Traditionally, businesses have been focusing on financial performance to measure their success. If revenue or the customer numbers dropped, the marketing team would react and come up with a new strategy. However, with the seemingly never-ending pandemic, fear of inflation and another (cold) war constantly on our minds, it has become clear in recent times that this approach is no longer suitable.
Markets are volatile and businesses need to be prepared more than ever for the unthinkable. Rather than a company’s actions and reactions to current events, ongoing business success will depend on how resilient its leaders and the brand itself are. The question is, how do you measure resilience and how do you build a resilient business and brand?
What is resilience
Generally speaking, resilience is the ability to absorb stress, recover from difficulties quickly and thrive even when times get tough. For businesses and brands, being resilient means that they are able to adapt with ease, change direction quickly when needed, survive setbacks with minimal losses and bounce back even stronger. And through it all, their customers remain loyal.
Why does it matter?
Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, consumers, employees and company owners have become painfully aware of what happens if businesses are not adequately prepared for ongoing disruptions. Broken down supply chains and understaffing due to illness and isolation requirements were only some of the issues that left customers disgruntled and businesses frantically trying to bring order back into the chaos.
Whether it is a natural disaster, a global pandemic, a cyber attack or a crash on the stock market. A resilient business is dynamic and able to deal with unpredictable changes to its environment no matter how big or small the impact may be. As a result, resilient companies will be able to continue business almost or entirely as usual without suffering high losses in revenue, customer numbers or else.
How to make your business more resilient
Preparation is essential. Knowing the risks your business is most likely going to be exposed to and how to deal with them are the first steps to ensure you get through difficult times with minimal impact.
Plan, Respond and Recover
While not as common as they should be, more and more businesses opt to create a business continuity plan to help them keep disruptions to a minimum. They identify the most likely disruptors and determine whether these stressors are affecting the business from within, such as theft or fraud, cultural issues and a lack of skilled employees, or whether they happen outside the business’s control including natural disasters and government policies.
Business continuity plans also address how each aspect of the business responds to the interruption and what actions need to be implemented beforehand in order to manage and minimise the risk.
Know your customers
The better you know and understand your customers and their behaviour, the more likely you will be able to keep them loyal to your brand and maneuver together through tough times. Putting customer experience first under any circumstance will enable you to meet the changing needs of your audience when it matters most.
Refresh your leadership
In order to sail a ship through rough weather, you need your entire crew behind you. How much trust and confidence do your employees have in your leadership skills? If you can inspire your team and give them direction at any given time, they are more likely to continue to follow you when business does not go as usual.
Reshape your business culture
Give your employees a sense of purpose, show them that they are valued and that what they do is important. A company with secure core values and a strong culture where everyone is proud of being a part will more likely withstand hardship and continue moving forward.
Reignite your workforce
Being able to adapt to the varying needs of your workforce will help your business deal better with unforeseen circumstances. Prioritizing your workforce and having support systems in place such as allowing employees to work from home if needed will mean less interruptions for your business and higher performance by your team in the long run.
Minimizing the impact
No matter what kind of crisis your business is facing, they usually fall into one of the following categories. Being resilient means knowing your weak points, putting strategies in place to reduce the risk of disruptions and keeping the impact as small as possible if you are being hit by disaster.
Brand and reputation
Your brand is what you have been working on so hard to establish. It’s what customers associate with when they think of you, their experiences and the value they place on your business. Unhappy customers can easily damage your brand and reputation whether you are at fault or not. The easiest way to decrease the risk is to have an excellent quality control strategy in place across all your channels.
Whether it’s a data breach, a robbery or a cyber attack, being aware of any potential risks to your business’s security is vital to ensure your safety and keep you out of financial and legal trouble. The right business insurance and regular security audits can help minimize the risk.
Keeping up with legal requirements including health and safety standards, data protection and labour laws can be challenging. Even more so when you are faced with chaos and disaster. It is important to have someone who is not only aware of regulations related to your industry, but also remains in touch with regulatory bodies to stay on top of changes and implement them within all areas of your company to ensure ongoing compliance.
Most internal and external risk factors will have an impact on your company’s financial and economic situation. From supply chain issues to inflation and decreasing productivity, how well your business is prepared for financial risks say a lot about your resilience. Setting enough money aside for emergencies and being able to access funds from a range of facilities quickly will ensure a steady cash-flow even when your revenue drops.
Human error can quickly jeopardize business operations, whether you are running a small office or a multi-story factory. The best way to minimize the risk is to provide your staff with adequate ongoing training, quality equipment that is safe to use and ensure everyone is aware of emergency procedures. A good public liability insurance will further help you reduce the impact.
A strong brand is less likely to drown when disaster strikes. If you would like to know more about creating and strengthening brand awareness and how to build long lasting relationships with your audience, talk to the friendly experts at Energise Web today.