As the economy recovers, now is the perfect time to reassess your business plans and build new ones that are better optimised for the new world.
Whilst you’re reworking your roadmap, don’t forget to put a few vital tasks at the top of your to-do list.
Figuring out what cash flow looks like over the coming months, scenario planning and making the most of the customers you have should be top of any business agenda. The world is evolving — and it’s going to keep changing for the foreseeable future.
So here’s how to take back control, build for a new reality and return to growth.
Plan your finances
Plan pragmatically. Consider all scenarios and know that you will have to continue to reevaluate your cash flow forecasts and adjust accordingly.
But not everything comes down to masterful cash flow planning. If your business is in need of a funding fix to survive, VC funding is not your only option (and unlikely to be the speediest).
Consider vendor financing from a B2B supplier, or receivables financing — from banks or invoice factoring companies — to help you get access to unpaid invoices quicker.
Map out multiple scenarios
Thought that forecasting was a challenge before? Now it’s definitely more complicated. The importance of scenario planning has been further elevated as businesses deal with what the past few months have thrown at them.
Reassess old plans and build them back up from zero; it’s not enough to just restart, you need to rethink everything. Look at new sales forecasts, rethink expenses, assess your burn rate — and make plans for a range of different scenarios that might play out.
Look at new sales forecasts, rethink expenses, assess your burn rate — and make plans for a range of different scenarios that might play out.
To improve your forecasting, run a sensitivity analysis to simulate the impact decisions you take might have in a range of situations. That way you’ll be able to flag potential issues before they become a big problem and find alternative solutions quicker.
It’s not just about sales either. Account for everything — from loyal customers experiencing cash flow challenges to supply chains being impacted. Don’t turn a blind eye to future challenges that could put your business at risk. The more you plan, and the more scenarios you think through, the better prepared you’ll be for whatever obstacles you face in the short- and long-term.
Make the most of your customers — existing and new
Landing new (and looking after existing) customers can be tricky and expensive, but it’s worth the time and resources when it can be done effectively at a time where revenues are hard to come by. Determining which customer segments are buying and still actively engaged is crucial.
Data is your best friend here. Use both public and untapped internal data to find out which industries are likely to be least impacted by the scenarios you’ve mapped out — and focus your attention on the customers in that space.
If it’s customer acquisition you’re after, marketing is your other friend. Test the waters with low-cost marketing channels, and identify the ones that give the biggest return on investment. This could be driving demand through search engine optimisation or email marketing.
Managing cash flow, scenario planning and making the most of your customers is just the start. CFOs will also need to pay close attention to their business model, health and safety requirements, pricing, staff and much more in the short-term.
What are the next steps that CFOs can take to tackle these challenges? Oracle NetSuite, a cloud-based business management software company, has it all covered in this new guide. Oracle NetSuite’s software is already used by over 21,000 companies to make quick and efficient decisions.