the cashflow team and your growth teams sharing information to ensure healthy finances?
- Did you designate a contingency fund to protect your organization from unplanned negative occurrences?
- Are your teams collaborating to blend your operation into a cohesive, streamlined, efficient, but flexible unit?
Accessing growth opportunities.
- What data have you collected to support your revenue projections?
- How have you identified business opportunities that are likely to grow in the next year?
- What are your projections for your pre-pandemic offerings?
- Have you developed plans for both opportunities, but also contractions of your business lines?
- Are your revenue projects properly labeled as boosting, contracting, being displaced, or sustaining?
- Do you have the data to project each product/service?
Tap into your data. Empower your teams to analyze different potential futures better and understand the implications of forecasting and scenario planning.
Practical scenario planning reduces the time required to develop strategies for your future business state as customer behavior changes. With the correct data, governance, and analytical tools, you can effectively plan to regrow your business beyond the pandemic.
Plan! Adapt! Manage! Succeed!
How to win BIG! Contact AccuComp Enterprises CFO team.
We know how to help you grow!
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