If you own, run or manage a business then uncertainty is part of your daily life. It is an inescapable reality that can throw strategies off course and stunt progress. But uncertainty can also be a catalyst for change. When ‘business as usual’ is no longer possible, it creates a moment for leadership to pause and consider what the business does next.
It is all too easy for owners and management teams to get stuck into the daily requirements and miss opportunities to take in the wider context and re-consider how an organisation operates. Uncertainty can, in fact, have a silver lining.
Handle today, plan tomorrow
No one saw Covid-19 coming (and staying) as it has. Naturally, many businesses were forced onto the backfoot as they grappled with massively changing customer demand, new regulations and, in some cases, having to temporarily cease trading completely.
Different sectors and services have been affected in distinct ways: hospitality businesses had to pivot to find new income streams while logistics companies looked for new partnerships to cope with skyrocketing demand. What businesses share, however, is the need to handle the current crisis at the same time as making changes that set themselves up for long-term success.
That’s why we launched the Reshape programme, which delivers a three-year action plan by analysing, reshaping and optimising a business through a combination of financial forecasting, planning and business operations.
Reshape in three steps
Reshape is designed to help leadership teams navigate financial and operational uncertainty using crisis management, business continuity and recovery techniques. In three steps, a business can create an action plan tailored to its needs. The steps are:
- Assessment of past and current performance;
- Analysis of future potential scenarios, identifying key priorities and overall action plan;
- Reshaping the business through execution of the action plan, new forecasts, and reporting systems.
To be sustainable throughout a crisis period, businesses need to make decisions for the present and the future. To help with this, the forecasts created by Reshape will consider a two to three year period, include profit and loss forecasts and meaningful cash flow projections, and assess balance sheet strength.
Staying in shape
As the full business impact of Covid-19 is yet to be fully known, owners and management teams should expect uncertainty to linger on for months and even years as markets and customer confidence return to pre-crisis levels.
During this time, Reshape can strengthen a business and its long term value. By the end of the programme, a business can expect: a business plan that forms the basis for operational strategies and financial budgets; a comprehensive information pack for relevant third parties (to assist with bank loans, government grants, investors); clearly laid out ‘survival options’ for a business, including viable government support and the associated benefits, costs and risks; and more. See all the components of the programme here.
As businesses advisers, it is our responsibility to step in amidst the uncertainty and find the route forward. While the journeys will be unique, every business will have to juggle immediate demands with long-term planning.
It has been a daunting year for business, but resilient leadership teams will look for a way out of the crisis by getting into better shape for what comes next.
To find out more information visit our website, speak to your usual Mazars advisor or one of our specialists via phone or the form below:
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