The Pandemic Isn’t The Last Disruptor You Will Face: How To Get Ready For The Next One

If your company was lucky enough to survive the pandemic, you probably breathed a sigh of relief. But if luck got you through, you’re not out of the woods yet. Luck is not a strategy. Happiness is not what will get you through next time.

next time you say Sure, Covid-19 was a once-in-a-generation pandemic. It would be easy to dismiss this as something that is unlikely to happen again in our lives. And maybe it is. But the Covid-19 pandemic should be a metaphor for every unlikely event that could happen to your business. It should be a lesson that preparing for “the unlikely” is what you need to do now.

What “unlikely” events can you think of? I can easily think of many. Here are just a few:

  • A new competitor shows up out of the blue with a product that completely replaces your half price product.
  • The government passes a new law that will limit or eliminate your competitive advantage. Maybe it eliminates all patent protection rights. Perhaps new taxes will be imposed on any product that doesn’t advance the green agenda. It may decide that your company has violated antitrust laws. The point is, if I’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that the government can do whatever it wants, whenever it wants.
  • Your employees are taking off work, leaving you with unreasonable demands for cost increases that you can’t afford.

If you think most of these scenarios are unlikely, you might be right. But then again, so was the Covid-19 pandemic. So better be prepared for the “unlikely”. How you do that?

A common denominator of all unlikely scenarios is a massive, sudden and unexpected drop in sales. There’s only one way to deal with it. And that’s what you call a strong record.

The most important thing you can do to prepare for the next pandemic is to support it. reduce debt. Reduce unnecessary expenses. Resist the urge to make big bets on the future. Don’t spend on something that won’t pay for itself in 12-18 months.

I know what you’re thinking. If I do all this, I’m jeopardizing the future of the company. What about strategic planning?

My definition of strategic planning is: It costs a lot of money, takes a lot of time and results in little more than a thick book that you put on the shelf and dusted off in 3 years.

There is no future for your business if you cannot survive today. I once worked in a turnaround. We had to choose between paying the paycheck or paying the utility bill. Cash was king. We didn’t think 3 years in advance. We thought 3 days.

This has taught me to always have precise awareness and control over every aspect of the business. I carefully monitored the sales on a daily basis. Not monthly and not quarterly, though Daily. If daily sales were below what they should be for more than a few days, I would ask my sales team tough questions. You need very early warning of a sales crisis.

My philosophy then as now is: do your numbers today and you will do your numbers tomorrow. Do your numbers this week and you will do them this month. Don’t think you can catch up on a missed quarter in the next quarter.

Think the unthinkable. Prepare for the unimaginable. Here is an example. I sit on a health council. Just before the pandemic, one of our members asked what we would do if we suddenly couldn’t perform elective surgeries that generate significant revenue. Most people in the room, including myself, thought this was such an unlikely event that it wasn’t worth planning for. Guess what, that’s exactly what happened a few months later. This taught me that, as painful and uncomfortable as it may be, planning for the unlikely is an essential part of preparing for your next crisis.

And make no mistake. Your next crisis is imminent. It’s not a question of if, but when. Planning for this requires as much effort as planning for anything else in the business. Any plan you create for a crisis must include a quick and decisive reduction in operational costs and headcount. Don’t hesitate when a crisis hits. Waiting and hoping for the best is not a good strategy. Every day you delay cutting costs is a day of lost profits you can never recapture. Once the win is gone, it’s gone forever.

Don’t make the mistake of only planning for growth and good times. Take off your blinders and plan for the worst of times.

Written by Steven L Blue.
Did you read?
The Future is Global by Theodore (Ted) Clark.
Science-Based Strategies to Manage Stress and Improve Your Digital Life by Dr. Diane Lennard.
Leaders: Is Your Greatest Strength Actually Your Greatest Weakness? by Antonio Garrido.
Why smarter collaboration should be high on every leader’s agenda by Heidi K. Gardner.
Ros Weadman’s 5-Step Plan to Build an Awesome Reputation.

Follow the latest news live on CEOWORLD magazine and get news updates from across the United States and around the world. The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of CEOWORLD magazine.

Follow CEOWORLD magazine headlines on: Google News, LinkedIn, Twitterand Facebook.
Thank you for supporting our journalism. Subscribe here.

For media inquiries please contact: [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *