COVID-19: Making Use of Spare Capacity

Many businesses are reeling under the adverse effects of the COVID-19 crisis.  If your business is one of these, don’t fall into the trap of being negative.

Rather than focusing on the negative impact of COVID-19 on your business, take any spare time you have to clean up the parts of the business you have been neglecting or haven’t had time to review.

Use the lockdown time to map your industry. Research your competitors, suppliers, customers, key managers in different companies, etc.  Do this by ringing your industry contacts, reading industry journals, press releases and public financial information.  Document your findings and use them to plan the improvements you should make to your business.

Use the insights you’ve gained from your research to plan for life after coronavirus. You can start this process by asking yourself a series of questions:

  • What will the market look like after the crisis has ended?
  • What will be the impact on your clients and customers? Will they take your services, pay on time or continue to serve you?
  • How will your answers change if the disease and economic impact is more severe or less severe than you imagined?

There isn’t a right answer to these questions, just a range of potential answers. These will help you to formulate your business’s plans for various different scenarios.

Next, start to focus on the detail of your plans by applying some, or indeed all, of the items in this checklist:

  • Create a marketing plan to improve relations with current clients and target new customers.
  • Develop new products or services.  Consider how to develop new markets for your products.
  • Review old / obsolete stock and look to offload at reduced prices.
  • Upskill your staff on any new technologies available for your business.
  • Develop new and improved procedures and policies for the various workflows of your business.
  • Perform a deep clean of your business work space.
  • Expedite the preparation of your annual accounts / tax compliance.  This will also help with planning on potential future tax liabilities and budgeting for paying those liabilities.

Your aim should be to become both thoughtful and dynamic during the period of lockdown and not to waste a spare moment.  The lockdown will help you concentrate on issues that you might never have considered. Sometimes the greatest businesses are built at the time of greatest adversity.

Feel free to ring Shane Carroll, Director of Business Advisory, on 021 4321321 or to email him at shane.carroll@mcavoy.ie if you’d like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article.

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