The media have reported a few times that we are past the peak of COVID-19 and we have all become familiar with term ‘flattened the curve’! And yet new seasons and new events mean this is forever changing. Business as usual is just round the corner (again), right?
The term ‘new normal’ appears to have dissipated but in all probability, we are still not really sure what the future of business will look like. Because of this, your ability as a business owner to pivot and adapt has never been more important.
We’re at a crucial point in the timeline of the health of UK residents and their businesses. As the health curve faces it’s most sustained threat ever; day by day, we’re at risk of getting complacent. This curve is often very different however to the one that businesses are following and the impact they have felt or are yet to feel.
Looking after our health
Health is the most important thing in life. It’s more important than business. You know that.
That’s why many of us have listened to and acted on the government’s instructions. We’re responsible adults with morals. It’s the ‘right thing to do’.
However, it is often easier to be the one following instructions than the one giving them out. As a business owner, you need to take control and put measures in place to flatten another type of curve: your business’ health curve.
What do I mean by your business’ curve? Like the national health statistics, we can measure the negative effect the pandemic has on your business and map it on a graph. Although the peak in a curve is usually considered to be a good thing, we know in this case it’s the opposite.
You can forgive yourself for being momentarily shell-shocked. A bit caught in the headlights if you will. It’s unprecedented times, after all. But the time for hesitation is over.
Now is the time to act. If you haven’t started to rebuild, you’re prolonging the inevitable.
The past 18 months has shown us that weaknesses in business can be crudely exposed so identifying gaps and planning for different eventualities will help you to avoid the pain of going into business saving mode.
I don’t want to be a doomsayer. I’m a realist and am writing this to give you the prompt that you might need.
Your Business’ Health Curve
Just like in the health curve, we can’t get ahead of ourselves.
What would happen now if we lifted restrictions and everything returned to normal? That’s right, the declining curve would make a sharp u-turn and start climbing again.
Our business health curve hasn’t hit its peak yet. Why? This is due to various reasons including the help the government has given us business owners, financial reserves bailing people out but overall we must recognise that the impact of this assistance being removed will be material.
As we enter 2022, this ‘peak’ is likely to become increasingly noticeable.
It looks like lockdowns as severe as those we have experienced to date are a thing of the past but we cannot rule anything out. Stock shortages in supply chains and energy pricing are just two examples of economic impacts that flow through the whole economy.
The true extent of this pandemic on the business world is scarily unknown but what we can say is that peaks in our ‘business curves’ may be slightly flatter and are most definitely going to be longer lasting and more unpredictable.
So, What Can You Do?
You can focus on what you know and what you can control.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ask yourself the following:
- Using everything you’ve learned, if you could start your business again, how would it look?
- Are the problems you’re facing 100% down to COVID-19, or are they deeper rooted than that?
- How will you prepare for the very real threat of future COVID-19 waves?
Last time we had no warning. It came out of nowhere and turned our lives upside down. You might even say we buried our head in the sands about it, refusing to accept we’d be as affected as China and Italy.
But now we have experienced the impact, if you could tip your business upside down, give it a good shake and put it back together again, how would it look?
The ‘new’ business world will certainly be different to the old, so the more you take action right now, the more agile and prepared your business will be for the future.
The ‘New Norm’ Myth Debunked
Everybody did not suddenly start working from home; and no, all meetings have not now become virtual rather than face-to-face.
Things have definitely changed, but not to that extreme.
What this pandemic has done is highlight many inefficiencies within our businesses that we should have spotted before now. For example, why were you travelling for 2 hours to a catch-up meeting when you could do it online? Why have staff members taken days off when their kids are sick instead of working from home for the day? Could all those meetings have been an email?
The opportunity this pandemic has given us is time. And while we can’t be certain about when the business curve will hit its peak, we have the time now to prepare the best we can for it.
Revisit your processes. Streamline your services. Strip everything back and start again.
Now is not the time for doing nothing.
Face it head on
By acting now, you will forecast a future peak, and, like the UK’s health curve, you will get past it. You will flatten it and have a better chance of beating in a way stronger than before.
Unsure about how to get started? Get in touch today and let us help you model your business curve and get you ahead while you still can.