The need for resiliency in business is a principle that’s often most clear during turbulent times, such as that of the COVID-19 pandemic. More and more, the idea of future proofing and planning is becoming vital, especially for business owners who found themselves with inadequate response strategies when the world began to change in 2020.
How do you ensure that your company will be able to weather uncertain times, both now and in the future? In this article, we’ll go over some of the ways that any proactive leader can use to future-proof their business.
Assess Your Vision and Review Operations
A good place to start is to make a strategic assessment of your operation. Where are you right now, and what are your goals? What does your business do well? Take your time and do a thorough analysis, as being aware of your core competencies is the first step to formulating your strategic vision and path to growth and opportunity.
Your strategic vision should remain intact while allowing room for pivoting in turbulent times, ensuring that vital resources are always kept for core functions. Without this principle, you run the risk of allocating resources to failed experiments during times when resources are scarce.
While conducting such a self-evaluation, it’s a good opportunity to go over your operations as well. Do you have areas that need to be reorganized, or are there unnecessary expenditures being made? The more agile the company, the more often they undertake strategic assessments that ask, “What’s working?” and “What’s not working?” This ensures better preparedness for disruptions.
Create a Proper Response Team
Make sure you have a crisis response team in place for the next time a major disruption happens. Gather cross-functional leaders to form the team from places like HR, finance, and communications. The team should be well-defined, reducing the chance of any confusion or conflicts during stressful events. The number one objective of this team will be communication.
Your crisis response team will consistently assess the current situation in all respective departments, create a priority list of issues, and communicate all this information to your stakeholders — including employees. Effective communication during times of crisis will help keep morale and productivity from suffering. Have a response plan in place that’s in line with your business strategies and, above all, practical.
Have a Financial-Leverage Plan
Weathering a large-scale disruptive event often hinges on your company’s ability to have an appropriate financial leverage plan in place ahead of time. When a crisis hits, you might find yourself competing with several other businesses for funding, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be getting the best deal.
Without an appropriate cash flow plan, you won’t be able to take advantage of changes in the market, and you’ll fall behind the better-prepared competition. Adopt a proactive financing strategy by considering alternative scenario funding models, cash flow projections, forecasts, and airtight budgets. With all of these in place, your business won’t run the risk of delayed response when faced with a major disruption.
Stay Agile and Keep Aware of Consumer Trends
Continued financial success during difficult times is affected most by an organization’s ability to be adaptable and flexible. Leverage market data and consumer trends as a core component of your strategy, and you’ll be aware of deals being made and opportunities as they come.
By keeping up to date on this kind of data, you can retool your strategies to fit trends. For example, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses switched their service models from in-store shopping to delivery. Moving into the future, keeping adaptability in mind rather than just efficiency on its own will be the winning strategy for business owners across all sectors.
Build a Resilient Business
In the face of uncertain times, abrupt changes in the market can make or break a business. The ones who succeed and weather the storm take the principles of resiliency and make it their own.