Just as we would expect post-pandemic, economic growth has leveled off. Although there are many reasons to stay optimistic, there is no hiding from the fact that the picture has been more troubled.
Below we discuss and cover practical business advice to guide you through these winds of change.
A checklist to help you build resilience with good financial health:
- Prepare a 13 week cash-flow plan - this will allow you to understand and see what cash is coming in and out
- Chase all debts and agree on payment plans where relevant - use an appropriate tone of voice to do so
- Update your database – widen your talent pool
- Upskill your staff
- Look for new opportunities
- Re-evaluate your assets – can you use hybrid working and downsize your office? Or implement shift work and desk sharing?
- Invest wisely
- Use social media as a cost-effective way to promote your brand
- Evaluate staff performance and KPIs and focus on the team
- If possible, consider creating a reserve fund that could sustain your business in unprecedented times for 3-4 months
- Remember, you will be remembered for how you act now!
Dos and don’ts for defining your strategy if a downturn occurs
- Put a plan in place and review regularly
- Continue to develop your brand – use marketing to do so
- Keep staff up to date and communicate the progress of the business to them
- Offer career guidance to your employees
- Focus on new markets, sectors, opportunities and develop niche opportunities’
- Retain staff and upskill if needed
- Make sure managers are using KPIs to guide them through the strategy
- Make sure everyone is invested in the strategy – this will lead to more motivation and a higher success rate
- Adapt and change your strategy if the needs/wants of employees and candidates changes
- Continue your growth and development
- Do anything drastic that will change who your business is
- Stop training staff
- Stop communicating throughout the business
- Stop giving advice and support to employees and candidates
- Take advantage of the situation, hold your current % margins/fees
Be a great leader!
You have come through times of incredible challenge and change, and you no doubt learned a lot to lead staff out of a crisis. Make sure you keep a record of everything you learned, note down what competitors have done and focus on the critical behaviours and continue to amplify any successes.
To be a great leader you should:
Put people first
When you put people first, they are empowered to show up as their best selves and are supported to maximise their potential and excel in tasks handed to them. They felt respected and valued, this drives loyalty which will increase effort and retention.
Focus on communication
Communication can define how successful your business is, and it starts with communication within your team and staff. Understanding and being familiar with your staff, their circumstances, needs and pressures are key when trying to obtain the organisations’ goals. Keep your team aware of how they’re doing, and how enthusiastic and proud you are of your business and how excited you are for the upcoming opportunities.
Keep up to date with technology
Technology can speed up processes within a business and allows leaders to speed up processes allowing more time to revise business models. Technology can be used to empower and inspire people to take upon the most compelling business opportunities.
Company culture is the greatest source of well-being. It’s important to ask how your staff are and listen to understand before talking business. A happy team is more likely to be successful. Celebrate all successes and act with integrity; the more people trust your actions the better engagement it creates. Set yourself and team up for success, and make sure they’re prepared for the future of the business. Manage and monitor your staff performance and trust and support those around you.
Things you can do to support mental health and well-being:
- Ask, listen and understand. Find out what is affecting their mental well-being, whether its work, personal, medical etc
- Find out what support they have
- If necessary, decide if they should be at work or not. Should they take some time off to recover?
- Try and offer support and work with the individual to ensure they have a routine in place. Emphasise the importance of a routine, exercise and healthy habits
- Encourage personal development
- Consider reasonable adjustments. For example, could you lessen the load by offering a flexible schedule, or a hybrid working experience
Skills for the future
- Adaptability and flexibility. A lot of companies have adapted, so not having flexibility will cause you to fall behind your competition
- Staying in touch with technology and mastering available tech will keep you ahead of the game
- Encourage creativity and innovation
- Use data to drive your business
- Be honest with those in the working environment
- Keep learning and challenging yourself and encourage those around you
Skills to drive business performance:
- Ask yourself “what skills would you like to see?” when thinking about your business
- Key characteristics: compassion, character, competency, commitment, connection, collaboration, courage
- Emphasize importance of empathy, listening, being honest and genuine and good communication skills
Applying this practical business advice will help guide you through winds of change. Good financial health, a strong business strategy, great leadership skills, a great team, culture and upskilling for the future will futureproof your business.