Lockdown has been a great leveler. It has impacted businesses across the globe, industry and scale of business. However, whether you stay affected or recover lost ground depends on What You Do Now.
There is not much one can do about the Covid 19 situation. However, there is a lot that can be done during this period that can impact what happens after this phase of is over. In this article, I am sharing actions that an entrepreneur can take to ensure that once the business start again, he is ready to get rolling.
Let’s compare this situation with that of a car parked in your garage. One can’t drive it and go anywhere. And still, it has to be ensured that the car is started and moved around a bit every one or two days. If this part is ignored for a few days, the battery could get discharged and tyres lose air pressure. It will need a lot of time to get these issues rectified before one can take the car out.
Businesses today are like the car in your garage. If no action is taken in this period, it will take a lot of effort and time to get back on track. This will result in a lot of precious time wasted to recoup later and get rolling.
Here are 6 things, for an entrepreneur to do during lockdown to ensure that the batteries and tyres of our business are ready to roll when we decide to start our journey again.
1) Get used to the change
This phase could mean a complete paradigm change. Existing business models will tumble and new emerge. Accept the change and find out ways of operating in this new normal
Identify partners in business. Customers, vendors, employees, banks, investors are some of the stakeholders who form a part of business ecosystem. Utilize this time to reach out to each one. Build relationships. Right now, everyone has the time to spare and interact
Customers: Take feedback from customers. Know what are the things you are doing well and what you need to change.
Talk to customers who have not done business with for some time and find out the reasons. Reach out to potential customers and understand their needs. Check if existing contracts have to be revised.
Vendors: Evaluate existing vendors, explore opportunities for better collaboration. Identify alternative vendors in case existing ones are unable to support in the new scenario. New regulations can impact sourcing.
Employees may be undergoing through a lot of mental stress and feeling insecure. Talk to employees, comfort them and ease their nerves. Do an analysis of job roles and responsibilities of each.
3) Plan your finances
Revisit next year goals. Instead of comparing with the past performance and worrying about reduced revenue, acknowledge the situation and revise to have realistic goals. Consider the required working capital, cash flows, break-even revenue and expenses and plan accordingly.
Strategies to market your product may have to be changed. Find possibilities of going online (if feasible for your business). At the same time, businesses with local presence can focus on building personal relationship with customers
5) Get skilled
Learn new skills required for being effective. Identify the competencies to be developed for employees and get them trained . For ex. Sales team can work on improving their product knowledge.
6) Improve Processes
Review business processes, identify inefficiencies and re-engineer them.
This is the time to introspect, reflect, review and redesign the way we do business. All of this needs a change in thinking process. What has worked so far may be redundant in the future. A business coach can help create new options and alternatives, identify areas of improvement and realign business objectives.
Focus on your systems rather than worrying about the end result. Do what needs to be done now and the results will follow. Make the best of available time and prime your engines to roar once you are back on the race-track.
What you do today, determines your future business!