Coronavirus has hit all businesses hard, big and small. For most of us the last few months and the months to follow have been defining moments in thinking about our current business offerings and how we progress into the future.
So, what are the questions you need to ask yourself, to start planning what the future of your business looks like and could the temporary changes we have in place become permanent?
1.Should and can my services be offered remotely? If like some businesses you have started out offering at home(yours or clients) appointments, should you continue to do so? Consider how this worked for you. What was your client preferences? How did it hit your profit margins v your usual way of working? Can this type of working offer your business cost savings? If it worked well for your business is it perhaps the way forward? Compared to perhaps being salon based, did it massively reduce the client numbers you could see to a point that it wasn’t feasible? Do you have employees, would it work for them? Could you be salon based and offer mobile appointments for client’s who request it? Think through these questions and gather information and metrics on how this could work/not work for your business before making a final decision.
2.Employee working lives, as a business owner you may need to consider the working lives of your staff and how this may shape your business. How do you manage staff sickness? Do staff get paid time off? What if they have family members who are sick, will this impact attendance at work? Do they have any health conditions that may impact them if corona virus restrictions are increased or reinstated and how can you help to manage and support them? It"s worth considering these questions now to have a plan in place should you need it.
3.Prepare for possible future emergencies, all businesses need a business continuity plan (or emergency plan). This plan should detail risks to your business and what you can do to mitigate their impact (check out our previous full blog post “Do you have a plan when It all goes wrong” for more detail). Having a plan ensures that you have had time to detail ways to deal with issues that may threaten your business and gives you a chance to think through steps to deal with it whilst your calm and level-headed and not in the heat of the moment. It's also useful to ensure that staff have access and knowledge of the plan should they need to use it in your absence.
4.You need a swot analysis, a swot analysis is a list of your business’s strengths, weakness, threats and opportunities, and the point in doing this is to be able to highlight where your business is under each header and allow you to think through your next steps. What your business does well, keep doing (but also consider why you think your business does this well and is this a true reflection). What are your business weaknesses, and how can you lessen or mitigate them? What threats are there to your business and what opportunities are currently in place for your business if you really thought it through and pursued them. By being aware of these elements of your business you give yourself the opportunity to make changes or explore new possibilities or avenues to help your business to grow.