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Business recovery: Harnessing the power of clarity

Neil Hughes, Ryan Piper Feb 7, 2020

Over the last few weeks we have been shining the spotlight on the ‘Seven Cs of Business Recovery’. A framework developed by Neil Hughes, Managing Partner at Baker Tilly in Ireland back in 2010 following Ireland’s financial crash, it is as relevant today as it was ten years ago as businesses worldwide come to terms with the fallout of a pandemic not seen before in the modern world.

We recently looked at why, when navigating a crisis, companies must secure the co-operation of their co-workers and staff. The next step in the recovery process is a turning point.

Clarity of purpose

Most management teams have built their strategies on a set of assumptions that include sustained economic growth, the availability of capital, tight labour markets and other market factors that have been consistent in recent years, explains Baker Tilly USA in a recent article. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that these assumptions can be thrown out the window. Your business strategy should be revised quickly and include a new set of assumptions that consider the current macro-economic market.

“Clarity of Purpose acts as a powerful catalyst for positive change and essentially means ensuring that your main business objectives are coherent, clearly defined, easy to communicate, and directed at the challenges presented”, explains Hughes.

“You are more likely to source new customers if you can refine a business plan which takes account of the new financial realities.

There’s no question the impact of this pandemic is huge, and will continue to be felt for some time to come. But for some it will also offer opportunity for innovation, and unlocking value in their people or operations. The steps taken now will play a pivotal role in determining how businesses emerge from the shadow of COVID-19 in a post-lockdown environment.

Ryan Piper, Director of Strategy, Baker Tilly

“An improved plan demonstrating a renewed clarity of purpose is essential in dealing with your bank regarding facilities for the business: an overdraft, a term loan, leasing for machinery or a commercial loan. It can also attract potential investors, reassure current investors as to the medium- to long-term security of their investment and help reassure staff that you are being proactive in dealing with current challenges.”

Making tough Decisions

To come out the other side of a crisis, difficult decisions must be made. It is up to business owners and managers to display the courage to lead, and make the tough choices and modifications to adapt their businesses to a changing market.

“It’s natural for a business owner or manager to become disillusioned with entrepreneurship during this time of change and disruption”, says Hughes.

“However, now more than ever, you must rediscover your entrepreneurial spirit and evoke the sense of excitement and possibility that drove you to set up your business in the first place.

“Managers too may start to doubt their own ability as the decisions that need to be made become increasingly difficult.

“Remember, you are in a position to identify areas in which the basic business objectives could be adapted to better suit new economic conditions. Trust your own judgement and have the courage to present your ideas to the owners/shareholders of the business.”

Future opportunity

While you may be experiencing self-doubt, Hughes believes it’s important to look beyond the immediate obstacles and see the opportunity that lies ahead.

“As you create the right conditions for recovery today, you cannot foresee the breaks that will come your way from future trade. Customers that you have never met before will come through your doors. Contracts that have not even gone out for tender yet will be won by your business. Referrals will be made to you from customers to whom you have given excellent service in the good times of recent years.

If you can set out a clear understanding of the strategies needed by your company to deal with this crisis then you have reached the turning point in your recovery plan.”

The article "Business Recovery: Harnessing the Power Of Clarity" was first published on on 23 June 2020 and has been reproduced with the approval of the author.


DISCLAIMER: All opinions, conclusions, or recommendations in this article are reasonably held by Baker Tilly at the time of compilation but are subject to change without notice to you. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents in this article, the information in this article is not designed to address any particular circumstance, individual or entity. Users should not act upon it without seeking professional advice relevant to the particular situation. We will not accept liability for any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through reliance upon the information contained in this article.

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