By Jude Obuseh
(AGENDAWATCHDOG) – The outbreak of the #COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the programs of most businesses (big and small) across the world, forcing CEOs and executives to struggle to deal with the multiplier consequences of the ensuing crisis.
However, businesses are advised to avoid taking hasty decisions, but to carefully analyze the options available to them in the face of the uncertainties thrown up by the #COVID-19 pandemic.
The truth is that every crisis, be it a pandemic or human conflict throws up challenges of different hues for businesses, challenges which if not smartly handled could lead to business failure in the post-crisis years.
This post streamlines some salient steps businesses could take to weather the ongoing #COVID-19 generated storm and survive its aftermath.
Make Necessary Adjustments
You need to ask yourself some realistic questions: How good are my finances? Can I guarantee steady cash-flow for the next couple of Months? Can I afford salaries for my employees for the next few months? Are there some low profit generating operations I should jettison, at least, for the time being? Are there available loans I could apply for to keep me going? In the long run, you should be able to balance your financial realities against the operational costs of running your business.
Identify and Exploit Your areas of Comparative Advantage
The trick here is in identifying your core areas of comparative advantage and diverting your whole energy towards making the best out of them. For instance, if your company produces general hospital equipment, a windfall may be starring you in the face without your noticing it. All you need to do is to identify the products in more demand and concentrate your energy in churning out more of such products. There is a global market waiting for your products. Producers of hand disinfectants, soaps, tissue paper et al, are included in this category.
Be Flexible and Adaptable
Don’t be stuck in your comfort zone, be adaptive by looking for voids in the market that needs to be filled. Look for what is in high demand. For instance, if you are in the business of manufacturing spare parts for hospital equipment, you could contact hospitals playing host to COVID-19 patients to let them know that you could supply them with disposable/reusable “patient circuit” for ventilators. If the hospitals need the product in a different way, look for alternatives, this is not the time to be stuck in the mud.
Assess your Business
Assess your business from the angle of a potential partner. Try to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and possible threats to the success of your business. Then, work out how you can maximize your strengths, eliminate weaknesses, cash in on opportunities and limit the threats to the future success of your business. Should you continue with what you have on ground, or do away with the unprofitable aspects of the business. Are you working with the right people who are in tune with the goals of the business? You can call a general staff meeting where you leave the floor open for contributions from all present. A complete assessment of your business will be key to plotting your coping strategies and future triumphs.
Be the General of your Business
We are in a war situation, which requires that businesses be led by generals who lead from the front-lines. Take well-thought-out decisions boldly. Be an example to your employees who rely on you for their sustenance; keep their minds at rest in the face of the uncertainties bordering them about their livelihoods. Assemble a reliable group of able-minded lieutenants who can lead the charge with you; you will need them to prop you up in the post-crisis years.
Businesses the world over are currently grappling with the mountainous challenges thrown up by the #COVID-19 pandemic. Each of these challenges could kill them off, if care is not taken. The businesses that will ultimately survive the ongoing hurricane and thrive in the post-crisis years are those led by smart-thinking, bold decision makers.