Business Planning for Covid-19 | 6 things to safeguard your business today
1. Keep Calm But Be Responsive!
Easier said than done but setting a clear, methodical strategy for how you want to manage your organisation during this time of rapid change and flux will help you to remain calm and able to respond as the situation evolves. To help you to do this, we recommend developing a list of all of the key areas of your business and mapping out any actions you need to take for each of them in order to secure the business. You can then look at prioritising those which need urgent attention as well as what can be delegated to your teams. For example, consider plans for:
- Customer Retention & Delivery How will you ensure good communication with your customers and continue to deliver effectively for them?
- Finance Look at how you can protect your business, reduce your costs if your sales reduce and how you ensure invoicing and credit control is still managed efficiently
- Team Management Enable your teams to still work effectively even if remotely for any length of time. Make plans to check in with them to ensure their wellbeing is being monitored. Are any of your teams likely to be more or less busy than usual? Can you re-train anyone who is not being fully utilised to support other areas of the business?
- Technology Do you need to modify your approach to utilising technology to enable everyone to work remotely and continue to deliver? Are there any digital programmes or tools you should consider investing in?
- Communication With no certainty about how long the COVID-19 virus may affect your business and how long your teams may be required to work remotely, it’s really important to build solid foundations of an ongoing comms plan – both to keep in touch with your teams and to reassure your customers throughout
- Innovation Think about what you might be able to do differently and if there are any opportunities which could be harnessed in the present situation. Use this as a basis to think about future innovation too so you are well placed to be responsive and agile in the future. This should then be part of your larger business plan
2. Think About Your Teams
This is an unnerving time for them – and whilst some may be used to working remotely, probably not under these circumstances. Some may be office based and so will need some coaching and additional structure to help them to transition to this working style. Consider scheduling in daily and weekly check-ins either individually and/or in teams via phone, skype or a video conferencing platform. Plan how you can keep them motivated, engaged and productive during this time. Also, consider the fact that some may have dependants to look after – for example, the shutdown of schools has meant that you need to be flexible to accommodate their personal situations. If they live with someone who is more vulnerable, they may need to isolate earlier or for longer to keep them safe. Also be aware that there may be other difficulties that have not been brought to your attention, for example employment uncertainties for family and friends.
3. Love Your Customers
Business planning around how you can retain business and also support your customers is vital, as no doubt they will also be facing their own particular issues. Keep in touch to demonstrate that you can continue to support them and invite them to engage with you to seek assistance or support.
4. Look for Opportunities and Innovation
Are there different ways of doing things to make your business more future-proofed? Can you provide alternative solutions to your customers in the interim which still work for your business too? Can you develop new solutions which meet current needs?
5. Develop your Comms Plans
Keep your teams, customers and suppliers informed and engaged. Suggest daily huddles with teams initially and then build in structured remote catchups for as long as is required.
6. Make a Contingency Plan
If anyone in your teams is unwell, make sure you have a back-up plan. Develop this plan immediately! This must be worked out ahead of when you need it, after all it could be you that needs to delegate at some point. Involve the team in rolling this out so that everyone can familiarise themselves with what might be needed in case of emergency. If this involves individuals taking responsibility when the normal lead is unable, set aside time for up-skilling your teams if they are not used to or familiar with what they may be asked to do.
How The Curve Group Can Help
Time restraints and lack of resources often mean that HR administration can become a cumbersome task which gets neglected, leading to detrimental impact on your employees. Our HR Administration service spans the entire employee lifecycle and is configurable, responsive and scalable. Your business will benefit from a high-quality professional service that is far more cost effective than an in-house operation could deliver. It also ensures that your HR policies and practices remain compliant with relevant HR legislation.
Employee Relations Advice
Our Employee Relations advice service provides expert, tailored HR advice and guidance when you need it the most. Our service differs from the more commonly available ‘insurance style’ advice services as it’s consultative – our expert advisors take the time to really listen and tailor the advice according to your own HR policies and practices, whilst grounding advice in best practice and employment law. The primary aim of the service is to support and empower your managers and leaders, providing expert guidance and advice so that they can deal with employee issues themselves with ease, safe in the knowledge that they are adhering to relevant legislation and best practice.
Learning & Development
We can support your teams to reach their full potential with our remote training and coaching. Our Leadership Development Programmes have been accredited by The Institute of Leadership & Management, one of the foremost professional leadership bodies in the UK. Accredited modules within the leadership development programmes include managing change, diversity and inclusion, creating high performing teams and managing talent.