Rebuilding your Business after COVID-19
By Emmanuel Allottey
The year 2020 has been dominated by COVID-19. The global economic devastation caused by the coronavirus has been unprecedented. Businesses were not prepared to deal with national lockdowns, social distancing, amongst others and consequently suffered heavy losses. With the discovery of vaccines that can possibly treat the virus, lockdowns and restrictions are gradually being eased. The wheels of the global economy are starting to move again, although at a slow pace giving businesses hope of recovery.
According to reports more than 92 percent of small businesses experienced a negative impact from COVID-19. As the economy rebounds businesses need to assess their current operations and adjust to post-COVID environment. The following steps will assist in the rebuilding process.
Assessing the Damage – the first step is to perform a financial assessment of the business. Quantifying the reduction in sales, operational losses, overdue payments, collections outstanding, will give a better perspective on the profitability of the business. Some businesses received COVID grants and other relief support, this should also be factored in when assessing the total impact on the business.
Damage control – after completing a thorough assessment, business momentum recovery strategies can be introduced. It is important to tackle the challenge that give the biggest delta when solved. Some options may involve exploring funding options to prop the business finances and reduce debts. Lending standards are being reviewed as Financial institution re-examine their risk appetite aligned to the economic outlook. Engaging financial intuitions for a debt facility restructuring may prove to be a viable option to lead the business back to profitability.
Readiness for growth – although it remains unclear when the coronavirus will fully diffuse, businesses must start exploring a path to growth. Business continuity planning and other scenario readiness strategies will prove effective in determining the actions to take should another wave of COVID return. Other options involve securing business funding, extending credit line with suppliers, rehiring employees, increasing stock held in anticipation for growth.
Go digital – the advantages of digital as a cost-efficient solution to service delivery has been demonstrated during this pandemic. All businesses need to develop a digital strategy that allows for a ubiquitous sales presence and a seamless logistics arrangement to fulfil digital orders.
The pandemic has engraved an important lesson in business agility. Businesses should always create room to adapt to the dynamic business environment. Rebuilding a business post-COVID may prove challenging, but not impossible. There are resources and organisations available to support the business return to profitability.