The problem with planning for post-COVID-19

The thumbnail version:

  • Nobody seems to know when post-COVID will be
  • Signs point to a longer haul than we all anticipated and hoped for
  • There are measures to take as part of planning
  • “Change” is beginning to look like an essential planning ingredient

The full version:

The problem with trying to build your business plan for a post-COVID is that nobody seems to know when post-COVID will be or what it will look like. On the plus side New Zealand seems to have it under control and returning to “normal” (have you seen the packed rugby stadiums?) whereas, on the minus side, our neighbours to the south don’t seem to be even close to coping. And also worrisome is that parts of Europe are seeing an uptick in cases again.

Even here in Canada (with the exception of the Maritime provinces) we’re still seeing a few hundred cases and some deaths a day. So how the heck do you build a business plan with such uncertainty? Well, it’s hard and the best you can expect to do is keep your plan fluid and:

  • Stay on top of developments by listening to informed opinions
  • Stay in touch with your customers so that you know where they stand
  • Stay in touch with suppliers to know where they stand
  • Look for opportunities resulting from the virus (there are some, such as masks)
  • Look for cost-saving opportunities (but don’t compromise your product quality)
  • Keep a close eye on overhead expenses and cut where you can
  • Keep a close eye on cash flow
  • Be aware that your staff are having a hard time too so do what you can to help them
  • Consult with experts such as your accountant, financial planners etc.
  • Take care of your health (more about this in an upcoming post)

There’s no magic solution and the signs are that the pandemic is far from over (despite what some overly-optimistic writers, ‘experts’, and politicians may be saying), so plan accordingly.

It may be time to remind ourselves what Charles Darwin wrote: