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Special Edition – COVID19 – Tactical Management Plan

The world is gripped by and grappling with the impact of Coronavirus right now.

Whether you believe it is overblown or real, the fact remains the situation is moving quickly and will have, in my opinion, a significant impact for many family businesses across the globe.

In response to the quickly evolving situation, here is my advice to family business owners and managers as to what they need to be doing, tactically, right now to deal with the situation.

1.   Accessible Cash

  1. You should review your accessible cash immediately to determine if you have anywhere between 4 to 12 weeks accessible cash.
  2. By accessible cash, I mean not just cash reserves, but what facilities you can draw down on at short notice to top up your cash reserves.
  3. Remember, cash doesn’t just mean expenses you’ve paid out. It includes loan and finance payments, tax payments and dividend payments.

  2. Clear and Firm HR Policies

  1. You should review your Sick and Personal leave policies to ensure they are clear about they do and don’t constitute.
  2. You should have a clear Virus Containment policy in place that spells out what your expectations are of your staff if they are diagnosed with Coronavirus.
  3. If your staff do decide to travel internationally for Annual Leave, it is my opinion the 14 day self isolation period on return is Annual Leave and not Sick or Personal Leave – if they cannot work remotely from home.
  4. You need to consider what your plans are for employees taking paid or unpaid leave in the event that work turns quiet and when you may invoke those plans.

 3.Defined Workplace Health Policies

  1. Your workplace health and safety policies should have clear and specific details around hygiene and health.
  2. You should communicate these policies to your staff either virtually or in person – and you should have all staff sign off on these measures.
  3. You should advise all your subcontractors what your workplace health and safety polices are and also have them sign off on it.
  4. You should review what you need to do in terms of vehicles, equipment and business premises and elevating the level of hygiene around each of those.

 4.Sensible Stock Management

  1. You should review your stock levels and determine how much available supply you have?
  2. Where you believe you may fall short on supply, you need to consider alternate supply lines or contract variations that might enable an alternate product to be specified.
  3. You need to consider how you will manage in your business if stock is delayed for between 4 to 12 weeks.

  5.Flexible Workflow Plans

  1. You should be in constant contact with your clients to confirm your work in advance.
  2. If you are in the professional services space, you can still conduct meetings via Skype, Zoom or Phone.
  3. If you are in the health space, you should consider what proactive measures you can take with your clients and patients to give them certainty in uncertain times. Phoning to confirm appointments and the health of patients prior to arriving for appointments springs to mind.
  4. If you are in the food services space, how do you make it easier for your customers to purchase from you if they can’t get out?
  5. Some businesses will need to create gaps in their diaries to be prepared for an influx of work.
  6. Other business will need to prepare for unexpected gaps in their diaries.

 6. Proactive Marketing

  1. Right now, don’t give up on any marketing plans. They may need to change, but some of your clients will need you now more than ever.
  2. You will differentiate yourself from your competitors if you make proactive contact with them and ask them how they may need your help.
  3. Take a moment to consider your top ten clients and where you believe they may need your help – but haven’t yet considered where they may need it.

  7.  Leadership

  1. Remain calm.
  2. Be firm.
  3. Don’t panic.
  4. Remain in constant contact with your staff – the situation continues to rapidly evolve.
  5. Continue to roll out information to your staff and clients.
  6. Constantly review the situation to see what you will need to change.
  7. Update policies and procedures as you see fit to do so.
  8. Stay informed – but limit the information to facts, not hyperbole.
  9. Continue looking ahead.

This time will pass and it is my belief that when it does, there will be pent up demand in the economy. Right now, family business owners and managers need to elevate their tactics and the timeliness of implementing those tactics in a fluid situation.

Should you or any of your colleagues, business associates or clients require assistance right now, feel free to reach out. We are available to help you with your tactical plans to ensure your business endures the current situation and emerges from it more resilient for the next phase.