As we move into what could be a second wave caused by relaxing social distancing, and before a possible third wave to come when the weather gets colder, we have been thinking about what our businesses will look like in March 2021.
There is a perfect storm coming in October with the end of: Furloughing, Government support, protection from creditors and landlords winding up orders, protection from HMRC chasing debt. In addition to HMRC becoming a preferred creditor (This will have serious implications for bank lending and acquistions). Lots of people being made redundant and the general collapse of suppliers and customers around you.
If ever there was a time for taking the best informed decisions in the best manner you can: – THIS IS IT.
We would like to invite you to participate in the “Ready for October Club” to help differentiate you from the “Sunbathers”.
Participation involves taking 5 minutes of your time to answer 3 questions, to help you to think through
- Where you are today
- The resources at your disposal and your objectives
- The action points that can come out of this process
By supplying us with your contact details, you will find out what other business owners think, and if we think, based upon your answers, that we can help, we may well follow up with some further thoughts and options for you.
If you, like so many of us, are reluctant to take action because of the uncertainty around C19. This could be the first step towards saving your business.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”
Our approach is to ask you to place each of 5 options in the order that most represents your current circumstances. We would ask you to use the “Other Comments” field for your ideas and objectives.
Question 1. – Start where you are
We have had many conversations with business owners, and the scenarios are as broad as the number of businesses. However some themes are coming through. People fall into the following categories
- It’s all OK. We have run the numbers and cash flow and profits will continue to grow
- It will be alright on the night. We are burning government cash, but expect a return to normal
- I simply don’t know. There is uncertainty. We have a combination of Pride, Fear, Reputation, Inaction, Paralisis, based around not knowing what to do – HELP
- There is a problem. My Turnover and/or Margins are under pressure. I know I need to act, but am not sure where to start. We need some friendly guidance.
- We are ready to act now. We understand that our customers are going through change. We need to be by their side, wherever we can. We also need to bring our staff and suppliers with us.
If you are interested in exploring this further, confidentiality is guaranteed. Our motives are are help you to help yourselves. You could start by putting the above in order, starting at the top with the choice that most represents your current thinking.
2. Use what you have
In uncertain times, it is hard to know what to do. Some of these thoughts will be both obvious and easily said.
Please bear with us. We are building to some clear courses of action for you to consider.
We think that sucess in a C19 world involves embracing uncertainty, before it embraces you
Have a think about how you are marshalling your resources to ensure that your are communicating to your customers that your business is the right partner to be moving forward with in uncertain times. Remember that this is not just about understanding customer needs. It is also about having a vision of how you can proactively add value to your customers then deliver against those promises. As you will know Heny Ford said
“When I asked my customers what they wanted, they said faster horses”
So have a think about what your customers actually need from you
- Fluidity – Is about navigating the Tides of Change. It’s not about going with the flow. You can think of this as adaptability. But it’s more because it involves proactivity, not just reactivity after the event.
- Relationships – Are about being close to your customers and their industries. How will you work hard to add value to that relationship, and hence be trusted. What is the Mechanism? How will you share part of your customer’s future?
- Engagement – How will you engage with your staff, customers, family and suppliers, to communicate that you belong together?
- Aligning the values of your brand with those of your staff and customers. What does this mean? Sign up to Free Marketing Videos Or CLICK HERE
- I need some help. We have a great team of people who believe in the way things were. How do I marshall those skills?
Please place the above in order of importance to your business
Please add comments as to your personal circumstances. If any objectives come to mind please add them to the Other Comments field
3. Do what you can
Have a look at the Taking Action Graph at the top of this post.
Thinking about your business what are the most important actions you can take over the next few weeks
- Cost cutting – We have a stable client base, we need to cut to survive. C19 has shown us, for example, that we don’t need all our staff or all our premises.
- New products and services – We have seen a reduction on sales and margins. Some customers have found ways to do without us. We need to reinvent ourselves
- Skills – We need new blood with a good understanding of emerging trends and markets
- Research – We need to understand what is happening in our clients industry sectors and with their end user clients. So we can add value to our clients and remain relevant to their changing needs
- Taking Action – We need to engage with clients, and staff to reassure them that we can remain both fluid and relevent to changing needs. Thereby thriving in an ever faster changing world.
Most importantly please define your objectives, in the “Other Comments” section and whether or not you would be interested in having a private friendly chat with someone who understands the responsibililties you are facing. This service is completely free of charge.
If you then need some specific advice, we have a range of trusted experts who can help you, that we have known for years and who have a reputation for solving problems. see Our Ambassadors for our range of skills.