Most business people don't like change. They like things to stay the same. However, the new reality means you can't keep doing what you’ve always done and hope that everything is going to be okay. You can't go into this blindly. Every industry has been and will be disrupted for years to come. To give your business the best chance of survival, you need a plan that is adaptable and provides you with a clear sense of focus and direction.
We hope this series has given you the nudge you need to work out a plan for the future. Now comes the hard part — putting a new plan into action. The good news is that implementing a plan is much easier, if you’ve done your homework and considered your internal and external environment.
Have you undertaken a thorough Reality Check and considered some of the legal and financial implications of implementing your new plan? Have you consulted with your team and stakeholders and mapped out your internal processes and how you can change them? Have you considered innovative ways to Reset your business and explored the funding options available to support you?
Your new plan does not need to be perfect. With the current uncertainty and fluid nature of circumstances outside our control, a perfect plan isn’t possible. All companies need to think like a startup now. Startups are great at taking imperfect action. A minimum viable product (MVP) is a version of a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide a startup with enough feedback to develop the idea further, or shelve it, if the feedback is negative. If you change something in your business, make sure you have a means of testing it so you can determine if it is viable or not.
It’s important to factor intrigger points into your plan of action. You need to ask at what point do you change direction or assess the viability of the current business model. These trigger points could include financial goals, changes in the Alert Levels or border control restrictions. Now, more than ever, being alert to business intelligence, trends, and your cash flow is vital to pick up signals that could threaten your progress.
The availability of resources and support are constantly changing as well. Locally the LoveWanaka campaignand Ignite Wanaka offer a platform for local Wanaka businesses to promote their services. Also check in with your Aspiring Law business advisor about the availability of other subsidies or initiatives that may support your business. Often under-utilised, but a sensible option worth considering in these difficult times, is collaborating with another business: Can you work together to help each other?
You often hear about the failure to implement change. Usually change initiatives are poorly planned and executed. The current crisis means there will be more appetite in your business for change and the reasons for change will be obvious, but clearly thinking about how you implement that change is essential for it to succeed.
There are a lot of resources and websites dedicated to change management but here are a few key factors to consider.
- Communicate the vision: The team, customers and stakeholders will follow if the vision is clear and everyone can appreciate what is needed to get there. Although most of us act altruistically, going the extra mile for the business will only occur if there is a clearly defined purpose that your people can buy into.
- What’s at stake: A robust restructuring process will ensure that you have clearly articulated the new business case to the team and received appropriate feedback. Transparency on the viability of the business will create that `burning platform’ for change. Although it’s obvious there’s a long road ahead, constantly communicating with your team about what is happening will help maintain motivation.
- Create a coalition: You know the leaders in your team who have the greatest influence and can drive the business. Keep them in the loop and let them show leadership to bring along the rest of the team.
- Feedback loop: Create avenues for feedback and be open to what is communicated. Those on high horses have a long way to fall!
- Adjust or re-invent: Be reactive to the feedback you receive and try and get ahead of the issues.
- Appreciate and express gratitude: This seems obvious, but it is worth remembering. Acknowledging your team, customers and stakeholders goes a long way.
We hope you got some value from this series and remember, we’re here to help.
As a registered provider with the Regional Business Partners Network, Aspiring Law can provide advice in the areas of Business Continuity Planning, Managing Workplace Change, and other advice for businesses impacted by Covid-19. The cost of this advice is funded up to 100% by the Government (for amounts up to $5,000 p.a.) for qualified businesses. To see if you qualify for this funding, see up-to-date information from the Ignite Wanaka Chamber of Commerce here. Click here to apply
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