How would you describe your business?
You might consider yourself a success story. But let’s say your business has been facing some tough times that have seen it stuck in a rut. It might make you wonder if it will ever bounce back.
For businesses, just like in life, hard times will be an inevitable part of the journey.
What matters is how you push your company to ride out the storms of hard times and continue standing on its feet.
People have an amazing resilience that strengthens everytime you’re tested. In order to pass through the storm, you need to plan and take action. For this, you will need to do some forward-thinking.
The clouds will clear, and the sun will shine again on your business. It all boils down to how resilient your venture is when faced with turbulent times. How well have you invested in your company to ensure there is business continuity?
Rinske Geerlings from Business As Usual shares some of the secrets on how to bolster your business’ resilience. But before delving into that, you need to be familiar with business resilience.
What Is Business Resilience?
What plans do you have in place when things start going haywire?
Answering this question is one of the perfect examples of the significance of resilience in any company. Small business experts Max Funding are quite adept at responding to an issue when it arises. They had this to say; “Too many people doubt the need for a plan, but when the sharks are at your door you may not have the tools to fight. Planning for the worst can get you ahead of the curve.”
Business Resilience is the capacity that organisation, irrespective of its size, has to ensure there is continuity of essential services at all times, even when faced with problems. The delivery of said services can be at predetermined levels and within pre-set timeframes.
That then means that operations in the company will not come to a complete and utter standstill due to a supplier outage, cyberattack, flood, mobile network overload, fire, staff illness, or network failures. You will have measures in place that ensure the customers are served sufficiently even as you look into ways of normalising things after the disaster passes.
But there is the primary element in this that signifies ‘business resilience.’ The focus is on what next if you know that back to normal may never happen. At times, the shakeup is so severe that it reaches to the core and tumbles everything meaning that you will then have to re-strategise and come up with ways of building new business strategies from the ground up.
A resilience plan can never be understated. When It comes to big businesses entering the market, it can be tough for the smaller fish. But maintaining a relationship with suppliers and staff can be key to keeping trust.
The 8 Aspects of Resilience that are Critical to Business Success
#1 - Strategy
Strategy is a key factor in determining whether your business will stack up in terms of resilience. The current business landscape is constantly changing and, as a result, you need a strategy that can weather these changes.
By really investing time into future proofing your strategy, your business will be well prepared for whatever changes cross your path and you’ll find your business bouncing back much quicker.
#2 - Your Why (ie Simon Sinek)
Think about the last thing you purchased. What was it? What did it do? But more importantly, why did you buy it?
That last question is the one to focus on. Sometimes you can’t change your product, but you can change the “why”. For example, in a world where every device tells time, how do brands like Rolex and Tag Heuer still exist? They shifted the “why” of their product from function to aesthetics.
#3 - Habits for success (Rockefeller Habits)
Priorities, data and rhythm are three habits underpinning resilience in business. But what do these translate to? Here are some questions to apply to your business.
Are the priorities of your business clear and agreed upon? Is your data valuable and informative? Is there a routine process for communicating business goals and activities?
If you can confidently answer these questions, you’ll find resilience becoming second nature for your business.
#4 - Sales team effectiveness
A good sales team that isn’t resilient is a lot like a unicorn; it doesn’t exist.
Resilience must be at the core of any good sales team because, let’s be honest, “No” can be a big part of the job. Training your sales team to turn their “No’s” into learning experiences that inform their next “Yes” will improve their motivation and, in turn, your bottom line.
#5 - Business intelligence (How to use data to make decisions)
We’ve all heard about the importance of data; loads of numbers that contain more information than you ever knew you wanted. But the question is, how do you turn those numbers into meaningful business decisions?
Deciding whether your data is descriptive (What’s happening?), predictive (This could happen..) or prescriptive (You should probably do this..) can help your business become more resilient in the face of the trends of the future.
#6 - Working capital management
Working capital management covers the way you handle your cash, receivables, inventory and accounts payable.
It may sound very fundamental but effective working capital management puts your business in a great position to respond to unexpected changes in your industry or environment. This occurs by giving you the flexibility to invest in new opportunities or grow current ones to suit demand.
#7 - Leadership and culture
We touched on the relationship between culture and resilience when looking at #4 Sales Team Effectiveness - a team using negative experience as something to build upon.
Think about teams you have worked in: despite being a fundamentally resilient person, having 5 negative teammates around you can make it hard to bounce back right?
Well, this works in reverse too. A culture of resilience that is effectively promoted by a leader can actually make people more resilient - it’s that simple.
#8 - Governance and accountability
Good governance and accountability go hand in hand with one another. Having a set process for decision-making within your business ensures quality checks at every level which means you are managing risk and making mistakes easier to recover from.
Similarly, accountability encourages feedback, which in turn, not only makes your team more receptive to constructive criticism to build that resilient culture but also gives decision-makers more of a stake in the outcome.
Strategies To Use When Designing Their Resilience Plan
First off, you need to think through your plans and keep them simple. It will ensure that they are easy to implement and maintain since they are accessible when mobile networks and the internet are down. You should test your plans regularly and include your employees in the process so that they are aware of their respective roles.
And rather than planning for every imaginable scenario, you should pick a couple that may have a significant impact on your operations. They can be things such as loss of building (premises), loss of IT, loss of the workforce, loss of a major supplier, or loss of voice communication. You will set plans that you can implement with ease, putting you in a position to respond even to the improbable.
What Are The Challenges Of A Resilience Or Continuity Plan?
Time and money are the resources that most companies will have in short supply when trying to invest in measures that ensure the business is resilient when tough times come knocking. The ‘what ifs’ are a distance thought when you and your employees are busy attending to the customers’ needs.
You can use best practice business continuity plan template to help you make the best investment choices that will see you put in place provisions that ensure operations keep going.