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How to use this time to build a better business

Sergio Alderuccio

Building a strong business ready for growth

Uncertainty is not a comfortable state for any business owner to be in, but what businesses do during this unpredictable time will determine not only how they emerge on the other side, but whether they are in a position to grow in the months and years ahead.

Beyond dealing with the demands of the immediate situation, businesses that use this time to review, consolidate and improve their ways of working will be best positioned to retain their customers, enhance their offering, and ultimately succeed.

Pause, reflect and reset

The day-to-day demands of running a business often leave little time for reflection, and while the current climate is challenging for businesses everywhere, it’s forced many of us to slow down and take stock, to think about what could be done better, and turn these observations into actions by making improvements and eliminating what’s not working.

Lessons for your business might include:

  • You’ve lost sight of your purpose and goals, resulting in misdirected energies into low value tasks. Regain clarity of your original goals and purpose, while responding to the short-term disruptions.
  • Communication and relationships are more important than ever, yet easily neglected in difficult times. Make it a priority to touch base regularly with staff, key suppliers, alliance partners and clients.
  • Not all clients are good for your business, and challenging times will reveal who your profitable and reliable clients are. Use the current situation to become clear on your ideal client profile and makes plans to pursue more of them. The same applies to identifying new clients in new sectors.
  • Expenses tend to creep up during busy periods. Take this time to review all of your expenses including recurring subscriptions that have likely accumulated.
  • Implementing efficient systems is one of the most effective and sustainable ways to simplify and grow a business. Analyse your business’ existing systems, identify where improvements can be made, and introduce new processes or automate existing ones to get more done with less.

It’s easy to become stuck in the ways we have always done things, even if they are no longer serving us well. Take this opportunity for reflection and make positive changes in your business.

Revisit what you stand for

Too much time can be spent doing and reacting, at the cost of performing and building. Revisit why you went into business in the first place, and refresh your:

  • Vision
  • Purpose
  • Values
  • Goals
  • Strategies

If your purpose has become hazy you may need to reset your reason for being in business. Your team will be reassured by a clear purpose and goals that include them, as opposed to just surviving or pursuing dollars.

Is your business ready for what comes next?

The ability to adapt is critical in determining how your business will be able to respond to the uncertain market conditions we face. Even highly successful businesses with strong track records can struggle if they are unable or unwilling to be flexible and to change with the times.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have the best team in place with the right mix of skills and personalities?
  • Are you supported by capable and committed external advisors and mentors?
  • Do you have adequate marketing resources to drive ongoing growth?
  • Are your internal communication channels working effectively?
  • Do you have ready access to your financials, enabling you to make informed decisions rather than relying on gut feel?
  • Does your corporate structure and asset protection provide you with the required level of protection?
  • Do you have adequate systems in place to help drive a high level of autonomy and productivity?
  • Are you taking enough time out and looking after your health? This has a direct impact on your creativity and mental resilience.

Where to from here?

Businesses that use this major setback to take stock and recalibrate will come out much stronger than those that do not.

  1. Take stock and reflect on your situation.
  2. Examine your current client and supplier profiles.
  3. Make systems a priority as they will foster productivity and enable better client service, with less dependence on key people.
  4. Be clear on your Vision, Purpose, Values, Goals, Strategies and the type of business you want to build.
  5. Assess your organisational structure.
  6. Assemble the right team, internally and externally.
  7. Ensure that your current corporate structure still provides you the best asset protection.
  8. Make it a habit to set time aside to regularly review so that you remain on track and relevant.
  9. Look after yourself — get enough rest, eat well, and exercise.

If you would like to discuss your business’s position and options, please get in touch.

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