Kieran Phelan, CEO of Cloud 360 Accounting, in this three-part series explores the past, present and future effect of COVID-19 on businesses. In the final part, “The Future & COVID-19?” Kieran considers how we can prepare for the future now.
Over the past few weeks through our blogs we’ve explored the initial impact of COVID-19 on businesses in Northern Ireland. We’ve considered specific tactics for industries hit with new guidelines and regulations. Now, we are now on our final blog in the series, and today I’m going to provide some advice to help weather this storm and prepare for the future.
“We are all in the same storm, but not the same boat”, is a phrase I’ve heard a lot over the past six months and it really sums up the situation, particularly for businesses. It feels appropriate to anchor this blog post with this sentiment. We all have our own individual battles (both personal and professional) to contend with and it isn’t changing any time soon. However, there are some controllables and here are some actions to take if you are feeling lost at sea.
Steady the Ship and Get Your Staff On-Board
Firstly, we must address keeping ourselves and staff safe by ensuring we have all the necessary health and safety measures in place against COVID-19. Be that sanitising stations, social distancing measures, screens etc. – think about what you might need, should we return to the office.
Secondly, we must steady the ship. Keep the business stable and aim to be in a position where the business can cover all its bills and staff wages for the next three-four months. A solid financial plan will help navigate these tricky times.
Lastly, get your staff and team buy-in – have a clear plan going forward and keep communication transparent and timely. Your business will only survive this if you have the systems and processes in place with staff-buy in.
Go Back to the Drawing Board
Don’t lose sight of the big picture, this isn’t permanent. Ask yourself what do you want your big picture to be? Stage a strategy day and get your whole team involved. Use your people, personnel and departments to help achieve both individual and company objectives. Recently at Cloud 360 Accounting we had a strategy day where I outlined our vision for the next 7-10 years and the team structure that I believe we need to make that vision a reality.
Give some of your focus on your business away from the pandemic, away from the negative news and media. It will provide a welcome distraction and enable you to see what is possible.
Ride the Wave
Remember with any business there will be bumps in the road, hurdles but who knows the next three-four years might accelerate and you could reach that big picture. However, you can’t get there if you don’t have the vision in place.
My biggest takeaway from this is get to that one-page plan, the mission statement from your strategy day. I promise it will help take the focus away from the pandemonium of the pandemic.