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Effective business planning for the ‘Post-COVID’ era

Johnathan Dudley, Partner, Head of Manufacturing
man looking out of the window

There is little doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has been the largest threat to businesses across the globe in a lifetime. It has developed quickly and has caused economies from across the world to pause. Many are now waiting to find out what the impact will be on their business in the coming months. There is no ‘playbook’ for what we are going through or what the future may hold.

The government’s CBILS and CLBILS loan facilities recognise this, in that they do not require specific proof of future viability and thus it’s very easy, and tempting, for businesses to ‘take the money’ and carry on.

However, this could well be a recipe for failure. Likewise, the CJRS ‘furlough scheme’ has enabled businesses to ‘bench’ their workforces for the duration of lockdown, which has been for any business, an essential lifeline to prevent what would otherwise be a complete downsizing of the workforce on a permanent basis.

This however, has only helped to delay this decision, not remove it.

As businesses emerge from the biggest global shut down in history, certainly since industrialisation back in the 19th century, at least it will lead to a new world. To survive, businesses need to plan to adapt, be agile, be lean and be ready.

Our Getting Back on Track - alerts businesses of the need to address the requirements of the ‘new normal’. There is a good deal of supportive material that should help you assess the challenges of getting back onto that ‘right track’ safely and with the sufficient finances. But how do you fuel the locomotive to forge forward’?

Successful businesses, of any type, need sustainable competitive advantage.

In a dynamic environment, that can shift, very quickly with devastating consequences if not addressed. A classic example of this is Kodak, a company who were the ‘byword’ for excellence in film but who failed to see the impact of the digital revolution on its business – a considerable mistake in their business planning.

The post-COVID era will be different, we already know that vehicle production levels will be drastically down from before lockdown and there continues to be low prospects for the aerospace industry. Even when pubs and restaurants can re-open, there is a real fear that consumers, many of who are likely to be out of a job, will at best  ‘fly to value’ and at worst, not spend at all. In the commercial world, businesses will be looking for cost savings and efficiencies in the run up to the time when they will need to start paying off their ‘COVID-19 related’ debt, be it bank loans or HMRC debt.

In past economic downturns we have helped clients do this with very positive results; looking at competitive advantage and successfully delivering the change management process necessary to adapt the business.

Though this time it is different, the principles are the same. Unlike past downturns, the whole world is in the same position and therefore, competitiveness and opportunity will be a more level playing field.

So for the forward looking business, effective planning now will be key to future success.

You can access our diagnostic tools on achieving growth and profit and corporate and personal change management. They are a useful way to initiate your business plan.

Give these tools a try and and then start a conversation with us.

COVID-19: Managing the impact 
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Johnathan Dudley
Johnathan Dudley
Partner, Business Advisory, Head of Manufacturing