As you would expect, the current focus of advisers around the world is (rightly) on supporting businesses adversely impacted by the pandemic – which is the majority. But many businesses are actually unaffected from a financial sense and still growing through the crisis around them. This includes companies in the agriculture, defence, mining services, technology, consumables and pharmacy sectors.
One of the common and very human reactions for some of these business owners is a sense of responsibility or guilt that goes with doing very well whilst others are suffering around them. This empathy for the community is admirable and most are offering help in some shape or form to those less fortunate, which is great to see and I am sure it will continue. However, the often-repeated Winston Churchill quote ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’ needs to also ring true if you are a business doing well through Covid-19, particularly when you have the financial means to invest for the future.
1. Review the way you manage the performance and expectations of your people. Your employees will all know people who are struggling and should understand how lucky they are to be with a business that is going well. Use this time to talk to your people more about what is going on in the world and the short-term objectives and KPIs that you need to work towards together to strive. In other words – explain why you are continuing to succeed whilst others are struggling, what part each employee needs to play and increase the cadence with which you do this. If you don’t already have a disciplined operating system in place to drive accountability and focus on key numbers, now is the time to do it.
2. Review your structure and executive talent pool. We are not saying be ruthless with your team here, but the reality is that there are many businesses that won’t make it through the next year and more talented executives looking for smart and relatively stable companies to work with, often at discounted fixed remuneration packages. Do you really have the right structure and people to take your business through your next stage of growth? Now’s the best time to ask yourself this question.
3. Invest in income producing assets whilst they are at discounted prices. Sounds rather obvious, but reality is that most of the world is ‘on sale’ at the moment, plus the government is providing incentives for investing, so putting decisions on hold now might be something you regret in the future.
Each of these strategies relates to improving strategy execution, which remains one of the major challenges facing business in any environment. At the end of the day, the best performing companies in any sector all share the following traits:
So if you are lucky enough to be in a position to invest in your business now, don’t hesitate to make your move. It might be the best opportunity you ever have.
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