The only thing certain about the post-Covid future is that nothing is certain. When it will happen, what it will look like, what will be different, are all unknown. But it will arrive at some point. And when it does, will your clients (and your own practice) be ready?
While we’re still in the throes of the crisis, it’s hard to look beyond the here and now; for many business owners it’s a question of surviving the next week, let alone the next five years. But there are discussions you can have now to help your clients plan ahead and prepare for what comes next.
Run a SWOT analysis
A SWOT analysis is a great starting point to get the conversation going. Look at their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, perhaps brainstorming along with their team. What do they do really well and how could it be adapted? Which elements of the business may not be sustainable and what can they do to reduce that risk? It will help to get them thinking about how they could diversify in future.
Get to know the business
The more you understand your client’s business the more you can help. Find out everything you can about their existing business model and their products and services and then ask the question, “What can be done differently? What opportunities are there in this changing environment?”
Remember, you don’t have to know the answers – your clients are the experts on their own business and their industry. You just have to ask the right questions so they reach their own conclusions. Keep drilling down into what they really want from the business and the possibilities will start to open up.
Opportunities for entrepreneurial business owners
Kirsty McGregor of The Corporate Finance Network, believes there will be many new opportunities for business owners.
“There’s going to be a huge output of businesses closing down, either because of cashflow problems or because the owner has decided that they’re going to retire. So a lot of businesses will become available for purchase.”
“If you have a client that’s a savvy business owner and can run a business, start to look at acquisitions. If they could buy a competitor or diversify slightly, they could really turn that business around and give themselves massive more opportunity going forward.”
No one can guarantee that a business will survive forever. But if you help your clients plan ahead now and explore all possibilities, they’ll have a fighting chance of making it.
There’s more advice and discussion on future planning on the AVN Know How Hub, along with hundreds of other resources to help you and your clients survive the current crisis and beyond. You can subscribe for as little as £1 (which goes to charity) for 30 days access to everything. Find out more and join here.