Develop and grow new revenue streams | Sunday Observer

Develop and grow new revenue streams

11 October, 2020

Organisations of all sizes and across all sectors need to plan for further disruptions. Blind spots can hurt you anytime. It’s a difficult task for those on your team who have been working round the clock to adapt to changes during the pandemic.

Develop a contingency plan for going into company shutdown mode. What does your weekly or monthly budget look like if you suspend operations? How much cash would you need to cover your weekly expenses in this scenario?

If your business was lucky enough to develop an alternative revenue stream during the pandemic, consider investing in the growth of that new direction. For others who have not yet found an alternative source of income, it’s time to think creatively.

What do your customers need right now, and how could you fill that need? How does this dovetail with your existing products and services?

Your brand already has an audience; you just need to pivot to meet them where they are right now. Covid-19 exposed supply chain and logistics vulnerabilities for companies worldwide, especially those that rely on single source providers or suppliers concentrated in specific geographic areas. Evaluate supply chain risk based on the likelihood of further disruption.

Spike in absenteeism likely

In the current environment, absenteeism is inevitable that may affect especially manufacturing operations. So identify essential functions and cross-train employees to ensure necessary staffing if absenteeism spikes.

Covid-19 exposed operating risks for companies, including overreliance on some personnel to perform critical functions. This presents an operational threat and puts added pressure on individuals tasked with performing these functions. Remote work became a hallmark of the pandemic for businesses.

For those that could remain operational at a distance, this has been a major benefit. If your business shifted to a remote-first approach to work during the pandemic, consider making those policies permanent. If your shift to remote work was fraught with challenge, assess what went wrong and try to improve upon those mistakes. The time is now to evaluate what worked and what you need to improve in terms of online business and remote work.

Put those plans and systems in place now. That is an investment that may very well make the difference between maintaining continuity of operations or shutting down completely.

Develop a formal process for implementing Delegations of Authority and other financial and legal processes so they can be executed remotely.

Ideally, you should have layers two-deep, so you always have at least one available backup. Build a systematic method for suspending, closing and resuming operations.The process you implemented during the first wave should serve as a guide. Document all the steps so you can implement them consistently and quickly for any business disruption. Set up or if you already have, update your succession plan should something happen to you or one of your critical employees so the business can continue. All businesses, regardless of size, should have a disaster and business continuity plan in place, along with a crisis team that is ready to put that plan into action.

Communicate with customers

It remains as pivotal as ever that you keep everyone – your employees and customers alike – fully apprised of your plans and expectations during the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only is it important for your business to keep everyone informed, but your customers and employees are looking to your brand for support at an uncertain and difficult time. Offer that support in a direct and easily understood way. The most important aspect of making all of this happen effectively is communication. Businesses must plan to communicate often with their employees and their customers on a regular basis.

Whatever your unique situation, it is critical to develop a contingency plan. Even if second-wave business closures don’t materialise, you will be well positioned for any other unforeseen crises, such as natural disasters or social upheaval. If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that all businesses must expect the unexpected; this preparation could be the difference between surviving and closing your business permanently.

In 2020, we have learned the significance of a business disaster continuity plan. Don’t be caught without one, should things take a turn for the worse.