The year 2020 will certainly go down in history as a challenging year for all businesses. It serves as a testament to your own business’ ability to be resilient, flexible, and change-proof. No one could have predicted the events that unfolded during the year. From the pandemic to protests, from lockdowns to lost revenue, from unemployment to unrest, we’ve experienced it all. Businesses were caught by surprise. They were simply not prepared (how does one prepare for this?) or unable to sustain months without generating income. So, how can your business be better prepared to weather such a perfect storm.
It starts with you
Your leadership, like the captain of a ship, keeps your business afloat. The course you travel and the decisions you make determine its success or failure. And like a ship on a long journey, a business can be subjected to tough conditions. Economic downturns, fierce competition, or incompetent crew or processes can bring a vision down. But with the right leadership and employees, anything is possible.
Staying positive, listening to employees and customers, and being open to change can be the key to survival. Involving your employees can help your business be resilient. But you must be serious about it. “Serious about doing things differently and tapping into every employee’s potential so that the entire company can do things differently: better, faster, cheaper, and smarter.”
Seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with input from stakeholders will help you to change course and move ahead. Although you are the head of your business, you are not in it alone. You rely on customers and your employees to thrive.
Plan long term
According to Forbes, uncertainty is one of eight great challenges that businesses face. And apparently, uncertainty of the future is “more pronounced today than in the past” due to “global debt and economic struggles.” And this is without mentioning what 2020 handed us. Unfortunately, business leaders don’t have a crystal ball.
Predictability, on the other hand, is a useful skill that comes from reading the signs, following the markets, and watching the trends. And although business forecasting can help with finance or operational planning, it does have its limitations. Unfortunately, data can be a moving target and age quickly. In addition, you’re not able to factor in unexpected or unprecedented events. Even the world’s top financial analysts have been thrown a curve with today’s economic climate. That said, business forecasting is here to stay and “allows businesses to plan ahead for their needs, raising their chances of staying competitive in the markets.”
Planning is crucial for any business. Looking beyond the immediate and short-term focus of your average day-today operations can pay off when the unexpected happens. Long-term planning guides the overall company goals and are “very strategic.” It looks at all aspects of running the business including “social, economic and political factors.” Ideally, long-term planning is the best way to handle issues as they arise. It can help keep your business viable to “ensure the company can reach its fullest potential.”
The role of technology
The recent social distancing requirements brought on by the Coronavirus has forced the technology-hand on many businesses. To keep operations running, many of their employees began to work and meet remotely. And as a result, more and more companies are expected to continue or expand their work-from-home opportunities moving forward. Even education found itself having to move teaching and learning quickly into a remote environment.
But it’s not just about working or learning remotely. Technology and software solutions offer companies many new and unique ways to upgrade efficiency, transform processes, automate, and communicate. It improves storing and enhances sharing capabilities. Examples can be found in finance, retail, health, and just about every industry. But more importantly, technology, when done right, can provide the agility and flexibility companies need to pivot when needed.
A ship can weather almost any storm with solid construction, a well-seasoned captain, and hard-working, trained crew. Being prepared for the worst and knowing what to do in case of an emergency can mean the difference between staying on course or sinking.
Companies can survive bad times if they are strong and willing/able to ride the storm. It will require a focused leader, great navigation tools, adaptable employees, and a solid business plan. But being resilient will also demand flexibility and the willingness to change direction. Hiscox, a global insurance company, sees change as the new normal. “We are living in an era of constant change for the foreseeable future: change is the new normal.” Doing business as usual and rejecting new ideas and innovation may be a mistake you can’t afford to make.
Bitbean understands what it takes to make your business flexible and resilient to challenges. Contact us today to see how custom software can help.