Why you need a business action plan to thrive after Covid-19

There’ll be no doubt that as the pandemic rolls on, you’ll need drastic change in your business to survive, revive and thrive. But how do you do this successfully while keeping your team and customers on board?

In our recent sessions for the Humber Scale Up Development Programme,  we’ve been sharing our Equation for Change: a matrix that clearly explains how to avoid feelings of confusion, frustration and anxiety in your business, and make change happen.

Let’s say you want to add a more profitable revenue stream. Do you know what you need to get there?

Vision, skills, incentive and resource are all essential.

Without a specific goal that you can visualise, you could get side-tracked or baffled by what you’re trying to achieve. Without the skills to work towards that goal, your team could feel unsettled and lack the confidence to give their tasks their full focus.

A lack of resource, such as too few people in your team, could lead to frustration. If your colleagues are overloaded with work, they won’t have the headspace to get on board with your vision. Not giving your team an incentive to adapt could stall your change because people aren’t motivated. The businesses which have prospered the most in the pandemic are those who have adapted quickly. Slow change could seriously be holding you back.

Most crucial of all is your action plan.

Your plan will draw all your other elements together in a workable guide. With an action plan, you’ll have milestones to meet so you know you’re on track, and you’ll be able to communicate to your team what needs to be done.

Putting together your action plan

Alongside our partners at Winning Pitch, we use a Growth Action Plan like the one above to help businesses set out precisely what they’re aiming for and how they’re going to get there.

Let’s return to our goal of introducing a more profitable revenue stream. We’ve helped businesses explore with their customers and the wider market the potential demand for a new product or service. We’ve introduced specialist marketing coaches who can help them describe the new offer in terms of the benefits it will deliver rather than the technicalities of how it works and we’ve introduced them to potential funding to help develop and commercialise their ideas.

We can help you figure out what your obstacles to growth are in a one-to-one session.

Further to the sales, the directors realise they need more cash flow. With sales down so dramatically for many businesses in the pandemic, this may be a common concern. In this case, we’ve recommended they work with an investment consultant to discuss funding options and decide which is best for them. Remember, you don’t have to have all the answers yourself: a core part of your plan might be calling on others’ expertise.

If you realise you need help with a specific area of your business, one of our associates can share their specialist knowledge with you.

Alongside their consultancy days, this business’ action plan includes attending a number of sessions from their local Growth Hub. While it may seem unnecessary to place a webinar in a business action plan like this, it’s worth committing it to paper.  When things get busy, you might be tempted to cancel your attendance. But seeing it the context of achieving your goals like this will help you stay focused on your vision.

Most local authorities run free or subsided workshops or webinars that can give you the wisdom you need to bring about change. Remember the equation above? Trying to alter your course without the necessary skills could bring about anxiety both in yourself and your team. Therefore, it’s well worth signing up to equip yourself with knowledge of things like planning strategically and selling successfully.

See which sessions we are delivering for SMEs in the north

If you’ve found this guide helpful, consider joining one of our business support programmes.

For those in the Humber, join the next cohort of the Scale Up Development programme which begins on 6th January. Our first session will be an Interactive Masterclass. Find out more about the programme and sign up on Humber Growth Hub’s website.