Uncertain. Uneasy. Unending?
The coronavirus has upended lives with speed and ferocity, and during these unprecedented and frightening times attention shifts to the short-term naturally and by necessity. In business, an annual forecast is obsolete, cash flow is now evaluated daily and decisions need to be made quickly and decisively to navigate this environment.
Looking past the present is challenging. So much is unknown – how can we possibly come out of this? It’s human nature to think this is like a toggle switch. We turned the world off, and at some point, we’ll turn it back on again. Of course, it’s not that simple: not for you or your business. When the lights went out, the toggle switch was replaced by a dimmer switch. What’s more, the virus has completely rearranged the furniture in all this darkness. Yet, at some point, we’ll begin to turn the lights back up (we already have in some ways), and the new world layout for our business will start to come into clearer view.
While maintaining focus on the current situation, you also need to look ahead. Regardless of how extensively your business has been impacted by COVID-19, recovery will depend on the trajectory you establish as we re-emerge into the new and different post-pandemic world. Some businesses have pivoted already – apparel companies have converted to become personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers; breweries are making sanitizing gel. A few businesses are growing due to the crisis – videoconferencing and telehealth demand has skyrocketed. But for the great majority, the impact has been negative – from modest to disastrous.