Good business is always about people. For those businesses that have stayed afloat and ‘steadied their ships’ during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the focus was mostly about looking after their people. Insightful businesses focused on their staff and their customers before profit. “Without empathy, nothing works” says José Andrés, Celebrity chef.
Focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel, businesses are now positioning themselves for recovery. The global leaders of the McKinsey Marketing & Sales Practice have cited 3 main lessons from recent downfalls that leaders can learn from:
Optimise for Lean
Historically speaking, resilient companies focused on ‘getting lean’ in a thoughtful and considered way before and during the downturns in 2001 and 2008–9. These businesses were better able to manage the downturn and came out the other side better than others.
Focus on Opportunities
Key take-outs from resilient companies were those that were able to look for strategic investments and advance new market opportunities.
Be bold and maintain a through-cycle growth mindset
Resilient companies increased their selling and budget during downturns while non resilient companies remained flat. This includes investing in growth areas.
Coming out of the pandemic, McKinsey & Company have outlined three phases that businesses can follow to navigate their sales and marketing processes:
|Navigate the Flow
|Plan for the Recovery
|Lead in the next normal
|Lead with purpose
|Accelerate digital and analytics
|Rethink your strategy
|Take care of employees and customers
|Be ready to capture early demand
|Build up cash reserves
The COVID-19 Small Business Roadmap to Recovery by Deloitte is an excellent resource which is focused on the steps that small businesses should take to re-focus post pandemic. This includes the following stages:
- Changes to your business
- Customer changes
- Business implications
- Connecting with customers
- Customer opportunities
- Business channels
- Business implications
- Customer implications
- Digital opportunities
If your business has taken out finance to ride out the pandemic, it’s important to focus on areas of growth and evaluate regularly if they are providing a strong return on investment.
Downturns can be an ideal time to re-evaluate your key suppliers to ensure that they are the best fit for your business moving forward. If business activity levels are low, there can often be less disruption to consider alternative suppliers. If you would like an audit of your current recruitment arrangements, speak to one of our Business Managers.