By Giselle Hudson
(4 Minute Read)
Business continuity planning is a component of building business resilience in normal times, but it is
especially critical now as you ready yourself for a post COVID-19 reality. For businesses to survive,
especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), you must be able to adapt your operations to this new
It is definitely overwhelming having to do business now especially with new laws, and regulations yet it is imperative you chart a recovery action plan for your business if you want to survive.
In the last year you have been living through the effects of the Pandemic and responding accordingly.
Now it’s time to recover and learn so you can set yourself up to thrive in the future.
Recovery can be segmented into three critical actions:
Keep in mind, as you go through each step, every decision you make today will affect your business
tomorrow. This means you have to be flexible and open-minded, willing to change on the fly, while
remaining calm enough not to make hasty decisions.
Reflect: Where Are You Now?
This is a great time to look at what you can continue doing, what you need to adjust, what you need to
start doing and what you definitely need to stop doing. Make a list of all the things that have worked.
Those are definitely things you want to keep doing. Think back to scenarios where you felt proud of
yourself – for the decisions you made and the actions you took. What was your mood? How did you feel
about yourself? While this may appear to be too touchy feely it’s important because mindset is critical.
Jot down all the things you’ve learned. Talk to your team. Get their input. What are some things that you missed and what might you need to change so that this situation does not re reoccur? How has
everything affected the people that work for you? What about your customers’ needs, how have those
needs changed now because of COVID-19? What is the current financial health of your business? What do you need to do to get your cash flow in order? Do you need to talk to your bank about recapitalisation?
Restart: What Can You Kick Start Now?
At this point you need your ‘start- up’ cap. You need to adopt a start-up mindset with a bias to action over research and testing over analysis. Time is of essence at this point. You want to remain focused on
solutions that are available now. You have no time to reinvent the wheel. What are the few, important
steps you need to restart? What are the products your customers are guiding you to offer? When it
comes to employees, ask yourself, what kind of employee do you need onboard, to restart? What
adjustments do you need to make to comply with COVID-19 restrictions and any new laws that
previously didn’t exist? How has your supply landscape changed and what do you need to do to adapt to
whatever is needed in your sector in the future?
Revitalise: How Can You Start to Shape Your Future?
What opportunities has COVID-19 revealed to you and your team? What did you learn from staff working remotely? Did productivity improve and how could you leverage this information to optimise going forward? Are there opportunities to offer virtual services? How have you been communicating with customers? Were you consistent, letting them know what was going on every step of the way? Or did you drop the ball? That’s OK. Now is the time to fix any reputation issues that you might have.
In this Mc Kinsey article, Rapid Revenue A Recovery: A road map for post-COVID-19 growth, the authors
cite speed, agility, and a new understanding of customer values as the keys to navigating the next
normal. To drive rapid action, companies will need to rethink their operating model, building it around
how their people work best. The COVID-19 pandemic has become an inflection point in the shift to
digital, but the best companies are moving quickly to enhance and expand their digital channels.
How do you put all of this into action?
Step 1: Prioritize
Step 2: Act with urgency
Step 3: Ensure you remain agile and flexible.
It’s important to know why you need to be both. When a business is flexible, it is able to make changes
within the current organisational system, while agile businesses are able to change the overall system
completely in response to an external force.
These actions can help you bridge the crisis response to a successful future, by laying the foundation to
thrive in the aftermath of the crisis. This Deloitte Australia Workbook curated by the Deloitte Private
COVID-19 response market leadership team, provides deeper insight, “This will not be a typical recovery:
COVID-19 is unlikely to end suddenly given the evolving nature of the virus and the uncertain prospects
and timing of vaccines. Businesses must plan for multiple scenarios and time horizons, as they shift from
crisis response to recovery. Businesses should also plan for the possibility of multiple waves of the
pandemic and its continuing global—and uneven—footprint. Business owners need to establish critical
priorities for the next 12 to 24 months as they position for new realities.”
Success and happiness result from how well you manage rapidly accelerating change which subsequently influences the quality of the strategic decisions you make. A passage from the I Ching or The Book of Changes advises: “Only by being adaptable to the demands of the times, can a great leader emerge. Only by adjusting to changing circumstances can one prosper in the world of commerce.”