Stuck Between "STOP" and "GO."
Never in the history of our country has every industry experienced a stop order at the same time. Maybe you have never experienced a stop order in your business at all. Being stuck between stop and go, you may be hesitant to re-tool in the hopes that this is just temporary. It may be, but you still need to figure out how to make money today. At the same time, all eyes need to be on the future and what can be. Emotions are very high right now. Business leaders let out a collective 'arghhhhh' with the announcement of the continuation of shelter in place. The hype and excitement about government support are turning to frustration as the engine can't churn out the money in a timely and communicative manner. We all want to get back to normal, though we silently agree that we don't know what normal is. We all want a chance to work and to succeed without circumstantial constraints. The best action right now is a full dive into understanding current circumstances. The goal is to find opportunities for today and the future. Start by looking at the impact of the mandated restrictions. Some portions of business stopped altogether, others have opportunities to move forward, though significantly different than usual. Understanding what the competition is doing is equally as important. They have either closed or are open with a unique way to succeed. Either way, it’s crucial information for your company. With the information from the deep dive, you know where you are and where you can go. Any opportunities or improvements uncovered through this exercise should be implemented immediately and measured for effectiveness. The tricky part is looking forward to what recovery can look be. With an unprecedented event, there is no playbook to follow, and no one has the answer to how we will recover. We know that we will. We know there will be parts of it we can control and influence, and there will be other parts where we have to respond the best we can. Full operational recovery and full sales recovery is highly optimistic, but an opportunity to prepare for none the less. Full operational recovery with low demand may be a more likely scenario. Getting to recovery may require incremental operational recovery in tandem with demand. Making a plan for all three scenarios positions your company to be able to respond quickly to the coming adjustment. Nothing is foolproof, but a plan is better than confusion and paralysis.