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How to rebuild your business (again) after lockdown

Sep 25, 2020

Rebuilding your business can seem daunting, but with a well-equipped business plan, you can be sure to bounce back stronger than ever before, says Siobhan McCreesh.

In business, it is often said that the comeback is stronger than the setback.

While the last six months have been difficult, lockdown has shown what businesses can achieve when they take control of a situation. Already, the world around us is adapting to the ‘new normal’. Health, wellbeing, physical, emotional and mental fitness have all come to the fore in the fight against COVID-19 and more people than ever are working remotely.

Many of the changes forced on us are here to stay. Many of us are looking at further restrictions of our movements and businesses. As businesses plan their road to recovery, none will be too big or too small to respond smarter, rebound stronger and reflect clearer in the months ahead.

Focus on the positive

While overcoming road-blocks on the path to recovery will test emotional and mental fitness, it is important to prepare for this and avoid being consumed by the challenges that arise. As each challenge emerges, try to ‘flip’ it by switching your focus from what you have lost to what you need to do to survive. Focus on identifying and planning how you can:

  • diversify and rebuild;
  • deploy staff into new, exciting roles; and
  • source new opportunities for customers, suppliers and markets.

Stay true to your ‘why’

When plotting your road ahead, it is crucial to remain true to your business’s reason for being – your ‘why’. Keeping this why at the core of the business recovery plan will help established businesses refocus on their original purpose and give younger businesses a clear path to follow. Communication is also important. If you allow your ‘why’ to be miscommunicated, this can isolate loyal staff, customers and suppliers which, in turn, can have a damaging ripple effect across your business.

Be realistic

Your recovery plan needs to be achievable, focusing both on your personal goals and your business aspirations. It also needs to be flexible so that it can adapt quickly to the rapidly changing environment we are in. Bill Gates famously said most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years. Make sure that your projections are realistic and that your recovery plan is split out into measurable phases. Short-term goals are important but mid- and long-term goals also need to be accommodated.

Remember to ensure that you have the correct staff mix, systems, processes and financial resources in place to drive your business forward. Currently, various supports are available to help businesses recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As lockdown restrictions come and go, and businesses adapt to the reality of trading with COVID-19, this is the time to make the connections you need to help your business, recover, survive and thrive. 

Siobhan McCreesh is an Associate Director at PKF FPM.