Fall is a time of change when we prepare for the holidays and a new year. Although this is a festive period, plenty of stress is also involved for businesses and individuals. Companies strive to wrap up their existing projects and meet deadlines before the holiday season starts. However, they must be mindful of the future and prepare accordingly. One of the best survival tactics for businesses is to rely on agility and flexibility. If your company can embrace change and roll with the punches, you will be in for a much smoother ride. To help weather the winds of change for your business, we’ve put together a list of tips to ensure you’ll come out victorious. Here is how your business can stay the course and get through the storm unscathed.
Set Goals for Your Business
Although we stressed the importance of remaining flexible, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a plan. Create a framework of what you want to achieve, but be ready to adapt on the go. This approach will give you a strategy to strive for, but you will also be resilient if things don’t work out. Remembering the famous quote from President Dwight Eisenhower: “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
Currently, many economists are claiming we are about to face a recession. Arguably, we are already facing supply chain disruptions and global price increases. Creating a detailed financial plan would be best if you want to weather the winds of change for your business. Adopt a frugal mindset and start tracking expenses. However, saving money isn’t a business goal that should guide your company. Instead, you should find ways to improve the productivity and performance of your daily operations. Setting goals and setting yourself deadlines can help discipline and motivate your teammates.
Adapt to a Hybrid Workplace Model
When the COVID pandemic hit, most businesses were left wondering how to function if their employees couldn’t come to work. Home offices quickly replaced coming in to work in person. Most companies stuck to a work-from-home or hybrid model after the pandemic ended. Although most employees are pleased with the flexibility these models offer, business owners and managers must also find a way to deal with these changes. Running things the way you used to can quickly become slow and cumbersome.
Doing work from home is one thing, but managing a team of employees without direct communication has proven to be more challenging than many have expected.
It has become evident that endless Zoom calls aren’t the best means of keeping your team motivated and productive. Thankfully, business owners can take advantage of professional coaching to learn effective methods of managing a remote workforce.
Make Sure You Have the Right People for the Job
When companies face hard times, they often downsize the number of employees. Although this strategy can save you money in the short term, laying off employees often doesn’t improve the productivity of your business or boost morale as intended. We suggest running evaluation and training programs to help your current staff be better at their jobs, understand each other, and build stronger workplace relationships.
Additionally, if you plan to adopt new software tools or make sweeping changes to your daily operations, you must ensure all your employees are on board. If only half of your workforce switches to the new platform, you can expect delays and missed deadlines. Most systems function only if everyone participates, and it’s your responsibility to spearhead the initiative and encourage other employees to follow you.
Reassess Your Supply Chain
Regardless of what product or service you sell to customers, you were undoubtedly affected by the supply chain disruption. Even businesses that rely on local customers need to consider last-mile delivery. If you want to weather the winds of change for your business, the safest bet is to set up a distributed supply network. Relying on more than one supplier will give you plenty of flexibility and reduce delivery times. New industry jargon that has replaced “Just in Time” is “Just in Case.”
Cut Down on Your Expenses
A penny saved is a penny earned. Reducing your operating costs is an excellent way to get through hard times. You can start by making a detailed list of all your company’s weekly and monthly expenses. Look at all the recurring items you are paying for, and cancel everything except the necessary services you need to operate. Consider hiring a cost-cutting consultancy like my friend Jon Leet at Schooley Mitchell to be sure you are only paying for what you need and getting the best price.
For many businesses, a significant expense is rent. If you have switched to a hybrid workplace model, consider renting a smaller, more affordable office space. When moving to a new office, relocation experts from Zippy Shell Columbus recommend renting a temporary storage unit. Placing some of your office inventory in storage will give you time to figure out how many things you need for your hybrid business model. Once set up and running again, you can sell the excess inventory to recoup some of your investment.
Small business owners mistakenly believe that automation is reserved only for large companies. However, by automating mundane tasks, you can free up an incredible amount of work hours for your employees. In turn, they can spend that time chasing down new leads and interacting with existing customers. Automation can benefit your productivity by handling tedious tasks such as data entry and report generation. You can also use comprehensive tools such as CRM platforms to help you keep track of the customer journey.
Knowing where customers struggle will help you identify and eliminate choke points and increase closed sales.
Although a rising tide indeed lifts all boats, you must first weather the winds of change for your business and navigate the storm ahead. By preparing for the incoming recession, you’ll ensure that your company remains liquid and manages to outlast the inflation and recession experts are announcing. Instead of a doom-and-gloom attitude, you can follow the advice outlined here and rest easy knowing your business is ready for whatever comes your way.
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