Building resilience

The Spring 2021 Entrepreneurs’ Forum Member Magazine theme is ‘Year of the Entrepreneur’ and reflects the Forum’s shared goal for times ahead. The last year has proved that by working together we’re capable of achieving great things and you’ll find plenty of examples of this throughout this magazine.

Our managing director, Helen Short, shared her top tips for building resilience in your business, which are available on pages 32 and 33 and the article is also available below.

It’ll never happen to me!
Everyone remembers where they were the day that JFK got shot, when the Twin Towers came down, when the country voted for Brexit, when the Country went into Lockdown for Covid 19.

We all thought that this would never happen, but it did.

Walking away from my office in March I wondered how on earth I could continue our business through lockdown. As a leader, what do you do with that? How do you plan for a future that’s blurry?

It’s all in the attitude of a leader, its ‘how’ do I deal with it not ‘if’. I gathered my thoughts and turned to our own resilience planning looking at the risks as well as the opportunities presented by a pandemic – the same principles can be applied to your business too.

Identify and understand your influences
Identify and understand the influences on the business and what risks and opportunities that they all present. There will always be constant changes in the economic environment disrupting business and this uncertainty leaves no room for complacency for any business model, product, or service.

Whether it’s because of new trade rules, changing regulations, changing technology or an out-of-nowhere disruptive global event, your business or industry might look radically different one year from now.

Develop and apply risk-based thinking
Once you’ve identified the influences within your business, focus on how to manage the risks and opportunities to be more resilient during the ever-changing business environment.

Start by identifying situations or events (including threats or opportunities) that could affect your organisation, before investigating causes and consequences of these events and assessing the likelihood of potential risks.

Risk assessment and risk management does take time, effort and money, but by adopting risk-based thinking, it’s an investment you won’t regret as you’ll be more prepared to make more cost effective and valuable business decisions.

Develop proactive action planning
Once you’ve identified and understood the influences on your business, and reviewed the risks and opportunities available to you, it’s time to develop proactive (not reactive) action planning. This means creating a step-by-step practical guide to enable you to achieve your revised objectives. This will vary business-to-business but may include, for example, reviewing in staff training and development or investing in activities that will strengthen your culture.

For us, our priority was on pivoting the business from on-site delivery to operating virtually just as successfully, if not better than before, and ensuring we have the resources needed to achieve our plan.

Monitor and evaluate
Once you’ve implemented your action plan within your business, continually review and improve it. Prioritise and action plan frequently and logically, making it a regular process. By doing so, you’ll create a stronger and more adaptable business.

Get more information on Absolute Quality’s COVID-19 support. 

Arrange to attend or organise a ‘Lockdown Exit Strategy – Getting Your Team Back into Business’ webinar, which gives practical advice and guidance for any business owner and employer returning to work after lockdown.

Learn more about how the Rubik’s cube approach will help you to manage your business, protect and manage risks whilst optimising opportunities and developing your people, relationships, and reputation.