By Patricia B. Mirasol

The COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic is forcing businesses to adopt alternative ways to swim with the current. “The name of the game now is: It is the fast that eats the big,” said Aldrin Antivola, business efficiency advisor and organizational therapist of Dr. Aldrin Consulting.

In a virtual conference organized by the Department of Trade and Industry, Mr. Antivola shared practical tips and advice on aligning one’s business with society’s changing needs.

There are various reasons why businesses fail to grow. These include a lack of strong leadership, poor cash flow management, inefficient operations, and sloppy recordkeeping.

Of all the possible reasons for a business to fail, having no overarching plan has the potential of doing the most damage. Planning day by day won’t cut it, as it is akin to putting out one fire after the other.

Mr. Antivola said that there is a science behind doing business. Growing your business is all about strategy; you need the right combination of goals and methods to flourish. He shares the following questions to help guide entrepreneurs as they navigate their journey:

• Where are you now? Conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis. Don’t make one just for the sake of doing so. Make it fact-based and have sources of data to validate and prove that your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats really are that.

Where do you want to go? What do you want to become? It is important to know the whys and hows to define your business direction. Start by scanning your external and internal environments to know your opportunities and challenges. Do a sales and financial projection to have a better picture of your situation.

How do you get there? Flesh out your objectives, key results, and action plans. Practice monthly performance reviews. If you’re not meeting your objectives, change your strategies. “Define your destination. Then proceed with all of your resources to reach that destination,” Mr. Antivola said. “Whatever you want can be yours but it will take planning and resource dedication.”

Failing to adapt to change is one of the biggest mistakes a business can make. Businesses can and must develop strategic approaches to ensure quick and effective adaptation in this pandemic. They can start by doing the first step towards a successful enterprise: business planning.

“The crisis we are experiencing now is a form of change. It’s a matter of how you are responding to that change. You have to stop and think. You have to plan. Don’t give up,” said Mr. Antivola.