There are some significant business challenges that business owners now need to both understand and attempt to manage.
Cash flow is king – and businesses need to operate within their existing cash flow forecasts (and assume at least a 20% decline in sales revenue). Government stimulus packages will provide some positive cashflow offsets in 2020. In the meantime, a cash flow forecast for 2020/2021 should be developed by every business, to give owners and managers peace of mind that they can trade their way out of this downturn.
New ways of working have been implemented during the lockdown, and some aspects of that labour flexibility may need to continue and become the norm for the business. This may also provide an opportunity for businesses to reduce their office rental footprint and costs. Most businesses will now be heavily invested in cloud computing solutions. These are likely to remain, providing a technological platform for expanded remote worker operations, including online meetings which should reduce business travel demands and costs.
As businesses re-build they will be hesitant about rapidly increasing their labour costs. They may also find that their ongoing labour needs have reduced and may seek a higher calibre of candidate to back-fill any vacancies. With over 10% of the population forecast to be unemployed, candidate numbers will be high, and it will include some highly capable applicants for most vacancies.
Leaders and managers will need to continue to demonstrate high levels of resilience and leadership. They are navigating their business through an array of challenges, many which are out of their control – so communication and flexibility will be core to their messaging and performance.
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