Addressing COVID-19 Impact on Your Business – Creating a “New Normal.” The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rate of change and heightened the need for business flexibility and adaptability in every industry. As companies navigate shifting consumer behaviors and confidence, market uncertainty, liquidity, and financial losses, the time is now to rethink your plan for the future and take swift action.
Creating a plan for the future in the “new normal” requires enhanced scenario planning, risk management, innovation, and rapid course corrections. Most experts believe full economic recovery will take at least 9 to 18 months and require fundamental shifts in the way we operate. The recovery horizon, coupled with shifting consumer patterns and behaviors, dictates a business reset. Former business planning processes are now rendered obsolete. For success, your planning process must balance speed with planning depth, engage the right stakeholders at the right time, and link strategies across your organization. How will your business operate and thrive in the “new normal”? Developing parallel approaches will enable you to reposition today’s business to optimize its strength, while at the same time, create tomorrow’s plan for growth and sustainability.
The path forward necessitates a significant paradigm shift. The competitive landscape has been altered. We know, many companies were left unprepared for the economic distress caused by COVID-19. Operating in the “new normal” means eliminating the status quo and re-writing the rules of engagement. The future is now. We believe there are five areas of focus that can help position your business for recovery and long-term sustainability.
First, companies must transition to flexible strategic planning models. The focus of your plans should be strategic yet fueled by real-time data that drives faster, better decision making, and connects all areas of your business. The foundation or basis of the plan should be rooted in lessons learned, risk assessments, and a clear understanding of the internal and external factors that contribute to your growth or decline. Look outside your businesses for ideas and insights.
Second, create brand-driven value. Learn to view your business through the lens of your customer. Understand their preferences, new behaviors, and expectations. Assess the change. This allows you to adjust your business portfolio (products and services) to pursue new opportunities that emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses must create a brand proposition framework.
Third, develop a continuous improvement mentality. Have a laser focus on business process optimization that leads to cost disciple and enterprise efficiencies. Businesses must strive to streamline processes, both operations, support, and shared services. Adapt resources to meet business needs. Financial planning (cash flow and liquidity) is also an essential element of continuous improvement and the long-term strategic plan. Additionally, a thorough evaluation of your supply chain is critical to minimize future disruptions.
Fourth, create an agile, inclusive culture that promotes innovation, risk-taking, and transparency. Businesses must engage their employees and lead with clear vision, purpose, and integrity. Constant communication and open dialog facilitates trust and empowers employees to surface and solve problems quickly.
Fifth, embrace the virtual, digital world. Utilization of cloud-based solutions for data analytics, planning, enterprise efficiencies, employee connectivity, and communication is the “new normal.” Merging technology with strategy, and embracing the digital world, enables businesses to stay connected and enhance their customer’s experience. The result is operational responsiveness and improved shareholder value.
After the COVID-19 crisis passes, how will your company be positioned? We believe businesses that take time today to learn from the crisis and plan now for the future will be positioned for recovery and long-term sustainability. It’s time to chart your path forward, create your roadmap to success.
T3 Innovation Strategists specializes in Enterprise Efficiencies, M & A Integration, Risk Mitigation, and strategies for profitable Growth. Our service delivery model and business insights can help you rethink your business strategy and adapt to the “new normal.”