Plan for different alternatives
Winners demonstrate flexibility and agility. If you model a variety of different scenarios for operational, financial and your competitors reaction that affect the impact of any changes in your business environment (both good and bad). Adapt quickly and explore your strategic options.
1. How will your business be effected by any upturn or downturn to your trading environment
2. How will your customers be impacted by any changes to the trading environment. Are they likely to buy more or less?
3. How will your existing forecasts react to any significant changes in the environment?
4. Have your forecasts been tested for any extended market recovery as well as a speedy recovery? ie. if the market upturned tomorrow, how quickly could you react?
5. How good are your management information systems and dashboards in identifying any potential issues?
6. What areas do you need to keep your eye on?
7. What are the weak points in your business model? Is your model flexible enough to react to any changes in the environment?
8. What is your long term financial position? How significant would a change either way be (increase or decrease be?)
9. Even if your products aren’t discretionary, could your customers find an alternative option?
10. What are your competitors doing? Is there any opportunity for organic growth within the market?
Now it’s your turn. What items would you add around planning for different alternatives? What else should be included?