How To Build A Resilient Business
Markets are not as stable as they once were, due to the level of disruption. As a result, industries are crumbling, consumer buying patterns are changing, and technology is evolving. First of all, remaining relevant in this day and age is integral to your businesses long-term sustainability. And in a complex ever-changing world, it can be challenging, too.
Our markets and industries are volatile. Furthermore, the volatility is only going to increase. Therefore, your business must become agile. Not just to face the risks you know of, but to meet the ones you don’t see coming.
An example of this is when the travel industry was disrupted by the emersion of online travel. The industry impact was significant, but most of all the industry was not ready for the disruption. I was an executive in a large travel business, and our relevance dropped in the blink of an eye, as did many of our competitors. Subsequently, it took a few years to regain market share and grow. We only did this through insights and innovation. Therefore by being agile in our response and being resilient, ensuring the business remained today when many other players did not survive.
Here are some must-dos on how to build a resilient business to ensure your business remains relevant:
1 - Customer Insights
Speaking with your customer is a powerful way to unlock insights into your relevance. Ask their clients what frustrates them? Enquire about what should you stop doing? What do you keep doing and what you should start doing? Talking to customers should always be a priority to ensure your business is resilient.
2 - Be Observant
Get out of your office. Observe your clients and identify any patterns that might provide insights into their needs. A prime example here is the head rest on the planes. The head rest idea was a result of a flight watching passenger's heads drop every time they slept in flight. If the airlines asked passengers what they needed, do you think they could they have come up with a head rest idea? Probably not. Particularly relevant is the fact that evolution at the core means being observant and solving problems. The majority of the time a consumer doesn't know what their future needs are, as a result, watch your customers might provide you with some insights.
3- Income Stream Risk
Make sure you have a diverse cross-section of clients. Because if your main income stream relies on one client or one source, your business is high risk. Look at different income streams. That way if one source of revenue takes a hit, you still have other sources to keep the cash flowing. Of course, secure the key players in your industry as a client. However, you have to make sure you spread the dependence across multiple streams.
4 - Have a plan
Particularly relevant, is that fact that creating a plan does not mean that you have to write a 60-page business plan. Most of all keep it simple. A one or 2-page strategic plan is all that is needed. It’s important to be clear on the direction of your business. A plan is like a game of chess because you know where your pieces are on the board and you know the outcome you want. Most of all, you can measure your progress based on the moves you make. You can identify where your pieces are at risk. As a result, you can then move based considering the possibilities around you. Therefore, anticipating the moves ahead - resilient businesses do this well. They know their moves, and each one is considered and measured.
5 - Systems & Processes
What happens if you have a mass exodus of your top talent? Do you have training manuals in place? If not, you must ask each team member to write a document for each critical role. When you have all functions and responsibilities within your business documented, your business is more resilient.
Being agile and resilient in business is critical in this disruptive and volatile marketplace. The disruption and evolution of traditional industries are of benefit to many. Uber is a prime example of this. However, if your industry is being disrupted, and you are not ready to evolve. Consequently, your business won’t remain relevant.
At CEO HQ we help entrepreneurs scale and build resilient businesses. Through enabling more business owners to access to advice, mentoring, guidance, support and the knowledge and expertise of accomplished CEOs without the full-time expense. You don’t need to do it all alone, let us be your sounding board to accelerate growth, we have spent many years helping businesses grow, innovate and turn challenges into opportunities. Give us a call; we’d love to hear from you.
Call 1300 88 53 94 or book a Deep Dive Discovery Session, where we'll discover your challenges and how we can support you in solving those problems and turning them into opportunities for growth.