COVID-19: 7 PILLARS TO SUSTAIN A BUSINESS
Daily news suggests that the number of infected is growing exponentially over time. It becomes more challenging to sustain business, manage cashflow and adjust strategy. While each firm has individual business specifics, there are general bullet points each business must keep in mind during the economic turnaround.
1. Cash is the king
The business needs to hire/approach internal/external CFO to make cashflow projections for the upcoming months. Coronavirus has caused a business slowdown and it will only follow a downward spiral. The businesses must forecast debtor days and payments, negotiate with suppliers more general terms, plan leases and debts payments. Taking into consideration the high probability of several businesses going default, try to determine thresholds, forecast different critical scenarios (pay much attention to worst case scenario) and stress tests for your business.
2. Keep the workplace safe
On the HR perspective, remain ethical. Although, most of employees might be young and healthy, they are not protected from the virus. Employees might have different perception of the potential risk and a great employer brand will always respect it. Provide a helping hand to employees by taking an action to prevent the virus expansion on your workplace:
- employees might be afraid of going out and prefer to work from home;
- reschedule meetings, presentations, public speeches with a great number of participants;
- conduct one-on-one meetings with employees to understand the vision of the situation and threats. In no case, employee shall think that workplace can cause damage to his personal/family health;
- ask for feedback and opinion after you take an action. After any change evaluate the results and make adjustment if necessary. Make sure everyone remains focused and try to eliminate any stress, panic and irritators that might affect your employee’s productivity.
3. Adjust marketing strategy
First of all, launching a marketing campaign will have higher chances to fail in comparison to normal state since general social media is shifted towards hygiene, personal health and virus prevention ways. Secondly, offering products that require meetings, lectures, presentations, discussions, conferences with a great number of people might be misunderstood by public. As a result, the business will get more criticism than leads. Finally, governments in some countries have introduced quarantine, and ask inhabitants to stay at home for a specific period of time, which means that offline marketing will not get usual rates of reach.
4. Restrict business trips and travel
Management and HR teams shall monitor government warnings about travel restrictions. Some countries plan to close borders, employees required to stay at home for 14 days after coming from countries with major COVID-19 outbreaks.
5. Create a crisis management team
What if your main suppliers go default, and you will have to quickly figure out a new strategic direction to ensure business continuation. Business must be prepared for different turnovers. Create a Whatsupp group, always have a PowerBank with you, keep phone with you, and try to sketch restructuration plan. During crisis time, every business needs to react proactively, and an advance preparation will keep your business one step further from your competitors.
6. Control your financial commitments
After you have done the p.1, engage the conversations with financial institutions and loan originators early on. Do not fail to meet your commitments. Discuss the situation in advance, and counterparties will be much more open to find a solution for you.
7. Pay close attention to your PR
Do not try to make a buck out of global misfortune. Rather support your debtors, partners and suppliers. The coronavirus will disappear after some time, but connections will stay. Build close contacts so you can get over the trouble together. At the end of the day, close connections and partnerships will make your business turn the wheel!
Business Development Manager