By Scott Philips
Coronavirus… enough already!
We are all tired of the interruption, stress and negative impacts that this pandemic has presented for ourselves and our businesses. Let’s get back to normal!
Easier said than done…
I’m reminded of the movie ‘Back to the Future’ where Michael J. Fox (Marty McFly) accidentally goes back in time and has to do whatever is necessary to make sure the future turns out right, bringing his future mom and dad together as a couple in love.
Today, as we anticipate the pandemic being over, we are looking into the future hoping to capture what we had in the past – a healthy, thriving, albeit naive businesses. We didn’t even know how good we had it!
And, to add fuel to the fire, owners and leaders are more tired than ever before. I have heard from a number of business owners that they are working harder, with longer hours, than ever before just to keep up with the new demands of their business.
It all started when we had to figure out how to ‘work from home’ – sheltering in place, while working to keep customers buying goods and services from us, mostly online. For some, it was 80 to 100 hours a week triaging issues that needed to be solved.
But the job is only half done. Now we have to take the right steps to become a healthy business once more!
Getting back to the future will require as much diligence as we invested to discovering how to work from home. The sooner we realize that we need the same preparation and commitment to get back to normal, the sooner we will realize that we may actually have a chance of success in making that happen.
This is a strategic moment in time. We can follow the ‘default response’ which is ‘let things happen as they will happen.’ Or, we can choose to make the same level of investment to select and plan the right actions to make the future successful. The choice is ours. And, I believe the winners will be those who focus their energy on their return, and the losers will be those who ‘hope’ the future will be good without planning to make it so. As they say, ‘hope’ is not an effective strategy.
At TruNorth Partners, we are poised to help any business owner to plan and execute actions that result in winning. Our 7-step framework is a good starting spot for evaluating what to do next to return to healthy business. These steps are:
- Determine what your short-term vision is – cash recovery, stabilization, growth/expansion, acquisition or some other option.
- Assess current state of the business – what is working, not working, or still needs to be reviewed.
- Team performance – who were the stars, the dead weight, or in the wrong seat, etc. Create plans for addressing every category. Also, plan on filling holes that were identified.
- Determine what needs to be changed – strategies, products/services, processes/systems, policies/procedures, departments, distribution methods or any other number to things that you identify.
- Decide best how to improve your financial position – improving cash flow (negotiating terms, liquidating unnecessary assets, reducing all but critical expenses), and looking for outside money (loans such as PPP, EDIL and other funding sources)
- Determine what needs to be communicated to each stakeholder – hope of a good future, new plans, changes you are making, commitments, and their importance to our success, etc.
- Personally recharge – get rest from the last several weeks/months of toil. Plan on taking a real vacation, get away from the home office, do something new and recharging.
These are just some of the highlights for planning a new future for your business. It will take another significant push. But, one that will ensure hope of a bright future.
TruNorth Partners is prepared to support you in any way we can. Schedule a ‘Return to Work’ planning session now. Or, begin with a brief conversation on the phone.