Although many people may be worried right now about the gravity of the business and stock market situation and think that it may take a long time for the world to recover from such a loss, it is not however an impossible situation to overcome. There can be learning through the lockdown and important business lessons can be learned from the crisis as well so that we can be prepared for such future pandemics/disasters.
Below are some of the tips that each SME/MSME needs to practice to thrive through the difficult times:
- Rework the Business Plan
The business plan needs to be re-defined based on the risks, financial assessment, and revival strategy and form the pre-COVID times. Keeping in my mind the current situation of the world, there needs to be some decent and realistic planning, an ergonomic growth plan that can be executed immediately.
There needs to be a mutual agreement for the setting of new targets after the pandemic between senior employees, stakeholders, external investors, and also department heads. Depending upon the company’s current financial situation, there needs to be a 3/6 month plan decided early on which can include things such as accelerating PE funds or deferring funding rounds. Or form even newer collaborations/business partnerships as well. All of these factors can help the company achieve new goals.
- Create a robust Digital Environment
Digital engagement is now more powerful than ever. It is active on social media, websites, and blogs even as some SME and MSME businesses. The digitization of a business not only helps to create business through channels but also helps in creating a positive effect on the market with its brand.
These are beneficial to retail especially. This is because of the profit they made during this pandemic through online sales. It can also be considered as a boon by being active on social media to the consumer and the stakeholder even long after the lockdown ends. There also needs to be a digitally enabled internal ecosystem that can pass out the projects to the work from home employees without compromising any data security or employee productivity.
- Security and Financial Assessment
It does not matter if it is a small or a big business, financial assessment tops the chart for being taken care of. It is highly valuable to assess finally the current situation of finance in the company.
There should be efforts to understand the potential expenses, deficits, liabilities, and future inflow of funds, etc., if you talk to the company’s CA. A brand new 3-6 month plan can be drawn out that accounts for finance for the next six months. Certain inclusions can be allowed such as information about government relief packages, support from trade bodies such as CII, financial support initiatives, etc.
These inclusions can then be used as a contingency plan to stabilize the business before executing any kind of financial strategy. Some things that can be included in the strategy can include pulling back on investments, downsizing, potential pay cuts, prohibiting new applications, infrastructure or expansion pull back, etc.
- A Contingency Strategy for a Crisis
It is always beneficial for someone to learn a lesson from their mistake and hence we as humans need to learn lessons from this pandemic. Hence we need to work on our management plan to avoid such a crisis next time.
It should be impactful for the long term as well. Therefore, you need to plan your business by creating a financial backup and funding, to a digitally firm technology-enabled ecosystem so that minimum damage is dealt with the company in the first place. Hence one should not only keep in mind to save the business form potential theft, arson, fire, etc., but also keep in mind the work lost from sitting at home during a crisis like this work again on it.
- Put the Fourth Revolution in Business
Aside from the fact that the company is available and accessible digitally and online, it is also important for businesses to adopt the 4th Revolution for your business. Although it may be true that certain complications might arise adopting this revolution in the SME and MSME industries by it being an ‘out of league’ investment, it can actually incorporate a higher ROI for the long run and is also very simple and easy to use.
No matter the type of technology you are dealing with, a decent planned strategy can work out for SME and MSME businesses for the long haul with highly productive and technology-enabled business. You can build a 2-5 year plan using this strategy.
There could be a possibility where some of the points mentioned above can incur additional expenses during the financially-sensitive times for SME and MSME. Hence the above-mentioned points are some of the important and valuable steps for the survival of a business to sustain in this business ecosystem.