Are you a caterpillar or a butterfly? Questions to ask post COVID.

ButterflyAs small business operators emerge post COVID, there are some important business questions to ask. These questions will help determine whether your business model is working and if there are additional changes you want to make to protect your business through future economic downturns or volatility. Will you remain the same old caterpillar or a change and improve like a butterfly?

1. What worked and what didn’t work in my business model?

This year, almost all small business owners had to make changes to their business model. Whether it was hosting meetings with clients on Zoom, learning about technology to allow employees access to secure and effective working from home, offering restaurant food for take-away or delivering classes online, most small businesses adapted in some way.

Ask yourself:
Did I have to adapt my business model? Did I alter my goods or services in any way? Did I change how I use my business premises? Did these adaptations enhance my business? Do these changes highlight gaps in my business model? Should I make some of these adaptations permanent?

Some clients may prefer to have meetings online. Perhaps offering online classes has helped you access clients who wouldn’t otherwise attend. The forced changes may have resulted in and new and improved business model.

2. Do I need to make changes to my supply chain?

You may have some control over your supply chain, but not a lot. Disruptions happen and they can drastically affect your business.

Review how the various components in your supply chain reacted to the pandemic and whether they helped your business or hurt it.

Ask yourself:
Did the suppliers in my supply chain remain open and transparent? Did they reach out to discuss revising our agreement? Were they reasonable in their expectations and willing to work with me? Do I need to have alternate arrangements or back-up plans in case there are future supply chain disruptions? Which suppliers stepped up and demonstrated an ability to deliver more than you may have previously expected?

Your supply chain has a huge impact on your business. Trusting your suppliers and knowing you can work with them will allow you to feel more secure in the future.

3. How have your staff adapted?

Your staff may have faced a great deal of stress and uncertainty. Team members may have had to transition to new ways of working—at home, on a new schedule, or with new policies and procedures in place.

Ask yourself:
Are there changes to how my staff work that I could continue to implement? Should I provide additional training for staff? Have I communicated openly with them? How adaptable was my team? Were the changes to rhythms and routines that may add value in future?

One benefit from having employees work from home more days a week is that such opportunities for remote working can boost employee morale while saving you money. Now that you’ve invested in the technology to allow staff to work from home, is it worth it to allow this scenario to continue? When a staff member has a cold or a child home sick, they can choose to work from home rather than taking personal leave or sick days they would rather not use. You also benefit from staff not spreading illness to others which would otherwise result in a whole team on sick leave.

Final thoughts

In addition to looking at your business, take a look at your customers and clients. Were they supportive of your business during this time? Did they turn elsewhere? Did they respect the changes you made to your business or the policies you put in place? Are there new clients who are now within your marketing sights?

Each of the above questions—about your business model, your supply chain, your staff and your customers—will help you make informed decisions about the best way to run your business as the effects of COVID-19 disruptions ease.

If you would like to arrange a meeting for business continuity planning contact us on (08)64360900 or book an appointment online.

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