Learning Resilience, to Build your Business during Tough Times
Simply reading the news headlines can be downright distressing, and government’s lack of adequate response towards corruption can leave us feeling hopeless. As business owners and active citizens, however, it’s vital to learn and build resilience, so we can survive – and thrive beyond – the tough times. Now’s the time to build your business in new ways, but to do that you’ll need to learn to stay resilient, no matter how tough the economic environment. On this week’s The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, we laid out a plan for building resilience within yourself, and your business:
Cut Out the Noise
Logging on to nearly any social media platform nowadays feels like an instant bombardment of bad news. Now’s the time to log off, and limit your exposure to the noise. More importantly, when you do read the news, it’s important to ensure that you’re reading balanced reporting, and not confining yourself to an echo chamber. You can’t build your business on bad news, but you could find new opportunities to do just that - consider what problems the changing environment has created, and how your business could solve some of them.
Keep Things Simple
Our business environment may be alarmingly complex and difficult, but your best buffer against that is to keep your business simple. By keeping things simple, you’re better able to focus on what it is that you do well, and seek out new opportunities within your chosen industry or sector. Work with what you know, and deepen your capabilities within your sector. Knowledge is a strength that can’t be taken away from you, and learning more about your industry always pays off.
It may feel like the world is spinning out of its orbit, but that’s not something you can fix right now. Remain focused on your business, and stand firm in your approach. Now is not the time to start dabbling in areas where the grass appears to be greener, but it is the time to be disciplined and determined, so that you can continue to build your business.
Be Clear on Your Purpose
Having a solid sense of purpose, mixed with a healthy dose of optimism, is a critical entrepreneurial skill. If you’re feeling unsure of your purpose during these tough times, go back to the drawing board and go through your company vision again. Set your destination for achieving that vision, and adjust to conquer whatever comes your way.
Build a War Chest
Building a war chest, or survival budget, is imperative. If you’ve kept three months’ worth of a buffer in your bank account, work on building it up to six months’ worth. Keep money in your business to buffer you or, if you have spare money to spend, invest it in something suitable, that’ll provide you with a life raft if the seas get rough.
Keep Your Eye on the Future and Think Big (Because Now is the Time to Think)
Times may be tough right now, but you must plan for, and focus on, the future. Rather than focusing on the present, look ahead, because opportunities for the future – especially in the realms of technology – are coming, thick and fast. Contemplate and plan for ways your business can capitalise on those opportunities in the future, and start planning to, today. Simultaneously, think and plan for shocks ahead, building your business in such a way, that it becomes resilient to those shocks.
Measure Everything You Do
By measuring every activity, you can remove the emotions that are tied to your work. Building effective reporting systems, and using them well, gives you an objective perspective on your business. Those numbers tell the true story of your business and help to keep you on track.
Don’t Get Caught in the Engine Room
No matter the economic conditions, the way you build your business will define whether you stay in survival mode, or not. Being in the engine room of your business is much like being in the engine room of a ship: you can’t see the sea, but you’re trying to navigate it. Aim to get out of the engine room and operational side of your business for up to 70 percent of your time, because that way, you’ll be able to steer your ship correctly.
Take a Break
If your industry is quiet over the holiday season, take a break. If your busiest time of the year falls over the traditional holiday period, book yourself a break once the busy season winds down. Taking a break is vital to prevent burnout and keep your stress levels at a manageable level.
Let Aurik work with you to find ways to build your business during tough economic times.