Business Planning for the “Next Normal”

COVID-19 has impacted businesses in an unprecedented way. While some industries are feeling pressure to survive, other industries are booming. Remaining status quo and hoping for the best is no longer a viable option. Entire industries are changing extremely quickly as are customer expectations. You must start planning now for the post-pandemic business environment.

Despite all the uncertainty one thing remains clear – it is imperative that you consider what your business environment may be in the future and plan on adapting your business operations to what’s going to be the “next normal”. Although no one knows exactly what that looks like, there are ways you can prepare.

First and foremost, expect to feel the impact of the pandemic indefinitely. If your business has been impacted in any way, and most already have, the path of least resistance is to react as the situation changes and trying to hold on until you can go back to running your business as usual.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business continues to survey their members weekly on the impact COVID-19 is having on them, and most recently 32% of respondents who have had to close are unsure if they will even be able to reopen. One quarter believes their business can only survive for less than a month under the current conditions. So what happens if it takes longer than you think? What if restrictions are lifted and then put back in place?

Running a business is an exceptionally busy task. When in the past did you have time to think strategically about the future of your business? If your business is a bit slower than usual right now, this is the ideal time to dust off your business plan and revisit where your business (and industry) are headed. You may need to pivot quickly and forever.

Your customer expectations will change. As we come out of pandemic operations, customers will have developed a new set of expectations that will become the next normal.

This blog is just the tip of the iceberg. Resources on the topic are abundant, but there is no one size fits all approach. If you are feeling overwhelmed with the recent changes to your business, you are not alone. Luckily for us, we live and operate in a province known for resiliency, adaptability and loyalty. Investing time now to think about your business and plan for future growth, humanizing your brand, and connecting with your customers on a compassionate level now will end up paying dividends when the current situation ends. This too shall pass…

 

-Keith Jeannot is the President & CEO at Directwest

May 1st, 2020

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