As a young man, I craved stability. I hoped my first career in the Army would provide that. One day in a maneuver training Area near Hohenfels, Germany, a captain who was evaluating my platoon told me, “The only thing constant in the Army is change.” My plans for stability were dashed and he could not have been more right.
We jump into 2021 with a bad pandemic hangover. The situation is tenuous, but millions are being vaccinated every week, a glimmer of hope for a world on hold. Simultaneously we will have an administration change in America later this month. Chaos and uncertainty reign. How should we plan for our SMBs with all this in mind?
We have been engaged with dozens of small and medium businesses throughout 2020. Creating strategic pivots, making smart line-up adjustments, finding new problems to solve, and looking around corners as the world and markets reacted to COVID-19. I would encourage business owners and their teams to approach planning with three things in mind.
- See-through the fog of the first six months of 2021 and make smart assumptions about an economy that is 90% re-engaged. What would that mean for your market and team?
- We are not going back to old business plans/models, so much has changed. Some competition is gone. We know how to operate virtually when needed. Entrepreneurs win because they see problems, find solutions, and adapt faster than others. Leverage that strength.
- Plan B and C, and maybe D. As you put your business plan together, brainstorm with your team about likely scenarios you will face in the first six months. Create formal contingency plans for them. Thinking and planning through contingencies makes us faster than the competition. The ‘group think’ of strong teams is more accurate than you would ever imagine.
We want the SMB community to emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever. You care more about your families and communities than big business ever will. If you need help with a planning process and a group to brainstorm with check out this Business Planning Xcelerator (BPX) on February 5, 2021.