Five key strategies business people need to focus on during these challenging times

With the high uncertainty and anxiety in global markets due to the increasing impact of the Coronavirus it's very difficult to work out what to do first to ensure the continuity of businesses and livelihoods.

The market, which was already very changed, fatigued or impacted by other high severity events, it seems the addition of this very high stress, high severity situation has, in some cases, driven panic in some areas.

Questions abound such as:

  • How severe will its impact be?
  • Will we be safe?
  • When will it be resolved and all return to normal?
  • What strategies do we need to take and when?
  • What are the trigger points for these strategies?
  • What should we do first?


There are five key strategies we see business people need to focus on during these challenging times are:

1. Have a disaster scenario plan

Ensure you go through a scenario planning process as soon as possible to highlight what could happen in low, medium and high severity disaster scenarios. We can help you facilitate this process.

2. Be alert but not alarmed  

Panic will not help you, your team, your customers or your business. While decisive actions need to be taken, taking them too early or too late can have negative consequences. Check insurance policies, discuss supply chain options, adapt cash-flow projections, review leave policies, check if future meetings can be taken remotely, explore unnecessary travel reduction options to certain destinations, check the ability with your IT team to allow your team to work from home if required. Staying alert, listening to trusted media commentators and government bodies will guide thinking and be ready to make those tough decisions when and if required quickly. 

3. Continue open, authentic discussions 

Continue regular dialogue with your team, supply chain and customers about actions you are taking to mitigate risks and adapt to the ever-changing conditions. The narrative and severity will change weekly if not daily so regular discussion and updates are critical. 

4. Be on the offence not on defence for business continuity 

Start taking proactive action for business continuity if not already by being on the offence, not the defences. Pulling the covers up to ride out the storm is not an effective strategy to confidence in those around you. Measured decisions need to be taken. Are you on the front foot with your team, how are you helping your customers and explaining strategies to your supply chain? It could be there are also growth ‘opportunities’ which require you to grab hold of quickly.

5. Get ready for the uplift in market demand again  

As with all severe events globally, they do eventually clear, and while the disruption they leave behind can have a lasting impact business does return to normal. Ensure in your planning that if in the case of the Coronavirus this time frame is it 3 months, 6 months, 12 months or longer you are ready to capitalise on the opportunities that will present themselves as business returns to normal.

The Coronavirus is a very severe issue impacting the world and there is no doubt it will have a negative impact on many if not most globally. However, as always there are people working quickly on a solution that we would hope within 3-6 months will see communities and businesses start to return to business as usual.

We are here to help and can assist you and your team to get on the front foot with disaster scenario planning, cash flow management and guidance on making measured decisions.

Speak to your usual service delivery Manager at Whittingham Riddell or visit our contact us page here.

Visit our Coronavirus Hub for other useful updates & guidance

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