• fourpointfive

It's not time to panic but a great time to plan

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

Hopefully you have managed to work your way through the subsidy's and how you are going to support your team, and your business, through the lockdown. The next thought for me was what can I do to make the use of this time? I know that there is always a lot of things on that 'when I get time' list but so many require financial investments or trips to a shop that just isn't open at the moment.

A lot of us are sitting in this limbo at the moment, unable to operate and with concerns of what post lockdown operations will look like and not sure how we can plan for it. Although creating a plan can be difficult without full clarity on the situation there are still some areas we can start to unravel. The first step in this process is usually deciding what our goal is and for a lot of businesses it will be getting some planning underway now to make sure we are ready to come back to work at full capacity as soon as possible.

Even that as a goal can be a bit daunting and leave us not knowing where to start. Over the next few posts I want to break down some tips and tools that you can use to help you create, execute and adapt a plan that will help you get back to pre-pandemic operational capacity.

To start with, building a solid plan takes a bit of prep work so I'll cover what that can look like in the rest of this post.

How do I decide what to build my plan around?

This is hopefully the straight forward part in the planning process and will probably centre itself around employees, finances, clients and resources. If you need all of those things to operate how will you make sure that you have them?

Where can I get information from?

The starting point on this one will be the MoH (Ministry of Health) guidelines, specifically the different alert levels and what they mean for your business. For example a Level 3 alert means that all mass gatherings are cancelled so if you are an even management business this will impact you differently to what it would a bakery. Fortunately these guidelines have been designed with a simplistic approach in mind so should create a clear framework for you around external controls.

The next one is hopefully available to you as a business and that is external support such as accountants or consultants. Most people in these roles will be getting asked the same questions by multiple clients so will have invested the research time already to find the right answers. Other options along the same lines are to talk to peers, contractors and suppliers such as your payroll provider.

You have probably already had a good look at financial reports along with other business plans in the last couple of weeks but make sure that you have a good idea of your baseline operating costs. There can be a lot of decisions that are made for you by the black and white realities of your profit and loss.

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Getting back to full operational capacity starts with people, if you have all your equipment lined up but no-one to make your products or stock on the shelves but no clients coming in, making progress