Business planning for the year ahead - what can you do?
Updated: Dec 18, 2020
It goes without saying that this year for many businesses has been a complete disaster. Covid-19 has cruelly taken our freedoms, our businesses and in some cases, the lives our loved ones. It has also driven a wedge through sectors and industry where those who were able to adapt and keep trading have soaked up demand from the lack of competition. What lies ahead is looking a little more hopeful with one of the three vaccines soon to be rolled out across the UK, but we still have the proverbial elephant – Brexit. As it stands, there is no agreement on the withdrawal agreement and negotiations are going to wire. Whatever the outcome, 2021 is going to present some very real challenges. Aside from the huge political and pandemic influences, businesses really need to plan for a restart in a fluid and changed world. In the vast majority of cases it won’t be business as usual. The economic outlook is set to worsen and once the froth and relief of some semblance of returning normality dissolves, we are going to see the harsh reality of the aftermath of the pandemic.
In any scenario, there is still plenty that can be done. Here are a few pointers of things that you may wish to consider…
What do your books look like? How is the end of furlough going to change the shape and size of your workforce?
Have much (if any) debt have you taken on with BBLs and CBILs and how are you planning to start making the repayments when the banks come calling for them?
How are you going to use any reserves or contingency?
What are the expected fixed and fluid costs for the year ahead and how will you meet these commitments?
Services & product offering
Is your sales strategy still valid and has the paradigm shift to online changed how and where you do business?
Are you prices still relevant and have the costs of supply gone up or down? How are you reflecting these changes and how impactful will they be?
What other revenues streams have you explored that might improve your turnover and profitability?
Are your workforce fit and willing to return to work and what is your plan to reopen and accommodate staff back into your office safely?
What are you doing about supporting mental health? Have you considered the impacts of CV 19 on you and your people’s MH and what’s you plan to support a expected increase in the prevalence in it at your workplace?
With any changes in the output or operations of your business, how can you avoid unnecessary redundancies and retrain or retain your people into different roles?
Have you audited your processes and procedures and what is the outcome?
Have you undertaken some scenario planning or exercises? How will your business conform to these different outcomes and what do you need to prepare for all or any of them?
Where are you planning on driving your business and what do you need to do it?
With the chaos comes opportunity and if you are willing and able to adapt and be bold there could be significant gains to be had next year. There is no doubt the economic outlook is bleak and we may only be part way through the beginning of the turmoil, but this cannot be a reason to sit tight and not act in any direction. We are currently working with clients on their expansion and diversification plans and whilst this might not be appropriate for every business, there are things that can be done to help you get through the next 3 quarters and be ready to capitalise on the rebound we may see at the end of 2021 or start of 2022.