The entire world is stung by the corona bite and is trying best to fight the unseen enemy. There are discussions around the impact on businesses and human life in times to come. We have to remember that there are things that are beyond our control and would always be, yet we are destined to think, plan and be the change. By our LOCKDOWN – Business Mantra we are trying to explain the same.
“LOCKDOWN IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO UNLOCK THE REAL HIDDEN”
Entire the human race is house-ridden and while we are connected through the web, this might be the best time provided to us to plan, to think, comply, act and emerge as leaders later on. We, StairFirst, emerged to disrupt the conventional a couple of years back through a focus on the e-services module. This LOCKDOWN – Business Mantra module works to bring all services in finance and compliance to an online platform and remove the boundaries within and outside India.
10 Business Mantra to Follow During Lockdown
We have been advising our clients to make the most of this time and you may pick from below LOCKDOWN – Business Mantra:
1. Preparing for compliances
While the costs of being compliant appear heavy but the costs of being non-compliant would cost you, dear. It is overwhelming at times to hear extensions in dates and actually we realize it when the extended dates are gone. We all experience this when we have due dates for credit cards and we follow procrastination. In the lockdown, we should prepare a list of all compliances of Income-tax, GST, MCA, RBI, PF, ESIC and any other applicable laws with extended dates and plan to file them before the dates.
The Government has offered extensions during the tough times but once the situation is gone, you would be flooded with non-compliance notices in times to come. If you are a small business, then filing nil returns won’t cost you much but missing the extended timelines would unnecessarily add pressure to business when things are normalized.
2. Planning Outsourcing
All businesses are feeling the heat and it would be even tougher in times to come with a probable global recession, with indicators already in place. You should act smart and make a list of all processes which can be outsourced. Then, speak to relevant vendors to seek prices and evaluate professional competence.
The biggest players in the markets are adopting outsourcing strategies that not only save on costs but also allow them to deploy a fleet of professionals. It is going to take off the pressure from business when life resumes to normal in months to come.
3. Evaluating productivity
In an attempt to grow businesses, we are caught between hiring and real productivity. We know a lot of small and medium businesses who introduced timesheets in work from home and to their surprise found people operating at 30-40% of their availability. It’s time to revaluate and utilize the resources in the best possible ways.
4. Redesigning roles
Every business has certain roles that appear indispensable but after a critical evaluation, it is found too many such roles existing in businesses. If you are caught with too many such roles, then it’s the time to carve out roles.
If you are a big structure, speak to your segment leaders and carefully evaluate and redesign roles. For smaller structures, it is more important not to be taken off guard when such indispensables leave. We have an unforeseen situation in the market for now and you never know which conditions would evolve later on. It is better to embrace the unforeseen and plan smartly.
5. Confidence building with staff
While you want to redesign and carveout things for businesses, it is important to maintain confidence with staff. It is a tough time for all and miscommunication might spill the beans for you. You have to be in constant touch with teams to motivate them and reassure business as usual in times to come. Being vulnerable is not being weak, so remember to speak the truth with reassurance about their future and careers.
6. Operating model assessment w.r.t work from home
We never realize the indirect costs are pressure for businesses and every additional seat/desk would mean ancillary costs. This is a time to introspect and see if you are able to work effectively from home, then there is no need to have big lavish offices and too many desks for the team. It is a proven fact globally that work from home not only increases the efficiency of the team but also provides a better living to people. Remember you being stuck in long traffic jams for hours and waiting to reach homes.
7. Leader web-connect
Our LOCKDOWN – Business Mantra says, as business leaders, you would have a lot to plan about business and analyze the impact on profitability, remember that people are key to any success. There is nothing that can be achieved without having great teams. It is time to step up and have regular web connect with teams.
As an advice, skip all hierarchies and have connects with even most junior team members over a web conference. A leader who stands in tough times wins the trust and hearts of many. It is your team that will pull you out of the tougher situations. You can simply share your daily routine, talk about post lockdown plans, have virtual coffee sessions and a lot more.
8. Global expansion
There was a time when global footprints were restricted to big players but gone are the days. We are stuck with daily business chores and unable to focus on the big picture. Maybe a time for you to find similar players globally after doing some research and reach out to them for future collaboration.
You can have video calls and conference calls to understand their situation and discuss potential agreements. The lockdown situation is global and maybe you can fight tough times with a global hand more effectively.
9. Studying competitors
A smart person learns from his mistakes but a smarter learns from another person’s mistakes. LOCKDOWN – Business Mantra says, in these times, keep a close eye on competitors to see their smart moves and follow. It shouldn’t stop you from being pioneers in certain areas. We should remember that the person who takes the first step emerges as a leader. So, act smartly.
10. Planning ancillary low-cost businesses
With an added pressure on current business, you should explore ancillary businesses that can complement your core line and bring additional revenues in times to come. It will ease off the pressure from your business and who knows which line you can take later on. The need of the hour to look for online business modules that can offer you some respite.
We have to remember that like every other situation this time shall also pass eventually and the leaders are those, who take a giant leap of faith.
Turn your face towards the sun, and the shadows shall fall behind you!!
Article (LOCKDOWN – Business Mantra): The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the organization, committee or other group or individual.