Retaining Business Growth During Crisis: Things to Consider
As businesses worldwide are now experiencing the impact of pandemic, this can be a good time for many companies to rethink and enhance their strategy. Sure, any crisis is closely related to certain negative outcomes but it will also be a wake-up call for companies across many industries.
SoftTeco would like to support and encourage the companies worldwide and offer our view on crisis management and business continuity strategy that will help entrepreneurs make the right decisions and overcome the crisis with a minimal negative effect.
Analyze all aspects of your current state
When a crisis hits, it is essential to know where your business stands at the moment. This includes knowing all profitable aspects, weak areas, and possible opportunities.
In order to adequately evaluate your current position, answer the following questions:
Which departments are critical for the company’s well-being and distribute resources accordingly
What are the biggest risks and problem areas at the moment?
Do you have a plan to manage your P&L, liquidity, balance sheet?
Do you know the state of your suppliers and partners and the possible risks they might face?
Are there any new opportunities you can explore?
In the conditions of a crisis, it is common to count up variations, from best-case to worst-case scenarios. Your primary task at this point is to identify the areas that need the most attention and the dead weight that can be shredded.
Work on long-term strategic projects
Almost every company has projects that are put on a back burner. These projects are usually long-term ones and require a significant amount of time and resources to look into them. So when a company faces a crisis, it also becomes a good time to pay attention to these long-term strategic projects and consider preparing for their implementation.
Such projects tend to bring highly beneficial outcomes but the only drawback is that they demand much time in terms of implementation. But since the crisis is the time when you rethink your strategy and consider new options, it’s a good idea to start working on such projects.
As well, in time of crisis, it’s worth checking your hypotheses with an aim to strengthen the business and optimize the processes. It is a good opportunity to check hypotheses which were postponed or put on hold due to a lack of time.
When crisis strikes, it often turns out that many processes are outdated, underperforming, or unnecessary. Thus, if you were considering their optimization this can be a good time to get it done.
One of the key issues to consider when going through the crisis is to remain competitive. In the modern tech-focused environment, the most efficient way to achieve a competitive edge is digitization. It allows automation and facilitation of processes while keeping them centralized and well-organized.
As well, you can review the allocation of resources. It may turn out that certain processes require fewer resources while others might need a bit more. Wise resource allocation can help your company mitigate the impact of the crisis and save finances in the long run.
Pay attention to financial resources
It goes without saying that crisis management implies careful work with financial resources. Some of the actions to take include:
Create macro scenarios for every market to see how your revenue can fluctuate,
Focus on the balance sheet and cash flow,
Revisit variable costs and capital investment plans,
Make necessary “break glass” decisions,
Come up with the required spend handbrakes,
List down cost-saving opportunities.
It is highly recommended to freeze certain activities while increasing the investment into others. Review of budget allocation is a common practice during the crisis and you need to prepare a long-term financial plan for all the possible outcomes.
Strengthen the team
Last but not least is team management. A team is a backbone of any company so in terms of the crisis, it is essential to optimize your team management, improve communication, and increase transparency.
It is natural that people might feel confused or even scared. Therefore, the utter goal of any company owner is to provide safe and secure working conditions. This includes both safety of the working space (i.e. regular sainitization) and healthy atmosphere within the team.
If necessary, provide training and any needed assistance to the employees and try retaining as many of them as possible. Loyal and motivated employees will account for half of your future success so you might want to invest in gaining their trust and support.
Get your IT Systems and Projects Streamlined
SoftTeco’s VP of Business Development Oleg Ridchenko believes that focusing on the current and future IT projects may be the best way for companies to spend their time as efficiently as possible and prepare for a fast recovery.
What business can do in the situation of the strict isolation of their employees and global home office?
Focus on preparing technical specifications for your product or support system
Managers, subject matter experts, sales, and other specialists now have enough time to formulate their needs and requirements and spec out the systems and modules that will boost their work. It is also possible to set up distributed remote groups within the organization in order to develop such specifications in written form or in form of clickable mockups. These mockups can be shared among all stakeholders to collect feedback and outline necessary changes.
To facilitate the process of creating technical specifications, one can hire a remote business analyst (BA). This person will be able to organize the requirements gathering sessions, analyze similar systems and competitors, and build interactive mockups which can be shared and discussed with the rest of stakeholders.
Develop a Proof of Concept (POC) or Minimal Viable Product (MVP)
A POC or MVP can be developed in a fully remote mode and can be used to demonstrate key features of the system and to collect feedback from real users. It is also possible to develop several different versions and find out what works best through A/B testing.
The development of a POC or an MVP will prepare you for a fast and full-scale start of the production-ready development once your business is back to normal operations.
Provision your development team in advance
Once operations in your region are back to normal there will be a high deferred demand for resources as many businesses will need to catch up with the delayed projects and KPIs. To be well prepared, it makes sense to set up your team in advance:
- pick the provider with matching expertise,
- conduct interviews with key specialists,
- share technical specifications to optimize the learning curve.
These activities will help you and your colleagues stay productive even during remote work and ensure you are well-prepared to get ahead of the competition when the crisis is over.
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Great post, Really useful. You have shared nice suggestions for business growth during this crisis. It can be great helpful for the business owners. Thanks for sharing it.
What a fantastic post. I like the way you describe it. It is a great post for business growth in this crisis. Thanks for sharing useful stuff.