After the Government Stimulus Payment have been sorted, what should Small Business Owners be doing next?
As a Business Coach and Accountant, the majority of business owners we speak with, do not have a clear plan for their business. In fact, 90% of businesses that complete our Priorityse Online Report, rank having a clear plan a “High Priority”, yet when it comes to having one or following it, rank their performance as “Poor”.
Clearly, there is something wrong with this picture.
Your business is now in one of three categories.
Revive: Yep, we have the paddles out, trying to shock things back to life. Some fantastic businesses, literally blindsided by restrictions beyond their control, now left hanging on by a thread.
Survive: Whilst still blindsided, these business owners have been able to get creative, find alternative income sources, and are managing to get through, albeit at a reduced scale.
Thrive: Believe it or not, there are businesses that are doing better than ever. IT, Transport and Construction are amongst the industries bucking the trend. But will it continue that way?
Each category needs to plan. Not just for now, but also re-entry into the market when Covid-19 issues subside. Sure, each will have their own unique needs, but one thing is for certain, without a plan, all of these categories will become lost.
So, what makes a GREAT plan? I’m not talking about the rigid, academic business plan, taught in all good business courses or sitting in the bottom drawer collecting dust. What you want is a solid action plan, backed up by a cashflow forecast.
1. Cashflow Forecast – As an immediate action, this is bare minimum planning. A cashflow forecast answers the following:
– What cashflow exists for the next 6-12 months?
– When will the Stimulus money come in and when will it run out?
– At what stage do I need the help of my bank?
– When should I stop feeding the business from my own pocket?
2. Business Continuity – What things do you need to deal with as a priority due to Covid-19? This is an ever-evolving list but includes:
– Landlord negotiations
– Employee retention
– Revised Business Models
– Communication with Team/Customers/Suppliers
3. Clear Objectives – Consider what your priority Objectives are in each of the Fab 5
Objectives are the “What do we want to achieve and when”
4. Specific Strategies – For each objective, what strategies are you going to use to achieve it. For example, if your objective is to expand business online, a strategy might be to develop a new line of products, better suited to that format.
Strategies are the “How you are going to do it”
5. Actions – A plan is useless without Actions. For each strategy, you need to determine specific actions to get things done, and who is going to be doing it.
Once you have worked through the 5 areas above, the key is to then DO IT. Get a coach to be accountable to. Drive the plan, tweak the plan and sometimes even ditch the plan and do a new one!
Revivers want to first Survive and then Thrive
Survivors want to Thrive
And Thrivers want to stay Thriving
Having a plan though is vital to all three.