How has COVID-19 affected your customers?
COVID-19 may have significantly changed customer priorities, buying patterns and distribution channel preferences.
Consider how products, operations and markets will change with COVID-19. Outline a handful of future scenarios with plans to handle each.
Why it matters
New information is pouring in each day about the virus, the economy reopening and what it means for your business. Your head may be spinning with possibilities for how this plays out.
Organize your planning around a handful of future scenarios. Build simple plans for each that anticipate future conditions and prepare you for what’s ahead.
How is COVID-19 altering your business? What changes do you have to prepare for to keep your business relevant?
Modify short- and long-term goals
Look forward to the recovering economy and imagine how you can thrive. Where do you want to be in six months? A year? Five years?
Sketch out a few scenarios
Come up with 3 to 5 scenarios resulting from COVID-19. Identify the markers—public health recommendations, business restrictions, customer impact—that will help you recognize each.
List the major effects
For each scenario, list the major effects on your business, including staff, physical plant, supply chain, marketplace, and customers. How can your business survive a resurgence of the virus or future stay-at-home order?
Formulate a response to each scenario, clarifying your priorities and weighing short-term survival against long-term success. Outline your plans in our easy-to-use Scenario Planner. opens in a new tab
Revisit your original vision
Look again at where you’re going and what you want to accomplish. Is your dream still the same? Does it need to be stated in a new way, or should it change dramatically?
Don’t forget your personal goals
Business income—both compensation and owner distributions—may be at risk. You may need to turn to personal resources to support your business to recovery. Talk to your banker to reexamine your personal and business financial situation.
Use community resources and business advisors
Staying up to date on the perspectives and actions of others in the business community can guide your decisions. Trade associations, bankers, lawyers, business mentors, insurance brokers and health care professionals can provide valuable advice. Keep up with the latest from the Centers for Disease Control and from Truist.
Review your business plan
Look at areas affected by COVID-19 and your customers’ responses to the crisis. Is your market the same? Are your competitors the same? Be ready for an in-depth review of your staff skills and staffing levels.
What are you willing to risk for your business to move forward? How much risk can you afford? You may need business insurance more than ever if your resources are weakened by the pandemic.