Planning process

How to strengthen your business during a crisis

Just when you think you’ve seen it all – along comes something that despite being entirely predictable, has quite literally stopped the world.

We know that life will get back to normal, we just don’t know when and what the new normal will look like. Here’s our guide to coping with a crisis – adapted from Joe Lynch’s blog

React, Regroup, Rebuild


  • What are the immediate actions you need to take to look after your people and your customers? – Remember that customers understand that this isn’t your fault – but how you treat them all will not be forgotten.
  • What are the steps you need to protect your reputation in the short term – keep eyes open on all social media channels and remember that the news cycle never sleeps.
  • What are the decisions, (normally tough ones) you have to make to protect your business in the short term – get this right and you will recover quicker.


  • We are all in a state of shock and likely know someone that has been impacted to some extent by the COVID19 outbreak. 
  • We’ve spent weeks of long days and nights dealing with personal, professional and reputational stress.
  • We’ve all made huge adjustments to the sizes and shapes of our teams and aren’t quite sure who is going to be doing what next.
  • We need to look after ourselves and one another. Now more than ever


  • The only uncertainty during this period is that normality will return to a lesser or greater degree. People will still want to socialise, to go out, to exercise, to study, to travel. We just need to be ready for them. 
  • Furlough is now a word in common parlance – but let’s use this pause in the normal frenetic pace of life to refocus on what we need to do next.
  • Do we need to alter our product line, and focus on fewer simpler lines?
  • Is this an opportunity to get around to the SEO improvements, the system reviews and process upgrades that always slip during business as usual?
  • Do we need to rebuild our team exactly as it was before? When we were forced to make drastic changes, without time for careful thought – did this tell us something that perhaps we should have seen earlier?
  • Timing is going to be crucial. If we plan to recover too quickly, we could waste our marketing investment and look crass, uncaring and remote. Leave it too late and we could miss a great opportunity. 

What signs are you looking out for to signify the start of the rebuild period?

For me – online session growth, increases in social media engagement, conversion rates creeping up, call volumes returning are all going to be the green shoots to look out for.

In terms of the Travel industry my hunch is that the UK staycation will rebound first and very strongly – there is going to be 12 months of cooped up demand all rushing to get out and about in the remaining months of summer – whereas confidence to travel overseas may take longer to recover.

How can The Sussex Collaborative help?

We’ve all been involved in navigating businesses through many crisis over the years. Pandemics, terror attacks, ash clouds, strikes, business failures. We would say that between us, we’ve seen it all – but this year has reminded us that you never have!

Across The Sussex Collaborative we’ve got the skills and expertise to help you drive your business forward through:

  • Crisis communication planning (including Social Media)
  • Commercial business planning
  • Change management and business restructuring
  • Lead generation and Sales conversion
  • Employee Engagement
  • IT & Digital transformation
  • Leadership development
  • Budgeting, cashflow forecasting and contingency planning
  • Developing high performing teams
  • Product and service innovation
  • Building team effectiveness
  • Delivering value for customers
  • Brand reputation management
  • Growth marketing strategies
  • Outsourcing and recruitment

Even if it’s just for an informal chat and a confidential discussion with someone you can trust – we would love to try and help.