In addition to the severe health and humanitarian effects of the coronavirus pandemic, entrepreneurs worldwide are facing business crises. Customer demand is collapsing, and there are significant regulatory modifications and supply chain interruptions. Employees have had to be laid off, there’s an economic recession, and on top of all this is continued uncertainty about what the future will hold.
In the same way that the health and humanitarian effects of this crisis will need to recover, so to will businesses need to find ways to return to normal. Impromptu responses won’t work; companies need to start laying the groundwork for their rehabilitation now.
Your rehabilitation strategy should answer five important questions:
- Where is your business positioned during the pandemic, and where can you position yourselves afterward?
It’s essential to understand your business’ position in your industry so that you can make appropriate strategic decisions. Ask yourself, who are you in your industry, what role do you play, and who are your main competitors? It’s also important to consider the direction you’re headed in. Are you able to shut down and then reopen without consequence after the pandemic? Is it possible to recover lost ground? Will you be bankrupt, or will you come out of the lockdown as a market leader?
- What is your plan for a full recovery?
Once you know where you are currently positioned, you need to make a plan to direct you to the position you want to attain post-pandemic. This plan should detail the steps you need to take today to achieve your goals tomorrow. In other words, what do you need to do to get through this crisis so you can resume your business when the pandemic ends?
- What changes can you expect the pandemic to have made to your company’s culture and identity?
Your company’s culture and identity will likely change as a result of the pandemic. Crises can foster feelings of collective endurance. On the other hand, they can also create feelings of distrust or self-interest. For this reason, it’s essential to consider how the perspective of your employees might have changed. Ask yourself, how prepared was our company to deal with this crisis? Is this ongoing situation bringing people together or driving them apart? How will your employees view your company when the pandemic is over? Your answers to these questions will tell you what you can achieve once the pandemic is over.
- What projects do you need to undertake to solve your pandemic-related problems?
The answers to the questions outlined above should give rise to a series of projects for dealing with your pandemic-related problems. What will be challenging is deciding which projects take priority and coordinating initiatives to future-proof your company. Be cautious about starting several projects that involve the same resources, such as specific individuals, or particular departments like IT. If you try to start too many projects simultaneously, this may result in a fight over resources that could delay or derail your strategic response.
- Are you ready and able to execute your business’ plans and projects?
Last but not least, you need to evaluate your business’s preparedness. Can you successfully undertake the projects you’ve outlined, especially if a lot of your employees are working remotely? You need to assess the resources you have and the speed and quality of your decision-making processes. The results will determine if you’ve prepared yourself appropriately to tackle your pandemic related problems and come out on top.
If you undertake to answer these questions thoroughly, you will end up with a strategic response to the pandemic to see your company through to the other side.