Top 3 tips for business growth in a post-COVID market.

Recently I attended a presentation by Professor Brian Smith entitled “Strategy after COVID 19” and his concluding slide really struck a chord with me…“It’s not the COVID meteor you need to worry about it’s the aftermath you need to adapt to”

The effects of COVID-19 are going to be wide-ranging and long-lasting, perhaps forever-lasting. Flexibility & Adaptability will be crucial skills required by businesses if they want to survive in a post-COVID world. 

It chimed with me because I already believed that one of the key factors to business growth for small to medium sized companies was an agile and flexible business model. It’s the reason I set The Smart Team up.

The Smart Teams’ journey started 18 months ago when my full-time corporate role as UK Finance Director at Bibby Financial Services was made redundant. I decided I wanted to take a more flexible approach enabling me to enjoy the variety of helping more than one business, but also create flexible opportunities for other finance professionals. I also knew that by building a diverse finance team that compliments each other’s skill sets we could provide the best, bespoke service to our clients. Even better, we all get to do the things we enjoy the most, and that we are best at!

I could see already that traditional models of financial management and accounting simply weren’t able to meet the flexibility and agility that new and scale up businesses need and then lockdown hit. 

Lockdown gave me a chance to attend more online local networks and I got to meet an even broader spectrum of business owners and managers. What quickly became clear is that this brave new world we are entering needs a brave new breed of business leaders.

I believe that we, at The Smart Team, are trailblazing a new, innovative style of Finance Team that is a natural fit with scale up businesses who need agility as well as commercial experience. We are building a new way of offering financial management and business support services to businesses, just like yours, who are looking to grow.

Over the years I’ve weathered a few recessions and economic impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic is going to hurt. But I’ve also learnt that there are ways to not just survive the tough times but to actually thrive and to come out the other side stronger and ahead of the pack. There are three common features I’ve seen in businesses who have survived and thrived when times are tough. I’ve translated those into my three top three tips for post-COVID business growth:

  1. Understand how your customers’ needs have changed. Most businesses will find their customer landscape permanently altered, so re-considering Sales & Marketing plans is crucial. These are the sails which give your business momentum towards your goal.
  2. Move towards a leaner business model. The key skills required to deliver the product or service should be retained in-house. Everything else should be outsourced. 
  3. Get a strong finance leader in your team who can act as a wing man and critical friend.  Every thriving business benefits from strong financial leadership. A good FD supports their CEO as they consider strategic options and helps them to evaluate the cashflows. They bring a fresh pair of eyes to the table and help boards make better decisions

These are the three areas of focus I am encouraging clients to work on in the short term. One of the advantages of using The Smart Team’s unique blend of skills and flexibility is that a business benefits from a strong commercially experienced finance leader without the long- term commitment of an expensive resource – vitally important in current times. 

Our services combine face to face and virtual solutions to offer small businesses access to commercial financial leadership in a flexible way. Our lean and flexible proposition will enable your business to adapt and thrive in the world after the COVID Meteor.

If you would like to discuss how The Smart Team might be able to help your business, please get in touch. 

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