What is your post-COVID-19 game plan—do you have one? After months of subdued activity, there are finally green shoots for economic recovery in South Africa. It’s no secret that SMME’s were among the hardest hit, but the right strategy will help businesses to come back swinging.
Here are five recommended steps to make the most of South Africa’s economic recovery.
Finish Strong; Recover Well
They say, “failing to plan is planning to fail,” so there is no time to waste. Q4 2021 is the perfect time to plot your 2022 business growth.
A new goal provides the second wind you need to end this year strong. This, in turn, will also give you the competitive advantage of having a solid foundation from which to start the new year.
- Assess the Impact of the Economy’s Recovery on Your Business
Every battle plan starts with an assessment of the landscape so that you can plot a course to avoid rugged terrain and obstacles.
- Consider the current market conditions in the recovering economy?
- Look at what has changed, such as buying behaviour (for example, a shift to eCommerce) or locality.
- Think about opportunities that have arisen. Perhaps there is new technology borne out of the pandemic that can increase your efficiency and business growth.
- Can you adapt your old strategy accordingly, or is it time to pivot?
2. Re-Establish Your Value Proposition to Your Clients
Your customers have all come out of the same storm. It’s good to re-establish contact and firm up your working relationship moving forward.
Even if your original VP hasn’t changed, your clients’ business recovery plan could cause you to misalign. There is no point in spending resources nurturing relationships that are no longer a good business fit.
This is also an excellent opportunity to remind clients of the value your SMB provides and possibly cross- or up-sell in the process.
3. Work Smart, Not Hard. Re-Think Processes, Production and People.
Thomas Edison famously said, “if there’s a way to do something better, find it.” This is prudent advice for shrewd business owners to adopt. That’s because there is almost always a way to improve cost-effectiveness—and your management reports will show you.
You may find that new automation technology can lower operational costs and allow you to utilise human resources in revenue-generating roles.
4. Plan Your Cash Requirements for The Recovery Period
Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. Budgeting and forecasting are critical to ensuring positive cash flow for the months ahead.
Perhaps you’ve decided to save costs by keeping less stock on hand and downsizing storage space. Are you, then, able to keep up with your suppliers 30-day terms when you need to replenish stock? Or will you be at a deficit because your customers are still on 60- or 90-day terms?
Read our tips for building an effective budget here
5. Secure Buy-In from Key Stakeholders
As you can see, your new game plan may require changes to invoicing and collection. You could change your procurement process or bring production in-house (requiring CapEx equipment). In any or all these circumstances, get your suppliers, employees, or funders with you on your journey.
We are naturally resistant to change (and a tad shell-shocked from the past 18 months), but when people see the end goal, they will get on board and roll up their sleeves!
Want to make the most of a recovery economy? Get Strategic Advice