please come in open for business sign

Let’s face it. Lockdown has been, and continues to be, a rollercoaster. We have all been trying to cope with a new way of life and a new way of working, plus all of the emotions that come with it, whilst doing our best to keep our businesses going. But with the Government expected to start to tell us more about their plans for what comes next this week, it’s also time to think about where we, as business owners, are heading. So – do you have a business plan for after lockdown?

Time to plan

Last week Chloe and I spent several hours doing exactly this. Our lockdown experience has, as a business, so far been spent keeping things going, and focussed on making sure we are able to support our existing clients. We just haven’t had the time or the headspace to think about growth or innovation.

But while that’s understandable, the expectation of an announcement from the Government at some point this week makes it the time to think about next steps. So that’s exactly what we did. We reviewed and brainstormed. Spent time crunching the numbers. We strategised and planned. Made decisions. And we came away with two rather sizeable mind-maps that set out our plans.

And the result? While slightly daunted by the amount of work in those mind-maps, we came away rejuvenated and excited by what the future holds.

But what about you? Have you taken the time to develop a business plan for after lockdown? If not, here are a few tips to get started:

1. Research

business plan SWOT analysis

This is an important one. Every good plan should be based on it. Take some time to research what’s been happening and what experts in your industry are predicting. Where might your business fit in to the new world? Is it likely to be a case of pick up where you left off? Or have the needs and wants of your customers changed? It might even be a case that you simply can’t continue as you did before and so need to innovate to survive.

A handy tool to capture your thoughts is a SWOT Analysis. If this is a new tool for you, all you need is a grid like the one shown here.

2. Talk

Now is a great time to check in with your customers. You can do this directly through things like surveys, polls or actually actually speaking them. Or you can check in indirectly through tools like Google Analytics or social media insights.

What do they actually want from you both now and in the future? What are their preferences and habits likely to be? The more informed you are, the better your business plan for after lockdown will be.

3. Ideas

We all have it. That list of ideas that you’ll look into when you have time. When you’re not so busy. When you don’t have people to see and places to go. But aside from the home-schooling, care-giving and permitted hour of exercise-ing, perhaps that time is actually… now?

So why not seize the moment? Dig out that list and dust it off. Whether they be small projects or bigger, more strategic, game-changer type of initiatives, what if right now is the time to start making them happen? Look through that list, crystallise those ideas, and start to move forward.

Yes, but…

You’re probably reading this thinking… Well, the idea of a business plan for after lockdown is great, but it’ll just get filed and I won’t look at it again. Does this sound like you?

If so, this is where accountability comes in. Chloe and I are lucky – we have each other to check in with and make sure we’re on track. We also meet with our mentor once a month. But we’re well aware that many small business owners don’t have that.

And that’s why we’re here to help. Through our community, members gain seek support, ask questions and gain feedback. They can ‘register’ goals with us, and we can hold them accountable through our Facebook group and at our events. Our own mentees take this a stage further by meeting with us on a 2-to-1 basis, and at each session they set themselves goals, checking in with us regularly as they move forward.

We will also be launching our very own mastermind sessions soon, where small groups of business owners can work together and support each other. But we’ll be making our own announcement about that very soon!

So, what about you? Do you have a business plan for after lockdown? If not, why not get in touch with us and we can help you get started?