Planning for the future – a guide to business strategy

    The Covid-19 crisis has affected every area of our lives, from the immense and tragic human cost to the wide-ranging impact on the economy, writes James Flood, associate director at HWB Chartered Accountants.

    While some of these changes will be short-term, the outbreak and resulting lockdown will leave an indelible mark on society, our attitudes and the way we do business.

    How extensive and damaging this will be is unknown. A recent survey of businesses by accountancy marketers PracticeWeb, published four weeks after social distancing restrictions were imposed, found that more than a third (35%) were struggling to keep trading, while 16% had closed. However, a relatively high percentage (29%) were continuing to trade as normal and a further 19% said the effects of the virus on their business were not clear.

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    A change in attitudes

    For many of us, the first lockdown gave us a shift in perspective. For parents who were working from home, the need to fit work around family life and home schooling required a more flexible work schedule.

    Mostly staff productivity has stayed good, staff benefit from not having the commute, and teams have pulled together to make things work. Videoconferencing has become a norm and we believe is likely to remain.

    There may be elements of lockdown working that businesses keep for the longer-term for the benefit of their businesses and people. Consider which changes made during lockdown are worth keeping. Could staff work more flexibly? And how do you measure success? Financially, and in terms of your wellbeing and that of your employees.

    The four Rs of success should be considered when making changes with your business:

    Reflect – what went well, what didn’t?

    Reach Out – communication is essential

    Revenue – did a diversified offering help?

    Reinvent – should you change what you’re doing?

    What are the benefits of planning for the future?

    It’s important to know the future of your business, where you want to go and how to get there; but without a solid plan in place things can go astray. At HWB we guide you through the process and help you to examine your business, its goals and priorities, both pre and post Covid, and help you clarify your vision for the future.

    Its not just about one meeting and a few ideas. Our service is designed to assist you with the development of your business at every stage.

    The service will:

    • Enable business owners to clarify the vision for the future.
    • Provide the directors, shareholders and key individuals of the organisation with the opportunity of meeting to discuss this area but with our facilitation.
    • Allow freedom to exchange views and offer suggestions for the way forward.
    • Ensure that there is agreement on the order of priority of what needs to be done and how these will be addressed.
    • Provide a clear action plan of what needs to be focused upon in the next three months.
    • Provide a report that captures all the views and suggestions made during the strategy meeting in an easy to read format that can be referred to in the future.

    Linkedin2James Flood

    If you’re interested in a Planning for the Future session, contact me on:

    023 8046 1244

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