They say hindsight is a great thing…so ask yourself “could I have done anything differently before or during lockdown to minimize the impacts on my business?”.   This may be a difficult question to answer for a lot of business owners and managers, but it is useful to reflect and take any learnings from this crisis and ensure you’re as prepared as you can be for the next one.    

The Covid-19 lockdown caused a huge shockwave throughout New Zealand, with businesses hit hard.  Understandably, business owners went into crisis management mode. This was about trying to make sense of what was happening around them, assessing the immediate impacts and responding as best they could. 

For those businesses that have been able to weather the storm and are back up and running, their attention should now turn to building a business that remains resilient and agile in the face of future crises.

Many owners are now realising the importance of long-term planning to help future proof their business.  Any long-term plan must be informed by credible data and insights and be supported by the entire team.  It is vital that all members of the team understand how they contribute to achieving the long-term goals.  

By regularly analysing how the needs of your market and customers are changing and thinking innovatively about the opportunities that this can create, you can begin to develop a plan for long-term growth that provides the business with clear direction.   

"If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail"

Benjamin Franklin

Businesses that have weathered the Covid-19 storm the best so far, have these things in common:

  • Leaders that show genuine empathy for their people, inspire and motivate their teams to think innovatively, and provide clarity on the path ahead.
  • Financial strength and a cash positive balance sheet with cash reserves or quick access to working capital to cover unforeseen costs.
  • The use of digital technology is integral to how they do business, from managing operational activities and processes, gathering data and insights about their customers and markets, to managing R&D, and everything in between.
  • Customers are at the centre of everything they do. They know the value of, and regularly invest in understanding their customer’s changing needs.  They use this data and insights to develop desirable products and services at the right time.
  • Planning and performance monitoring is an embedded discipline that involves the entire team. It’s integral to achieving long-term sustainable growth and is regularly reviewed and adapted to changing market conditions.            

Leveraging the expertise of an experienced advisory team to build a long-term plan can help ensure your business not only survives but thrives through the next crisis.

KPMG Private Enterprise works closely with hundreds of New Zealand SMEs to guide and advise them on financial, commercial, operational and strategic matters.

If you’d like to discuss how KPMG can help your business, get in touch.

Gavin Holley

Rachael Curson