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Business Planning In An Uncertain World

Kate has been sitting in on a few Cranfield School of Management webinars over the last few weeks to stay at the forefront of business planning advice in such a tumultuous time.

One of the top tips was the planning session using a model of the Old Normal i.e. business before lockdown, and the New Normal – forecast soonest in 2022 – and how business cannot just survive but must try to thrive in this incredibly challenging time.

Business is facing a potential four further shock waves:

  1. Redundancies after end of furlough
  2. Imminent depression (rather than recession)
  3. Second wave of infection and possible second shutdown in the winter, the impact of redundancies
  4. Brexit – deal or no deal

Therefore it is impossible to build a solid immovable plan to get to the New Normal – it’s a matter of reviewing the ever-changing conditions and creating a multitude of movable plans to reach the stages (subject to time and conditions) on the way to the New Normal.


You can think of it pictorially as crossing a river, and instead of building one bridge from one side to another – it is more like creating moveable pontoons that can be as dynamic as the changing conditions.

When faced with a crisis then there is a Four Phase Stages and Response:

  1. Old Normal – 2019
  2. Going In (to the present conditions) – REACTING
  3. Coming Out
  4. New Normal – after settlement of current challenges – 2022

Initially you have to act fast – THINK, PLAN, ACT simultaneously. But as time passes – like NOW – it is time to pause, think and reflect and consider the next stages in planning.   

An example of this would be:

Stage 1 – Stabilise and Capitalise (Going In)

Stage 2 – Reviewing current trading conditions and rightsizing business

Stage 3 – Growth Plans and Innovation (Coming Out)

Stage 4 – Implementation and Sustaining Momentum (New Normal)

It can be scary when it is so tumultuous out there but it is always worth realising that there is opportunity in adversity. Take some time to THINK, PLAN and ACT and build what may be a different business in a very changed world. Give us a shout if we can help you plan your logistics in a changing world. The flexibility of outsourcing in an uncertain marketplace is a very wise move indeed.


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