Six must-have steps for your business plan now

July 05, 2021 | 08:00
As the world begins to reactivate and reimagine itself from the impact of the pandemic, it is time to take a deep breath and assess the situation. To use a sporting analogy, we are in the tunnel ahead of what could be the biggest game of our lives. With the right strategy in place, there are great victories to be won. Without it, failure is unavoidable.
Six must-have steps for your business plan now
By Le Khanh Lam - Partner, RSM Vietnam

As a leading provider of audit, tax, and consulting services to ambitious business leaders in the middle market, we understand that whether the goal is success or survival, all organisations should have a game plan. Over the last year, we have stayed close to our clients to help guide them through these unprecedented circumstances. Many sectors have been disrupted, and owners and management teams have had to rethink how they do business. Retailers have shifted to e-commerce, while the hospitality industry saw businesses pivot from traditional restaurant dining to take-out offerings.

Even the automotive industry has evolved from customers visiting their local car dealer to buy a petrol or diesel car – to home delivery of vehicles with options of hybrid or electric choices. Many industries are successfully evolving to respond to changing circumstances.

Unfortunately, across a wide range of sectors, there have been times where we have had to engage in some challenging conversations. Having the proper discussions now, on the other hand, can improve the likelihood of a more successful tomorrow.

RSM assists the organisations we engage with in managing risk, improving decision-making, driving productivity, enabling transformation, and realising value. But if we are to help them move forward with confidence, we must all do so with our eyes wide open.

Across the world, we are seeing banks and lenders being sympathetic in addition to significant government support and protection, in the form of bounce back loans and other initiatives. We are seeing some businesses holding on to money, cutting their overheads, putting people on furlough, and overall taking advantage of the goodwill from creditors and the banks.

These metrics and techniques, however, have the potential to obscure present performance. When government grants and furlough money are put into the profit and loss statement, the image might seem too positive. At some point, this money needs to be paid back.

The pandemic has accelerated the need for basic business acumen and the reality today is that we could be facing an onslaught of restructuring if organisations fail to make the right decisions now.

As the business world heads towards what can be described as the next stage of a transformation journey, there are six steps that organisations can take now in planning for a positive outcome in the future.

Plan well

Planning is key. It is important to look at the numbers and consider where you are going to be in six, 12, or 18 months’ time and plan a way forward.

Forecast your future

Build forecasts and projections within this plan. Businesses should involve their advisors to make the best forecast possible which can be adapted as necessary.

Engage with the right stakeholders

Engage with all significant financial stakeholders, banks, investors, and funders to ensure there is transparency and support for the plan of action.

Think differently

Industries are changing rapidly. Beyond adapting to the current environment, organisations should think ahead to be prepared for different scenarios.

Adapt and be flexible

Be prepared to adapt and be flexible. Put financial modelling at the centre of your plans. Actively monitor these models and be open to adapting the approach as required.

Be prepared for the unexpected

This is about creating headroom in your facilities to enable you to cope with the unexpected, whether good or bad.

In summary, there is much for businesses in the middle market to consider. However, by creating a robust plan of action there is a far greater opportunity to achieve a successful outcome. As a global business with national, regional, and sector expertise, RSM is ideally placed to guide businesses through uncertain times. With 48,000 people in over 120 countries across the RSM network, we can meet our clients’ needs wherever in the world they operate.

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