COVID-19 business recovery plan

Black swan Outsource Accelerator COVID-19 business recovery plan wall street

The global economy is faltering – business has been forcibly shut down.

We’re now navigating through one of history’s most extreme black swan events. The repercussions of the economic suppression are severe, immediate and ubiquitous.

Even if the Coronavirus is eradicated tomorrow, no one knows how long it will take for the economy to recover. And no one knows when Coronavirus will be gone.

Businesses are like a human heart – they need to keep beating. You can’t just stop a business, and start it up again in two months time. You need to keep your business ticking over.

Experts suggest the economy will either have a ‘V-shaped’ recovery or a ‘U-shaped’ recovery: ‘V’ meaning a sharp bounce back, or ‘U’ meaning a slow climb out of recession. The world may be facing its worst recession ever. Even once Corona has gone, the economy could take many years to rise from the ashes.

However, we will conquer this. The human race is bigger than this, and it will prosper – eventually.

Chaos creates opportunity.

Coronavirus demands a new business strategy

Within any down-market, there are some incredible opportunities.

We can already see an uneven distribution of impact from this pandemic:

  • The health, delivery and food sectors are struggling to keep up with demand – they need people and resources, now
  • Online SaaS and WFH tools are booming – Zoom is trying to keep up with demand
  • Home fitness apps and remote personal trainers are booming
  • Governments are spending unprecedented sums of money to support and stimulate the economy
  • The travel industry has been all but decimated
  • Different parts of the lending/loan industry may either do well or collapse
  • Warren Buffet will no doubt find an opportunity in this

Sequoia’s black swan

On March 5th, Sequoia Capital, the preeminent Silicon Valley venture fund, raised an early alarm for businesses to be vigilant, stating: “Coronavirus is the black swan of 2020.”  A ‘black swan’ is an extremely rare event with severe consequences. It cannot be predicted beforehand and can cause catastrophic damage to an economy.

Sequoia’s sober message:

“Having weathered every business downturn for nearly fifty years, we’ve learned an important lesson — nobody ever regrets making fast and decisive adjustments to changing circumstances. In downturns, revenue and cash levels always fall faster than expenses. In some ways, business mirrors biology. As Darwin surmised, those who survive “are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change.”

They highlight six areas for close immediate attention: Cash runway, fundraising, sales forecasts, marketing, headcount, capital spending.  They encourage all businesses to guard their cash,  reassess the fundamentals, and focus on the product (adaption, evolution).

Some people will come out of this looking better than others. However, before there’s any rebuilding, most business will first have to cut costs and adapt.

How are you cutting costs?

How will you adapt?

How will you rebuild?

Will you find the opportunities amongst the threats?

Every business playbook and every situation is different – but amidst Coronavirus, 100% of businesses will be tracing these next three steps: (i) slash costs, (ii) adapt, (iii) rebuild.  This is the new imperative for business in 2020.

Outsource Accelerator COVID-19 Business Recovery Action Plan
Outsource Accelerator Coronavirus Business Recovery Action Plan

Slash costs, adapt, rebuild

Business is hard enough – even in good times. However, in the hard times – to add insult to injury – you have to do more, with less. You have to evolve and be creative, there is no other option. You either sink or swim.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

When businesses are successful and economies are fat with profits, companies can become comfortable and complacent. Now that the tide has turned, only the tough and innovative will survive.

No one has any choice now but to:

  1. SLASH
  2. ADAPT

1. Slash costs

All businesses are going to have to work through their own U-shaped or V-shaped journey. If you aren’t one of those lucky sectors that are getting a boost from Corona, then you’ll be hurting right now and will have to respond quickly and slash all possible costs. Trim the fat, and shut down any non-essentials.

Generally, cuts are hard, so businesses cut their costs too little too late.  Instead of one deep painful gouge and then onto the rebuild; repeated smaller cuts are made – never quite getting ahead of the curve – and creating a death by a thousand cuts scenario.

2. Adapt

Once you get ahead of the curve with costs and you have bought yourself some space, it’s now time to adapt to the new reality. Quickly. This even means a complete pivot if necessary. Don’t rule anything out.

Ironically, it takes time and resources to adapt, explore and pivot. Now is not the time to experiment – but there is no choice.

  • Canlis, one of Seattle’s most acclaimed fine-dining restaurants now sells take-out burgers and fries
  • A Chinese SaaS company has done a complete pivot and started offering food deliveries
  • Conference and expo companies are moving into online webinars and chatrooms
  • Zoom is adapting its pricing model to accommodate and encourage the new flood of users

3. Rebuild

When the time comes, you will need to rebuild. Resources will be scarce, and you will need to make the most of what you have. Your recovery might even be harder than the previous stages – but you have no choice.

The world-economy could be slow to recover, and fragile for years ahead.  Your rebuilding and recovery phase needs to be as efficient as possible.  You need to rethink the norms of doing business.

Business is tough now, but as the world emerges from this crisis there are undoubtedly incredible opportunities awaiting the agile and bold.  Fortune favours the brave.  Use your adaption phase to prepare for the rebuild.  Pivot, test and reiterate; test and reiterate again.  Be ready with a new business and be ready to double-down on what’s working as the world emerges from its malaise.

Outsource Accelerator COVID-19 Business Recovery Action Plan
Offshore staffing can save you 70%

Offshore staffing – the magic bullet for your business

Millions of businesses have been closed down by Corona and might not ever reopen.  Millions more are limping along and contemplating a ‘new normal’ of diminished revenues, higher costs and burgeoning debt.

Businesses support entire communities, they’re critical to the fabric of society. It’s a tragedy when a business closes down when there were options still available.

There are options though. Offshore staffing can possibly provide that critical lifeline.

– You DO NOT have to close your business
– You DO NOT have to let COVID-19 get the best of you

Now is the time to start making an action plan:
(i) slash costs, (ii) adapt, (iii) rebuild

Don’t let this black swan get you.

Ensuring survival, opportunity to thrive

Employee salaries are the biggest expense for most companies.  When faced with financial collapse, salaries have to be cut.  Yet, people are essential – they are the lifeblood of any company. Thus, you are faced with a paradox and difficult choice.  Keep your staff and try and evolve, or slash your staff, and have no means of rebuilding your company.

Businesses are faced with this painful Catch-22.   Remove your staff and paralyse the business, or keep your staff and bankrupt your business.

Offshore staffing, also referred to as outsourcing, provides you with the powerful second option.  The middle ground.  You can have the staff you need, yet slash costs and save money.  If you have sufficient human resource (i.e. people), then you can overcome any obstacle.

Outsourcing is counter-cyclical, the industry can thrive in market-downturns when Western businesses are forced to cut costs. Recessions cause a spike in demand for outsourcing services, and their expertise, for good reason:

  • Offshore staffing allows you to save 70% on your staffing costs. Period
  • It enables you to slash your costs whilst providing the people necessary to maintain your business
  • It gives you the resources and financial ‘space’ you need to adapt and rebuild your business
  • Business owners are now forced to (re)consider all cost-saving measures
  • Offshore staffing isn’t about replacing your local staff with overseas workers – it’s about giving your business the breathing room it needs to adapt to the new environment and start the recovery

Offshore staffing is a flexible blended solution.  Depending on your cash position, you can have a mixed team of offshore and local, or you can build entirely offshore teams.

Outsource Accelerator - Outsourcing total costs
Total cost analysis for outsourcing roles

Outsourcing can save your business

There are profound reasons why offshore staffing can profoundly help your business, today:

1. Cost savings – save up to 70% on staffing cost

This cannot be overstated – Offshore staffing can save you serious money! you can slash costs, Whilst still maintaining a workforce who can operate, and grow your business.  Cash is king right now, and offshore staffing allows you to save 50%-80% on your all-in staffing costs.

2. Work-From-Home (WFH) enabled remote workforce

The world has had to quickly adapt to the new WFH environment.  The outsourcing industry typically works from centralised offices, but it is fully WFH enabled and optimised.  The Coronavirus has shown the world that there are alternatives to traditional local-staffing in-office solutions. Remote, outsourced and offshore teams are a powerful alternative.

3. Instant teams – easy access to core & auxiliary staff

Build the teams you need quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.  Offshore staffing allows you to build either your core team of staff (operations), or auxiliary support teams (customer support, logistics).

4. Flexible & scalable workforce

Offshore staffing can provide a flexible scalable workforce, quickly.  There is less employment regulation, and you can have the people you need for the time that you require.  You can avoid all of your local employment red-tape and bureaucracy.  You can focus on your core business while the staff are taken care of.

5. Affordable external expertise

Draw on the experience of the BPO industry to help get your processes set up quickly and running efficiently.  Outsourcing is not just about low-level back office support roles. You can access the expertise you require to guide your business through the challenging times.  Sales, marketing, technical, and leadership roles are available.

6. Highly qualified, dedicated candidates

The Philippines has a population of 110m people.  There are 650,000 university graduates every year.  English is the primary language of the country, and they are a catholic culture.  The current generation of Filipinos grow up using Netflix, Youtube, Twitter and learning from the same online resources as their US/UK, Australasian counterparts.  They are highly culturally aligned.

Manila, the country’s capital, is a modern sophisticated city.  The outsourcing industry has created enormous wealth and opportunity and created a dynamic city full of world-class skyscrapers and business districts.  A good salary in the Philipines of USD500 per month, so there is an incredible opportunity for a win-win solution.

Outsource Accelerator salary comparison chart
Salary comparison for major roles & currencies

Take control of the situation now

Slash costs, adapt, rebuild.

It might sound counter-intuitive to explore ‘hiring staff’ in a crisis.  But this is a strategy that helps you slash costs, yet take action, play offensive, respond to the environment, and start to rebuild your business. 

Reach out to Outsource Accelerator now to have a discussion about the staff you need to slash costs and rebuild your business. We cover the entire market, can guarantee best prices, plus arrange flexible and accommodating terms.

You can get a free quote, book a call now, download the free toolkit, or send us an email: [email protected]

Outsource Accelerator COVID-19 Business Recovery Action Plan
Coronavirus Business Recovery Action Plan

Preparing your business for a pandemic

Some businesses are hot on preparing for the unexpected, many are not. some companies invest in downside protection: Business Continuity Plans (BCPs), system redundancies, backups and insurances.  Most do not.  Regardless, the whole world has been caught off guard by the complete economic paralysis caused by the COVID pandemic.

Harvard Business Review has adapted Henry Mintzberg’s famous business strategy framework to better suit the COVID-19 environment.  The original 5 Ps (plan, ploy, pattern, position, and perspective) are changed instead to: position, plan, perspective, projects, and preparedness.

These following strategic questions can help guide you through this pandemic.

1. What POSITION can you attain during and after the pandemic?

Your business, sector and market could change irrecoverably throughout the pandemic.  The foundations on which you have built your business will change, and new players will be jostling for position and dominance.  Who are you in your market, what role do you play in your ecosystem, and who are your main competitors?

2. What is your PLAN for bouncing back?

What is your plan to mitigate the damage caused by COVID, and optimise any opportunities? Your plan should explicate what you need to do today to achieve your objectives tomorrow.

3. How will your culture and identity PERSPECTIVE change?

Your perspective will change as a result of this pandemic.  It is said that wartime CEOs need to be very different to peacetime CEOs.  The needs and perceptions of your clients will also be changing.  Be prepared to reassess everything that you assumed was concrete.

4. What new PROJECTS do you need to launch, run, and coordinate?

Despite crashing revenues, and reduced staffing, you will need to dedicate energy and resources to the rebuilding of your business.  The questions above should help you define what those critical projects are.

5. How PREPARED are you to execute your plans and projects?

Once you have the roadmap, you will need to execute.  Do you have the resources you need to accomplish the projects you’ve outlined, particularly if your income is compromised and your staff are off-site? Are you prepared to turn lemons into lemonade?

The COVID-19 Business Recovery Planner

We have created a simple worksheet to help you plan and keep track of your plan, as the environment evolves, and as you move through the three stages of your recovery (slash, adapt, rebuild).  You will need to reassess again, often.

Outsource Accelerator COVID Business Recovery Planner
Outsource Accelerator COVID-19 Business Recovery Planner

Strategies for rebuilding your business

How can you begin to adapt and rebuild your business?

Sales & marketing

Build the engine of your recovery now.  Lead generation, lead scraping, appointment setting, sales, digital marketing, paid traffic, landing pages and funnels, and content.  This can all be done now, for cheaper than you think.

Customer support

If you’re seeing a spike in customers and opportunities, build your customer support and account management team offshore now.  Save precious money, and get it done by experts.

Product design & delivery

Explore new ideas and opportunities.  Get new products and business models designed and built with your offshore team.  Companies with weak value propositions and poor product-market fit will not survive.  Re-think and rebuild your products and services offerings now.

Logistics & operations

The heart of your business can be operated by your offshore team.  If the job can be done in front of a computer, then it can be done offshore.  Reconsider what ‘needs’ to be done from your own office.

Accounting & bookkeeping

Get your accounting and bookkeeping done offshore.  You can save incredible money, and dedicated more attention to the detail.  Your offshore finance team can help you build new financial models, projections, and even help with fundraising.

Advisory & assistance

If your under-resourced and needing to pivot into unfamiliar territory,  then you will need some assistance with that transition.  You can access the required expertise quickly and affordably with outsourcing.  Your outsourcing supplier becomes as much a business partner as a services vendor – we can help you adapt to the new environment, and rebuild your business.

Questions for the Coronavirus Business Recovery Plan

What is offshore staffing?

Also known as outsourcing, staff leasing, and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). It has been around for 30 years, and passionately adopted by the world’s big businesses. Small- and medium-sized business has been slow to adopt offshore staffing, though – and they have been missing out on the incredible cost savings that offshore staffing affords

How can outsourcing help my business?

Offshore staffing is so much more than basic call centers and virtual assistants. Professional staffing solutions offer any kind of role and profession out there. You can get the staff you need at a 70% discount to the prices you are paying in your local market. You can get incredible, highly skilled and motivated qualified staff working for you in your business.

What does outsourcing know about my business?

The outsourcing industry has 20-30 years of executive experience in taking business processes and optimising then. You can get any kind of role, and any kind of process can be built for your company. Outsourcing in its simplest form is ‘staff augmentation’.  The team that you hire are still very much your team.  They work for your business, and share your comapny’s mission and values.  The official employment aspects are outsourced, and they are sitting in a different office, but otherwise, they are your staff, and you would manage them as you would any of your normal team members.

How is outsourcing different to Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancers?

True outsourcing and Upwork (and similar platforms) have virtually nothing in common.  Outsourcing is the professionalised (i.e. enterprise) version of Upwork. You get full-time dedicated staffing, working from A-grade facilities. They are highly qualified professionalised staff. They are specialists in their areas. The staff are recruited specifically for your needs and are dedicated to your company.

In contrast, Upwork (and the other platforms) are good for short project-based work, carried out by home-based freelancers.

Start your Business Recovery Action Plan

Slash costs, adapt, rebuild.

It might sound counter-intuitive to explore ‘hiring staff’ in a crisis.  But this is a strategy that helps you slash costs, yet take action, play offensive, respond to the environment, and start to rebuild your business. 

Reach out to Outsource Accelerator now to have a discussion about the staff you need to slash costs and rebuild your business. We cover the entire market, can guarantee best prices, plus arrange flexible and accommodating terms.

You can get a free quote, book a call now, download the free toolkit, or send us an email: [email protected]

Further reading and resources

Outsource Accelerator is the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between Philippines outsourcing suppliers and businesses across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 4,000 articles, 250+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 700+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, outsourcing.

We also have a number of articles and podcasts dedicated to Coronavirus:

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About OA

Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

The #1 outsourcing authority

Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between world-leading outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 5,000 articles, 450+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 3,900+ BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about – and engage with – outsourcing.

About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.