7 Actions Points for Business Planning in Uncertain Times
Successful business planning is all in the preparation. To be prepared is your best defence against any circumstance, planned or unanticipated. Using the seven action points below your business plan will become a working document that ensures the longevity of your business.
There’s nothing quite like a global pandemic to make you think twice about your business and what happens in the event of, well any eventuality. Influences that are out of your control can have a huge impact on the business world, so if economic downturn strikes you need to be ready.
It is essential that you have a Plan-B, and that you are ready to deploy it whenever the need arises. Are you ready?
Being flexible will be your biggest ally. Your business will need to be agile, innovative and resourceful.
7 Action Points to focus your contingency planning on:
1. Know your business.
When it comes running a successful business, knowledge is power. Understanding the data you have access to is critical. You should have a set of strong KPIs that you are tracking and measuring to help you to make informed and relevant decisions.
There are many apps out there to help you keep track of your business finances. Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss what would work best for you.
We recommend these as a basic starting point for any business:
If you’d like to know more about these apps, and how they can be of benefit to your business, get in touch here. If you quote “Know Your Business” you get access to all these tools FREE for the first 6 months.
2. Improve your cashflow.
During an economic down-turn, your cash-flow position may be poorer than normal. You can put your business in a proactive position by knowing which overheads can be reduced, make sure you’re promptly billing your clients and following up on any overdue invoices.
Essentially, it’s all about making sure the minimum amount of cash flows out, while the maximum amount is flowing in. Keep checking to make sure the balance is right.
At HFG, we can help you set up:
- Credit Card Payments
- Direct Debit Payments
- 3 Month Credit agreements for your clients
- Debt chasing processes
3. Negotiate with your suppliers.
Try not to get tied into lengthy contracts without any break-clauses. Make sure that you’re always asking for a better deal and have you done your research on the best options available for you.
Why not look to negotiate better terms for a contract, cheaper prices, investigate a reduction in rent if possible from your landlord, or possibly a rent-holiday if you’re really up against it.
4. Access additional funding.
There are many ways to access funds if your business is in need. Approaching your bank first would be our advice, you might be able to extend an overdraft, or they might know of schemes that your business would be applicable for.
If you would like to get investors interested, then make sure your business plan is as strong as it can be by checking out this blog.
5. Evaluate what you’re offering.
Whatever you’re offering, you need it to be selling. Evaluate the market frequently to make sure that your products and / or services are still relevant to your target audience.
Within your business are there some products (or services) that far outperform others? Do some offer a higher return for you? If so, could you make more money by focussing your attention on these? Or possibly expanding that offering somehow?
6. Evolve your sales and marketing.
Communicating with your customers is never more important than when you’re experiencing a downturn. Your customers need to know that you’re still in business and operating. Are you providing solutions to their problems? Do you know who your audience is?
Never underestimate the power of a fine-tuned newsletter database or your social media channels. Your online presence needs to be up to date and relevant at all times. If this isn’t your area of expertise, then hand it over to someone who can manage it on your behalf.
7. Learn to diversify or pivot.
You may need to be able to pivot what you offer (think take-aways and home delivery rather that seated restaurant bookings for those in hospitality), or you might need to find a new audience or revenue stream. You could also diversify your product or services. Think about what options are available to your business. Do you have any contingency or fresh ideas in the pipe-line?
By making sure you’ve got the answers to these seven questions you’ll be more prepared should the worse happen. The more primed you are the faster you can react and the more likely it is that your business will survive.
If you’re looking to improve your business planning or to upgrade or implement a crisis recovery plan, then talk to us. Financial models are our thing, we’ll be able to access your set-up and give you advice on how best to create the future you want.