The pandemic of COVID-19 shook the world and took many businesses by surprise. Don’t be caught off guard again, having a strategic plan could have helped you save untold amounts of money, but let’s face it, no one was really prepared for what happened since the outbreak. Many companies quickly revised their strategic plan during the quarantine period, now it’s time to update that strategic plan and shift your attention from the urgent and focus on the important instead.
The Shift From Urgent to Important
Your circumstances have probably changed rapidly during the first 6 months of the pandemic which means you’ll need a plan to adjust to these new circumstances. Having a crisis ready strategic plan in place will allow you to quickly and efficiently prioritize resources and facilitate clear-headed decision-making.
Here are 9 Questions to consider when revising or devising your strategic plan throughout the pandemic.
Have Your Client’s Needs Changed?
One of the biggest changes that most businesses have seen since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a massive shift in the needs of their clients. Although it’s not business as usual these days, there is still business to be done and you would do well to capitalize on it.
Clients have become more economical, and more selective across the board irrespective of what industry you take into consideration. Customers will be more practical as they have less to spend right now and getting more bang for your buck has become more important than ever before.
If you can fulfill the needs of your customers at a lower price while providing excellent quality, your business will be in it to win it. These are strange and difficult times that we’re living in and customers will reward excellence with brand loyalty. The pandemic is the opportune time to build up customer relationships, if you can dazzle your customers in a pandemic, they’re going to stick with you through just about anything else.
Has Your Position In The Marketplace Changed?
If your position in the marketplace has changed you need to track how that change came about. Did you slip because the products or services that you’re offering became less relevant during the pandemic or was it because a competitor has been winning customers by cutting prices?
Is Your Offer Still Relevant?
Businesses reinvent themselves all the time, if what you’re selling is no longer relevant during the tough times of the COVID pandemic, start selling something that is! Take stock of what kind of equipment you have and how your supply chain works.
The best strategy here is to hold onto your equipment because you’ll need that when you switch back after the pandemic is over. Try to switch gears as economically as possible, don’t take on any large expenses when changing your focus. Remember, you don’t have to completely erase your brand’s identity, you just need to put a twist on it that will sell better through the pandemic.
Has Your Competitive Advantage Changed?
You might have noticed a change in your competitive advantage. This change could be a good one or a bad one. For example, if your business is all about cleaning products then guess what, you’re a winner in today’s market! On the other hand, if you’re a travel business, you are experiencing a major shift in your market.
Do You Need To Set Up Or Make Adjustments To Your Online Sales & Distribution Strategy?
You might find that your online sales and distribution strategy is inadequate or ill-equipped to handle the demands of the pandemic. It would be a good idea to double down on online advertising, making return policies more flexible, and shopping for less expensive distribution channels.
What Changes Do You Need To Make To Your Supply Chain?
Your supply chain will probably need some major adjustments to cope with the shifting markets of the pandemic. As you learn more about what’s selling better during the pandemic, you can use that information to your advantage by scaling back on other products and focusing on keeping a steady supply of those products.
How Effectively Are You Managing Employees Remotely?
Any strategic plan involving the pandemic should incorporate provisions for making employees more efficient as remote workers. Remote work is quickly becoming part of the ‘new normal’ and although it might take some getting used to, it’s imperative that you get this right.
If your employees are struggling to complete tasks when working remotely, adjusting your supply chain, prices, and product offerings won’t do you much good. You have to look at the whole business holistically, everything has to work together or it won’t work at all.
Is Your Team Able To Identify Priority Actions And Act Upon Them Quickly?
One of the single most critical factors to any company’s success during the pandemic will be its ability to identify and prioritize tasks. Your team needs to be sharp and able to act fast. Initially, the pandemic was quite shocking as it flipped entire businesses upside down. It’s vital to your success and your survival as a company to have a team that can spot both risks and opportunities ahead of time and act quickly.
Do You Have A Plan To Recover Lost Revenue?
As you prepare for the ‘ new normal ‘, you would be wise to think through the long-term changes the epidemic will bring to your industry and consider the ripple effect of shifting objectives.
When shifting your objectives and bracing yourself for the struggles to come remember, you should always have a plan in place for recovering lost revenue. You should have a plan in place to recover the revenue that you lost from when the things that customers valued shifted and you should have a plan to recover lost revenue after things shift back again.
Always have a contingency plan, and a contingency plan on top of that. Preparation and forethought are key to riding out the remainder of the pandemic and coming out on top or at least to break even.
Tricia is the Founder of [at] Marketing, an Alberta based firm that specializes in transitioning your business to online marketing. She is also a partner in The One20Four Group — Transforming your Business through Leadership, Technology, Finance.