Building a business with confidence amidst uncertainty
A constantly changing business environment demands that business owners develop new skills to ensure business growth. Recently, the Industrial Development Corporation provided a long explanation was provided as to how SME investment due diligences are performed. Due to the risky nature of SME investing and the unavailability of collateral, extremely detailed due diligence process is undertaken to minimize and manage risk.
However, as noble as the idea of a due diligence on a business plan may be, its irrelevant today. No business plan ever rolls out as written and by the time funding is approved, the relevance behind it, the businesses requirement and the deal on hand are no longer, well, relevant. Confidence to invest and act in uncertainty is what’s needed to make things happen to the benefit of your business’s growth. On The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, Pavlo told us what that skill is and how to develop it:
Building a business requires a new kind of skill
Building a business like running a marathon. It takes time to get a rhythm, but once you do, so long as you persist, you will advance. At least, that’s the way it used to be. Today, in our turbulent world, it still like running a marathon but no longer on the road. The road is smooth, it undulates and twists and turns in a gentle meander. It is easier to build momentum and rhythm on a road. Today, that marathon is being run in the wild. It takes you through forests, bush, mountains and valleys. Orienteering through this terrain requires a clear end-goal. One we call an Asset of Value. Thereafter, run and as you run, keep in the Asset of Value direction but change as you need to make the run safer, faster and more reliable in this wild terrain. You can’t plan it, you need to simply do it!
Consistent action produces consistent results
Your attitude as a business owner is the starting point for your decision making and, therefore, your business growth. Accept this uncertain business environment as the new normal and start acting in accordance with it. You can do this by:
- Building your ability to take decisive action, using just 30% of the information you’d usually expect.
- Making the best possible decision, using the information you already have.
- Shortening your output and delivery cycles, but not your long-term goals.
- Keeping the long-term goal of building an Asset of Value in mind, at all times.
- Implementing small strategic changes within your business, measuring the results, and then adjusting your strategy accordingly.
- Developing your business proprioception and new habits. Proprioception is your ability to sense of orientation of your body, within your environment. It’s this ability that enables you to know that our arm is raised above your head, even if your eyes are closed. Moreover, training your body to remain stable, no matter what you’re standing on, takes consistent action, commitment, and focus. The more you are able to apply this type of approach to building your business, the better you will operate within an uncertain business environment.
- Building your resilience as a business owner, through consistent action. That will produce consistent results.
Build an agile, responsive business
To build an agile, responsive business that can survive, and thrive, in a constantly shifting environment, you need:
- An active, responsive team of people.
- The ability to act in the moment and respond to new customer problems as the environment changes.
- A business that can navigate through volatile times, and that keeps moving no matter what.
Build your business’ primary working cogs the right way
Your business has three primary cogs that keep it moving forward. Reconfigure these cogs to build a responsive business. They are:
The Front-End Cog: Marketing & Sales
Shift your marketing strategy away from a product focus and move towards a problem-solving focus. Don’t focus on adding new features to your products; become an expert at solving your customers’ new problems. Don’t fall into the trap of focusing on one type or act of marketing. Adopt a multi-channel marketing approach and keep up the effort. Your sales and marketing team should be working consistently and aggressively to attract new customers.
The Back-End Cog: Procurement & Delivery
Re-define your business operations into three categories: core & strategic; non-core & strategic and, non-core & non-strategic. Outsource anything that’s non-core: for example, hire an IT service provider to manage your company’s IT needs, rather than trying to build your own IT division. For anything non-strategic, simplify those tasks to the best of your ability. Your business operations must be simplified, to ensure you can scale efficiently and effectively. Stabilise, simplify, and stick to, your system of delivery so that all operations can easily rest upon its rhythm. A well-designed system of delivery will enable to easily adapt to changes in your business environment and move quickly towards new opportunities.
The Middle Cog: Administration, Governance & Measurement
Wherever possible, simplify your administrative processes and implement effective systems that ensure you remain compliant at all times. You don’t want to miss out on a tender because your BEE certificate is outdated!
The right mindset empowers you to work on your business, and not just in it. Break your business growth into projects and take small steps in each area. Try new things, assess how they affect your business, and then adapt accordingly.
Consistent action produces consistent results. At Aurik, we’ll help you develop the right kind of skills to build your business into an Asset of Value.