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Business Development & Marketing Cash Flow & Forecasting Finance General Turnaround

Business triage involves allocating limited resources to achieving realistic outcomes

Business triage prioritises the most urgentBusiness triage refers to the process of prioritising work in a crisis when there is more work to do than resources available to do it. The aim of triage is to maximise the outcome and minimise the damage by being realistic about what can be achieved with limited resources.
It is more commonly understood in the medical context, usually in response to prioritising treatment of casualties following disasters or other emergencies.
According to Investopedia, in a business context, “Triage helps companies by enabling them to attend to emergencies quickly, but it also poses risks, as it tends to involve the elimination of certain time-consuming steps that are normally part of the workflow”.
While business triage is normally associated with decision-making and action a crisis, its principles can also be applied to all forms of transformational change.
In my last blog I advised directors that now is a good time to conduct a strategic review of businesses in order to prepare for a resumption of activity as the Coronavirus lockdown eases.
The review may well have revealed processes, and products or services that are no longer viable as well as potential future opportunities and you may be considering re-organising your business to reflect this.
For some of you this may be urgent and you will be embarking on the business triage process to determine the changes you need to make to reduce overheads, perhaps your workforce, and to re-organise the whole business process.
The warning about the risks involved is therefore timely.
If cash flow has plummeted and staff have been furloughed your business may have been relying on reserves, CJRS (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) and CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme), but reserves may be running down and furlough schemes are being phased out. And, sooner or later the loans will have to be repaid.
These are all important considerations for business triage as you prioritise cash flow by reducing overheads, perhaps by make some staff redundant much of which may be necessary to survive. Once survival is guaranteed then you can consider future plans but for the moment it is important to be mindful of the costs involved, particularly, but not only, of redundancy.
The aim of the business triage process is to emerge as a leaner and fitter organisation, more resilient and more efficient, with processes targeted on the most profitable parts of your business.
Many directors have some tough decisions to make and these will require judgement about priorities and affordability such that they may need to bring in others with the experience of making such decisions.
Both a failure to make decisions early and a failure to make the right decisions may mean that your business won’t survive.
#Triage #Businesstriage #Decisionmaking

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Banks, Lenders & Investors Cash Flow & Forecasting Finance General Rescue, Restructuring & Recovery Turnaround

Businesses continue to lack confidence

worried businessmanProductivity is not improving, the global economy is still flat and it is no surprise that UK businesses, particularly SMEs, should be uncertain in the future.
The situation has been compounded by the government’s announcing a referendum on whether the country should remain in the EU or leave. This, too, has added to the uncertainty. We will look at specific Brexit issues in coming blogs.
However, the question is whether the uncertainty will diminish with the outcome of the Brexit or not vote on June 23.
Or is there something more going on here?

Have we lost the ability to make decisions?

Businesses can’t just sit and wait, they have to get on with things and risk being wrong.
But arguably the rise in the level of uncertainty has contributed to a lack of confidence and an inability to make decisions.
Is it because there is an increased desire to make decisions that are 100% right?  Why should this be?
It’s not helped by the fact that banks are paralysed by their inability to support small businesses.  They, too, have become risk averse.
Also we are daily bombarded by statistics about the state of the economy, of the world, of just about everything and this can build up a picture that adds to the level of uncertainty, where doing nothing becomes the default position.
Perhaps also the rise of the “blame” and litigation culture plays a part. If something goes wrong we want to blame someone and therefore increased the fear of making a wrong decision.
So lack of confidence and putting off decisions are not necessarily only about the uncertainty over the outcome of the EU referendum.
It may be that British people have lost their edge when it comes to having the guts about enterprise. Perhaps we need to re-learn the art of making a decision in an uncertain world.
(Image courtesy of Vlado at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)