Welcome to 2021! What a strange start to what promises to be a challenging year for business.
The last few weeks of 2020 were very concerning with the Covid19 pandemic out of control once more and the uncertain possibility of a no deal Brexit looming at the same time.
In the event the Christmas Eve Brexit deal was something of a relief but completely overshadowed by the ongoing economic fallout of the Covid19 pandemic. Covid19 is obviously a real monster in terms of scale and breadth of economic impact. The economic cost of Brexit will be comparatively small.
Large or small, external threats are always there and always real for business. Every business should know how to build internal resilience so that they are equipped to deal with any threat at any time. Some threats are existential, like the pandemic, others relatively minor, like border delays, transport disruption or increased red tape. The worst kind of threat is the one you can't possibly predict or plan for - as they say in Naples, the most dangerous volcano is the one that hasn't erupted yet and therefore remains invisible.
So, when we know so little about the future, how can we remain alert and resilient?
Whether large or small, resilience means consistently good performance alongside the ability to flex and access to the resources that you need to adapt. To do this requires daily practice of certain behaviours and an understanding of the tools needed to measure and improve.
Here are my top 5 behaviours for keeping your business resilient along with the tools you need to keep on track.
Clear vision is the single most important thing. If you know what you are doing, who for and why you will make good decisions and remain flexible but on track. Communicating the vision to staff and stakeholders is equally important, as this will allow them to move flexibly with you when necessary.
Tools: Strategy Map
Set convincing goals and go all out to hit them. Celebrate when you do, learn when you don't. To be truly resilient you need to be a high performing company every day, so be one.
Stay in Control
Make sure you can see the whole picture, this means having an easily achievable way to collect and analyse data. I use Cyfe, a dashboard app that lets me see live financial, sales and marketing data all on one screen. Keep up with the paperwork, don't let gremlins like missed deadlines and fines be your downfall. Stay in regular touch with your accountant!
Tools: Cyfe, Xero
Lift Your Head Up
Always look ahead and all around you as well as what is right in front of you. This is called horizon scanning and can be as simple as regular review of the finances and a regular SWOT analysis with your team. Make sure you keep in touch with your industry network and press. Look at your competitors ??" use social media platforms to see what your competitors are responding to and talking about.
Tools: Horizon Scanning Checklist
Look After Yourself and Your Team
Maybe the most important thing of all as your business without people won't amount to much! Check in on yourself. Don't over work or over think ??" its only business. If we've learnt anything in this pandemic it is that health must come first, or nothing works at all. If you have a team, make sure that you are checking in on them as well as checking up on them.
For measuring and monitoring my own personal well-being I love the activity app on my apple watch!
Tools: Your choice!
If you are working on these 5 behaviors in your business, then you are on the road to improving your resilience.
We cover this and other topics in our weekly BizHub sessions at SiGNAL you can find out more at the link below. Our event on 15th Jan 2021 will cover Brexit issues that small business might face. Why not book in, and come along? It's FREE for your first visit.?
Click and look for upcoming events here: https://www.signalbordon.org/the-signal-biz-hub