Even before our pandemic-hit 2020, we adjusted to a world of constant change and uncertainty, but the challenges of a post-COVID business environment will require a new level of stress testing and scenario planning if our businesses are to survive and thrive. 2021 will be a critical year for business and will still see significant disruption from economic, political and environmental forces.

Are you full of optimism for the coming year or have a hangover of unease about what lies ahead?

Whether in times of economic stability or upheaval, at CRM, we have always believed in the importance of offering our clients far more than a basic accountancy service.

With a solid accounting framework, ‘making the numbers work’ is always our primary focus but having researched the route to success for many businesses, we developed the 8 Step Business Improvement Programme to guide and mentor business owners and managers who want to take control of their future performance and results.

2021 is the perfect time to use this programme to navigate the choppy waters ahead. As diverse businesses approach these 8 Steps differently, the programme is tailored to each individual company. Business improvement is a cycle and the 8 Steps take you on a loop of improvement by adapting the goals and objectives to the operating environment.

So let’s recap on the all-important 8 Steps:

  1. Plan – decide on your vision for the business then establish your success drivers: the numbers related to positive activity that drives the development and success of your business.
  2. Measure – how do you know which direction points to success if you haven’t measured your past performance? Learn from the failures by measuring your success drivers.
  3. Review – delve ‘beyond the headlines’ to get the truest picture. How do you use those measurements to make the best decisions for the future of your business?
  4. Evaluate – using ratios clearly shows how your business is performing year on year so you can analyse trends and be the best you can be.
  5. Compare – benchmarking is a valuable way of improving your understanding of your business performance and potential by making comparisons with other businesses.
  6. Value – non-financial factors also impact business valuation so use a consistent, regular method of valuation as an annual guide and not just when considering your exit strategy.
  7. Analyse – now more than ever, ‘sensitivity’ or ‘what-if’ analysis is critical. A very useful way to examine how your business has coped in the ‘worst-case scenario’.
  8. Improve – with all this knowledge, create a business performance improvement plan to move your business forward and act as a management tool for future reference.

And so the cycle repeats! The 8 Step Business Improvement Programme makes running a business clearer and more systemised, setting out transparent goals that the whole company can follow and focusing on the numbers that will actually influence your success.

Even when lockdowns end and the virus is finally suppressed, this pandemic will reshape how we do business. Anticipating future disruptive events will be a major part of business strategy going forward. To help you plan for success, find out more about the CRM 8 Step Business Improvement Programme on our website, or call the team on 01865 379272.

Sage Accountant Partner Logoiris kashflowFreeagent