If you own, run or manage a business then uncertainty is a key component when planning for the future of your business. It is an inescapable reality that can throw strategies off course and slow progress.
But uncertainty can also be a catalyst for change. When ‘business as usual’ is no longer possible, it creates a moment for leadership to pause and consider what the business does next.
It is a common pitfall for owners and management teams to get stuck on the daily running of the business and put all emphasis on the challenges at hand. This can lead to missed opportunities to take in the wider context and focus on the long term.
Handle today, plan tomorrow
No one predicted the arrival of this global pandemic and its effects on the economy as a whole. Naturally, many businesses were forced onto the backfoot as they grappled with massively changing customer behaviours, the impact on their supply chains, new regulations and, in some cases, having to temporarily cease trading completely.
Different sectors and services have been affected in distinct ways: many hospitality businesses had to pivot to find new income streams while logistics companies looked to quickly scale capacity to cope with skyrocketing demand. What all businesses share, however, is the need to handle the current crisis at the same time as making changes that set themselves up for long-term success.
That’s why we launched the Reshape Program, which delivers a three-year action plan by analysing, reshaping and optimising a business through a combination of scenario analysis, financial forecasting and strategic planning.
Reshape in three steps
Reshape is designed to help leadership teams navigate financial and operational uncertainty using crisis management, business continuity and recovery techniques. In three steps, a business can create an action plan tailored to its needs. The steps are:
- Assessment of past performance and the current implications of the pandemic;
- Analysis of future potential scenarios, identifying key priorities and overall action plan;
- Reshaping the business through execution and monitoring of the action plan, and revised forecasts.
To be sustainable throughout a crisis period, businesses need to make decisions for the present and the future. To help with this, the forecasts created by Reshape will consider a two to three year period, include profit and loss forecasts and meaningful cash flow projections, and assess balance sheet strength.
Staying in shape
As the full business impact of Covid-19 is yet to be fully known, owners and management teams should expect uncertainty to linger on for months and even years as markets and customer confidence fluctuate.
During this time, Reshape can strengthen a business and its long term value. By the end of the program, a business can expect: a business plan that forms the basis for operational strategies and financial budgets; a comprehensive information pack for relevant third parties (to assist with bank loans, government grants, investors); clearly laid out ‘survival options’ for a business, including viable government support and the associated benefits, costs and risks.
As businesses advisers, it is our responsibility to step in amidst the uncertainty and help decide the best route forward. While the journeys will be unique, every business will have to juggle immediate demands with long-term planning.
It has been a daunting few months for business, but resilient leadership teams will look for a way out of the crisis by getting into better shape for what comes next.
To find out more about the Reshape program GO HERE or get in touch.