How To Navigate Your Business In An Uncertain Future: The Importance Of Planning Ahead
Right now, we’re working through a global pandemic, seeing interest rates at historic lows and waiting on bated breath for the results of one of the most high-stakes elections in modern history.
To say the future is uncertain, at this point, is an understatement.
During these unprecedented times, it can be tempting to go on the defense. However, the best approach is a proactive one – and that requires planning ahead. Here are a few tips to make sure you have your bases covered.
Plan For Various Scenarios
Just as you should have an emergency action plan for fires and natural disasters, you should have plans in place for future events that could impact your business. This is called scenario planning.
The first step is identifying the driving forces or what may cause big shifts in the future. For your business, these may include technology, the economy and consumer behavior.
Once you identify these forces, consider different scenarios that could happen in each one. For example, you could experience a data hack, a pandemic that causes nationwide shutdowns and skyrocketing unemployment or a drop in housing demand.
For each scenario, brainstorm ways with your team to safeguard your business or prevent the scenario from affecting it in the first place. Reach out to your Account Executive who can strategize with you and your team.Create various responses to each scenario with different predicted outcomes. Finally, determine how you plan to help your business recover from disaster, should it occur.
Stay Up-To-Date On Current Affairs
Today’s headlines may seem bleak and difficult to read, but while ignorance may be bliss, it won’t help your business. Staying up-to-date on current affairs can help you stay a step ahead of the competition and better plan and pivot when it comes to your scenario planning.
For example, you’ll want to keep an eye on economic indicators, follow Federal Reserve decisions and pay attention to economic updates and forecasts to see how your business could be affected. QLMS makes it easy to stay current on what’s going on in the industry and beyond with our newsroom on our website.
Revisit And Modify Often
Scenario planning is not a one-and-done process. As your business and the world around it change, so may your plans. You’ll want to revisit your plan to ensure it’s still meeting the current and future needs of your business and address the most probable future threats based on current events and new data you receive.
Check In With Your Team
Another way to make it through times of uncertainty is to make sure your team is feeling supported and informed. When creating your scenario plans, consider what team members will be affected most and how. Then plan for ways to mitigate these impacts. If the situation calls for another work-from-home requirement, have plans in place to stay connected to your team.
Make sure you have frequent check-ins with your team now and in the future to see how they’re feeling and help alleviate any concerns. Host Q&As and townhalls with team members, have one-on-one meetings, send out quarterly surveys, provide opportunities for team members to share their thoughts and make sure to conduct routine performance reviews to ensure everyone is on the same page with clear, aligned goals.