And then what? Planning for post-Covid-19
CEDEC mission consists of understanding the business owner, their goals, desires, and needs. Once we understand these, we investigate which situations, people, or circumstances stand in the business owner‘s way. When we detect these, we aanalyze how to "bypass" these obstacles, proposing the plans needed to initiate change. Once we have agreed on the path, we accompany the business owner in the course of these plans, guiding them along the path, helping them overcome the new difficulties that may arise, and becoming their closest collaborator. It is an exciting experience.
For a little over a month and a half we have been commenting and making plans to prevent the effects of COVID19 ... but then what are we going to do? How are we going to deal with the return to activity?
It is true that the urgencies derived from the stoppage in the activity have occupied all the efforts and energies of the businessmen, centered first in protecting their personnel, then in protecting their productive processes or services, in ensuring that their treasury would be able to cover their commitments or in postponing those commitments, managing the credit with their clients, analyzing the public subsidies and trying to benefit from them; in short, facing the avalanche of problems or risks that have come to them.
Now the time has come to think about the after, about resuming the activity and how to do it.
In this document we propose a few points for reflection that should be part of the process of preparing the plan to overcome the crisis.
We propose the preparation of this plan in five different phases:
(1) review of the effects of the crisis on each individual company
(2) analysis of the foreseeable effects of the crisis at the time of the resumption of activity,
(3) activity relaunch plan,
(4) financial plan for the costs of resuming activity and
(5) contingency plans for possible distortions to the plan.
Firstly, each entrepreneur must analyse in depth what effects the crisis has had on his company. It is not only a question regarding the stoppage of the activity itself; but also of possible supply problems, those which may have been suffered by the usual customers, the circumstances which have made teleworking possible (or impossible),... In short, anything which may have happened in addition to the fact that the compulsory stoppage of activity has been a problem for the normal development of the activity.
Immediate plans need to be put in place to cover those effects. Perhaps we will have to look for alternative suppliers, perhaps we will have to contact our clients to see what their plans are and in what situation they are, acting accordingly; create the conditions for teleworking... In short, all the problems that the crisis has generated must be the subject of plans to overcome its effects, if possible, before resuming work.
In the analysis of the effects at the time of resuming the activity, the internal situations of the company must be considered, as well as the security plans and occupational risks that allow to guarantee the health of the personnel, the possible incidents derived from the previous point (problems of supplies, clients difficulties...), possible difficulties for the personnel to travel, and in general, any circumstance that can generate restarting the business, not only for the own company but also for our clients and suppliers, employees...
The recovery plan must contain the necessary planning of the moments or circumstances in which the company's collaborators will be incorporated and at what rate, all according to the needs and conclusions obtained from the two previous points. If the resumption is to be gradual, it should be agreed with the staff either to take days off or to offer a partial short-time work so that the staff who are not going to be engaged in productive tasks does not cause unbearable extra costs.
The financial plan must take into account the conclusions of the previous points and their costs, calculating the possible turnover and its added value, so as to guarantee in any case the financial solvency and the capacity of the company to deal with payment commitments. The financing plan must contemplate the possible credits to be requested, the possible deferrals of payment commitments and, in general, all the measures that collaborate to ensure the financial capacity of the company at all times at an acceptable cost.
Finally, contingency plans must be established. We must realize that all our forecasts may fail, and we must be prepared to act, adapting ourselves to the possible circumstances that may arise.
In short, we must be very agile and prepare for unforeseen situations, always trying to have an alternative plan prepared, and making the systematic analysis an essential exercise in the recovery phase.
This is a time to prepare intensely to face the situations that arise, with planning and foresight. We encourage you to do these exercises, which will help you see your business in a completely new context, where anticipation is more important than ever.