1. Size matters – smaller businesses tend to be much more flexible than their larger counterparts when it comes to adapting to change. Quick decision-making and the ability to pivot in response to market changes are a real plus point when those changes are happening with increasing rapidity. Look at the micro-breweries who turned to hand sanitiser production at the start of lockdown if you need some inspiration.
2. Review your business continuity plan – you might not have a formal process of disaster recovery or business continuity, but you’ll probably have considered the essential parts of your business and that knowledge could help you adapt to increase your resilience. Perhaps you already have a list of alternative suppliers, or you may have considered possible diversification options. For more insight on business continuity planning, see Staying a step ahead: planning for all contingencies.
3. Keep an eye on your business plan – having a goal in mind can give you a sense of direction and something to focus on despite the curve balls being thrown at you. Yes, you might need to change some of the finer details but keep your overall goal alive.
4. Use your network – there have been many examples of communities drawing together in recent months, so make sure you’re part of it. The local pound is increasingly important and potential customers are keen to buy local. Keep your profile high and take part in local business networking opportunities. You may also be able to pool resources with other local businesses to reduce overheads or give you access to new skills. You could even work collaboratively to broaden your market or customer base. Find out how to make networking work for your business.
5. Monitor your finances – a strong financial foundation makes for a robust and resilient business, so keeping a close watch on cashflow is essential. If you need support to weather a difficult patch or to seize an opportunity, having an open and honest conversation with your bank is worthwhile. See our top tips for keeping on top of cashflow.
6. Don’t forget you – if you’re more resilient, you’ll be better able to take your business forward, but whether you’ve been struggling to keep up with growing demand or forced into lockdown, 2020 has been a tough year.
- Don’t let challenges take over – take an analytical approach and break issues down into small parts you can deal with one at a time.
- Call on your network for support, to run ideas past or just to offload.
- Maintain some out of work interests so you’re not all-consumed by the business.
- Don’t get hung up on mistakes – the most successful business-people learn from them and move on.
- Be flexible about your vision and timings.
- If things are getting too much, talking to a professional can make a difference.