Elite AgentOPINION

How to prepare your business for the economic recovery phase

The Covid-induced recession is causing strife for thousands of businesses across the country.

At the same time, it is giving businesses downtime to examine their operations and their spending, and highlight where they can make improvements.

Adjusting your focus and looking ahead to the economic recovery phase may, in fact, put your business in an advantageous position for recovery.

Here are five small changes you can make to your business to help you yield major rewards once the world returns to normal.

  1. Fine-tune your operational systems and processes
    This ‘downtime’ in the business market provides an opportunity for business owners to review and improve their systems and processes, so that they can be in a position of strength and grow quickly when they hit the ground running.

    For instance, you could review home and office-based working arrangements  for employees, and decide to make savings by downsizing your physical office space to save on unnecessary rent costs or investing in new processes to manage a largely remote workforce.

    Taking the time to revisit the foundation of your business can open new opportunities to improve cash flow and streamline how your business operates at the same time.
  1. Review your marketing to suit ‘the new normal’
    Marketing your business can be both costly and time-consuming, so use this time to re-strategise your marketing plan for FY21, re-evaluate where you are directing your marketing budget, and whether the results are worth the expense.

    Your first consideration will be any digital and print media marketing, such as billboards, website content, search engine advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing.

    With social distancing likely to continue for months, the world will have changed, and so should your marketing messages for prospective customers.
  1. Review your product or service delivery
    This is a perfect opportunity to look at the issues you may have faced in the supply chain during this time, cut out redundant products or services, and focus on re-marketing your core products to customers in the coming months.

    Have issues in the supply chain caused certain products to become unavailable, or are certain products or services gaining increased attention? Consider what is most important to your customers in this time – this may be things like cost, delivery, availability, and safety.
  1. Update your sales strategy
    During this time, you might have uncovered valuable information about what is most important to your customers and how they engage with your business during a financial crisis.

    This can include how your customer service team interacts with customers, common pain points and complaints, issues with delivery or payment, and how competitors are adapting.

    Use this information to reveal gaps in your customer service and refine aspects of your business to improve customer engagement. This could be including more, relevant information on your website to guide customers through the process or providing training to your customer service team to better handle complaints and issues.
  1. Take a break
    As a business owner, you may find this piece of preparation advice laughable. SME owners tend to work longer hours than their employees. It’s not uncommon to work 50 hours per week, and often six or seven days a week.

    Once you have reviewed your systems, processes and strategies and are prepared for the impending recovery period, now may also be the perfect time to rest and recover yourself.

    As the main driver of your business, you will need to be refreshed and ready to lead your business into a new future, with new challenges and obstacles to overcome as well.

Business owners face risk on a daily basis. While there was little anyone could do to prepare for this global pandemic, it does not mean you can’t prepare for a more stable future.

Reviewing and refining the foundations of your business during this time will encourage recovery once the country and the world return to normal business operations, while also providing a rare opportunity to take some time for yourself and hit the ground running when you return.

Show More

Helen Baker

Helen Baker is a financial adviser, author, speaker and spokesperson for online finance information platform money.com.au.