A Checklist for What You Can Do to Make Your New Future
By Donna Hover, Chapter Co-Chair, SCORE of Southeast Michigan
It seems like everybody is talking about “surviving the pandemic” and, What will business be like in "the new normal”? What I’m not hearing enough of is, "How do I recreate my business to be stronger and more resilient, both now and well into the future? This is where many entrepreneurs should be turning their focus right now—beyond surviving and ahead to thriving!
Will it be easy? Of course not. Crises never are. But here is my recommended checklist for those who have the fortitude to charge ahead despite the challenges before them:
- Believe in your faith; we will get through this.
- COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE AND COMMUNICATE AGAIN.
- What things can we STOP doing?
- How do we redo our business plan for greater success?
- Identify and eliminate bad behaviors or practices.
- Talk to people (mentors, other CEOs): What are the new best practices for a digital operating plan?
- What does a digital operating plan look like for our business?
- How do I move to ALL digital operating procedures (i.e., Quickbooks, Zoom, Asana, CRM system, etc.)?
- What does my new strategic plan look like? (I truly can create whatever I want to serve anybody from any location!)
- Who do I need as partners, and who is holding me back?
- What customers do I want as my "partners" in life going forward?
- Which bank are you going to have a relationship with—NOT just a checking account?! (Now is the time to do your research. Watch which banks are helpful to small businesses.
- How do I better communicate and prepare my employees going forward?
- What new statements do I put in my “Policy & Procedure” manual?
- COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE...even if you don’t have all the answers!
- Get an outside payroll service! What do you need them to do?
- Streamline your product and service offerings.
- Streamline you bookkeeping activities. Get weekly reports on your financials starting TODAY. And get outside help, such as mentors, to help you read and understand what the numbers mean to your company and your strategy. Your numbers are not good/bad – it depends on your goals and your strategy. Don’t let anyone tell you your numbers are BAD. If someone (a customer) wants to judge you on your numbers – walk away! You don’t need them.
- Now is a great opportunity to get rid of all your past mistakes, and leverage/duplicate what is working – meaning, where are you MAKING money BEFORE the devastating event occurred?
I hope you will use this...as inspiration, as guidance, as motivation. As difficult as it might be to imagine right now, there will be an "after-COVID" era. So you might as well start preparing both yourself and your business for it today.
In the meantime, time marches on, and so too must your company!
About the Author
Donna Hover serves as Chapter Chair for SCORE of Southeast Michigan. Donna started her own management consulting firm in 1987, servicing automotive suppliers with revenue between $125 and $800 million. She ultimately grew the firm to 17 employees over 10 years. She would go on to organize the first CEO roundtable for automotive suppliers in 1987 and later started a nonprofit inside her own company, transitioning it to a formal nonprofit years later. Donna sold her company in 2001, accumulating 30 years experience teaching/advising CEOs of mature second- and third-generation companies—CEOs with eight years or more experience—how to grow a mature company by adding new innovation, products and technology.