It’s easy to get caught up in the uncertainty of our future. How we’ll all emerge from this pandemic and the ways our behaviour will change is difficult to predict, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. A great way to be proactive about the future is to start developing a new business plan for a post-pandemic world.
Running a business during a pandemic can often feel like captaining a ship through a massive grey fog. It’s easy to get bogged down by the ambiguity and uncertainty that lies ahead. Your new business plan will be like a lighthouse on the shore—following it is your best chance to guide your business (or ship) to safety.
So, how do you create a business plan when so much uncertainty lies ahead?
Analyzing your company’s profits while considering how the pandemic has affected human behaviour is a great way to get your company ready for the new normal. Dig deeper into how exactly your business makes money. It’s time to identify the critical areas where your company can set itself apart from its competitors, and look into the details of how money, goods, and information flow from your suppliers to your customers. Many companies haven’t taken the time to consider questions like: Who does my company depend on to drive the majority of its business? Who are my most important stakeholders? How do their behaviours affect my business model?
Psychological and financial benefits are two of the driving forces behind consumer behaviour. Ask yourself some of these questions: What behaviours are people likely to continue because of their psychological benefits? How will people’s financial circumstances influence their behaviour? What aspects of our behaviours have been transformed as a result of the pandemic? What behaviours might people completely refrain from because they seem risky? Have convenient alternatives to my product or business arisen during the pandemic? Is that change permanent? How do the answers to all of these questions affect the future of my business? It’s important to consider how the pandemic has influenced these motivating forces, what behaviours people are likely to be desperate to resume in the new normal, and what behaviours they are done with for good.
Once you’ve assessed the ways your business will potentially be affected by the pandemic, it’s time to start developing your new business plan. The development of your new business plan should be done with a lot of market analysis. How have your competitors been affected? Are there aspects of the market that have shown an increased demand that you could adapt your business to help meet? Agility and adaptability will be common traits of businesses that flourish in these next few years.
Goal setting is always a vital part of a successful business plan, but what’s even more important is a strategy to actually meet those goals. An analysis of your company’s KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) is a great first step to help you not only plan for the future but to track and analyze whether or not you’re meeting the goals you’ve laid out for yourself. In next month's blog post we will be diving deeper into best practices for using KPI's, so stay tuned! Data analysis is going to be one of the most important tools for developing a successful strategy for the future as well. If you aren’t already using a dashboard that continually tracks your company’s most important data, it’s time to seriously consider implementing that technology. Dashboards and data analysis technology are great ways to not only identify potential opportunities in the market, but also to keep track of whether or not your company is meeting the goals it needs to in order to succeed.
Human behaviour, market and data analysis, KPIs, and dashboards might sound like a lot of work and research that you might not have time for while you’re bogged down by the day-to-day demands of keeping your company afloat. If that sounds like your situation, maybe it’s time to consider part-time CFO services. The Corner Office offers CFO-level expertise on a part-time basis to give small and medium businesses affordable access to the financial expertise and advice they need to help their business move forward. Our part-time CFOs will help you develop a new business plan and assess your company’s data to make sure you’re not wasting a dime and are ready to pounce on new opportunities the market provides.
A fresh pair of eyes and someone to help you see the hard truths of your financial information can be vitally important during times of great change and uncertainty. Every ship captain needs a great first mate. At The Corner Office, we’re happy to provide that.