5 Big Questions For Your Post-Pandemic Business Strategy
The severe health crisis caused by the global pandemic has rippled out to cause enormous business challenges. Plummeting customer demand, increasing regulatory restrictions, interrupted supply chains, rising unemployment, and increased uncertainty continue to plague business leaders around the globe. Just as we need a solution to the health crisis, we need a plan for recovery on the business side.
Smart organizations understand that they must lay the groundwork for the “next normal” now, even though no one knows exactly what our post-pandemic world will look like. Consider what you do know: at some point, you will reopen your business, resume daily operations, and have regular hours with your staff. To make this happen, you need a strategy.
The following five questions will guide you as you work to prepare your business for a post-pandemic world.
1. What will be your position relative to the market post-pandemic?
To make good business decisions about the future, you must first understand your company’s position relative to your competitors. Know your role in the market and where you will be after the crisis. Will you be able to regain lost ground? Can you shift business practices to put you in line to be a market leader once lockdowns are lifted? Do you need a localized marketing strategy to communicate that position?
Depending on your industry, you may be questioning your viability in a post-pandemic world or setting your sights on accelerated growth. Either way, the steps you take now to map out your reentry strategy will put you closer to occupying that position when the pandemic loosens its grip on us.
2. What is your plan for reestablishing your organization?
Amidst all the uncertainties, coming up with a plan may seem like an impossible task. However, a plan is simply a course of action that points the way to the position you hope to achieve. Your plan is important because it tells you what you need to do today to accomplish your goals tomorrow.
Start by listing everything you know. Then, ask yourself what you need to do to get through the crisis and ramp back up once the pandemic ends. Even if you throw your whole plan out the window in a few months, the process of planning will give you direction in an otherwise totally confusing situation.
3. What will change about your company culture and identity?
If there’s one gift this pandemic has given all of us, it’s the adjustment to our perspectives. The way we as individuals see ourselves and how we relate to the world and the way organizations see themselves and how they relate to the world will likely never be the same. Most likely, your company culture and identity will change as a result of the pandemic.
Hopefully, you and your team have seen how a crisis can pull people together and cultivate a sense of collective cooperation and resilience. It’s crucial to think about how this shift in perspective can affect your firm moving forward. How prepared were you culturally to deal with the crisis? Was the shift to remote work as smooth as it could have been? Will your employees view your organization differently after the crisis is resolved?
4. What new projects should you tackle?
Reflecting on your answers to the above questions should guide you to a set of projects. The next challenge is sitting down with your leadership team to determine which of these to prioritize. If one of the projects on that list does not include a strategy for future-proofing your organization, consider what that might look like too.
Beware of trying to take on too much. Remember overcommitting will likely lead to under committing to one or more important initiatives down the road. It’s always easier to add projects later than to put projects on hold because your team is spread too thin. So, avoid jumping into several projects all requiring the same resources. Be mindful of how much specific individuals, managers, and departments can handle at any given time. Shortages of resources lead to delays and derail projects.
5. How prepared are you to execute on your strategy?
The final piece of the puzzle is to assess your organization’s preparedness. Step back and look at the projects you have outlined. How prepared are you to execute and implement? Will the shift to remote work impact your team’s ability to carry out these plans? Do you need to find ways to outsource aspects of these projects, such as translating your written documents? Your access to resources, including to personnel with the necessary skills, as well as the quality of decision-making will determine whether you succeed.
In addition to thinking carefully through your post-pandemic business strategy, keep in mind that your customers are watching. They will remember how you react during this crisis. If you choose to raise prices on products that are in short supply, for instance, you risk negatively affecting customer relationships in the future.
We’ve all seen how this pandemic has impacted the world in unprecedented ways. Companies that expect to bounce back must take action today. With the right strategy and thoughtful answers to the above questions, you can come back stronger than ever before.