When my colleagues and I first started evaluating how to help our clients react to the pandemic, we were not quite sure where to start. There was no doubt what we were experiencing, and what was unfolding in front of us, was going to be different than anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes.
As the crisis continues to progress in stages, businesses - depending on industry, economics, and locale – will experience those stages at different times and with different outcomes. In Mid-March of 2020, business vaulted into a new reality that forced enterprise leadership to look at their businesses in a fundamentally different way as a result of a new environment that they had little control over. The focus became reactive, forcing a survival mentality that meant getting back to the basics. The primary concern became creating and accessing the necessary funding to maintain operations, keep business open, and continue pushing forward.
Over the last couple of weeks, many businesses have moved through crisis management towards reopening and reengagement. The have secured funding, through stimulus loans or extensions of credits from their primary lenders, created, monitored, and managed to thirteen week cash flow forecasts, and made difficult decisions about cutting, or deferring costs, and securing supply chains. For many, the focus has shifted towards how to adapt business models to changes in the global economic ecosystem.
For companies in industries where revenues and supply chains have held, many have already adapted novel operating practices, reinventing themselves to take advantage of opportunities created during this time.
Regardless of which stage a business is at, business enterprises that utilize a focused, planned approach to the future have the best chance of finding their way to the next stage. To assist those businesses, we developed a Transition Playbook for small to middle market companies which recognizes the three stages that companies will move through during their transition: Crisis Management, Recovery & Reinvention, and Future Reimagined. These are the stages during which businesses stabilize, recover, and reinvent themselves.
In each of the stages the Playbook defines the key attributes and activities that a company should undertake to navigate their current situation and prepare themselves for the next stage. For example, in the Crisis Management Stage, a company should focus its efforts around cash flow forecasting and management, using this as tools to identify and drive activities that will allow the company to continue to operate. In the Recovery Stage, as company operations begin to stabilize, the focus shifts to include an assessment of the companies economic ecosystem, the disruptions that have occurred, and the changes that are required to the Business Model. Finally, Future Reimagined involves recognizing and adapting to the lessons learned over the last several months in ways that strengthen and position your company, and yourself, for the future.
In order to effectively navigate through these stages, a company must assess its starting point. In our COVID-19 Response Unit web page, we’ve developed an Endurance Assessment which provides a company with critical insights and benchmarks concerning its preparedness for what is ahead. It also provides a focused approach to areas of focus and improvement, so you can navigate upcoming business decisions with confidence.
All of these tools and resources have equipped us to truly put the focus on how we can support our clients through the unknowns yet to come. Take a moment and learn more about Citrin Cooperman and let us worry about the future, so you can focus on what counts now.