Get Ready for the Recovery
By CSSP, Inc.
The recovery will come. Regardless of whatever pain and turmoil you may have been through during the last year, you have managed to survive. It's time to begin thinking about what you need to do in order to be ready for better times ahead. While you cannot be sure of the timing, you can prudently prepare yourself for the upswing. Here are three important actions that you should be taking right now:
- Sustain your Marketing Message
- Align your Supply Chain
- Assess your Human Capital
Consider this recovery planning effort to be the opposite of the contingency planning you do when you are bracing for a downturn. The potential for increased sales, profits and market share will be realized by those companies that are ready when the party starts.
Sustain Your Marketing Message
It is wise to maintain your marketing efforts during a downturn. Depending on how hard hit you have been in the last several months, you may have made drastic reductions in your marketing efforts and expenditures. Regardless of the present condition of your marketing program, it is time now to polish your message and begin to get your customers excited about your products and services again. Use the resources at your disposal and the weeks or months that remain before the recovery gains serious momentum to renew your customers' inclination to buy from you.
Align Your Supply Chain
As they say in business: Timing is everything. Constantly monitor your prospects for improving sales and strive to completely understand the impact that your supply lead times will have on your ability to satisfy demand as it picks up speed. You want business to improve; your suppliers are also eager to see you increase your orders. Spend extra time in contact with your vendors and make sure you are prepared to match your lead times with the pace of increased sales. The idea here is to make sure you do not drop a single order due to a shortage on the supply side of your business equation. When the recovery picks up steam, expect that the entire supply chain will need to re-stock inventories to be responsive to rising demand. Your readiness in this area not only puts you in a position to recover your lost sales, it allows you to gain market share if your competition is not taking similar steps.
Assess Your Human Capital
You may still be reeling from the anguish of having released valued long-term employees. As business picks up, you will be more likely to be in hiring mode again. With the same energy and analytical skills that you dedicate to examining your physical supply lines and support services, it is time to assess your human capital needs and tune up your recruiting and hiring processes. There is plenty of talent available in the market right now. Be ready to support all aspects of your business as the economy and your customers' activity levels provide you with the confidence to re-load.
If short-term cash flow is still a compelling tactical concern, plan your near-term expenditures around variable costs and minimize your financial risk. Spend money on activities that are connected directly to near-term sales and profits.
- Add marketing money where it is most likely to recapture sales immediately.
- Begin to replenish your supplies inventory in those areas that are likely to be translated into sales, cash flow and profits as soon as possible.
- Add people to operations processes that will directly contribute to your bottom line.
By following these three guidelines, you will see the short-term tactical benefits to your business health that will enable you to once again pursue your long-term strategic aspirations.
You can reach the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. at .