People often say the only certainty in life is change. As we enter the next phase of this pandemic, the uncertainty continues and resilience is more important than ever.
With the last 16 months underlining this likely more than any other time in history, it’s important to understand the future of your business.The more you know about how external factors will affect your business, the better you can adjust quickly and succeed when change happens.
Through my practice, I like to look at four distinct yet interrelated areas. I call these the four pillars of business growth:
- First, we look at the strategy. Without a strategy you really don’t know where you’re going.
- The second most crucial factor is having cash and an understanding of when you will need more. Without cash and a strong comprehension of what drives your business, you can’t accomplish necessary business functions.
- Thirdly, we look at the people. People are certainly the most important part of making a business run and meet objectives; the fact this is third should not minimize the importance. It’s just that you can’t hire people if you don’t have cash, and it’s difficult to get cash without a strategy. Having the right people, at the right time, in the right roles makes for successful growth.
- Finally, execution. Executing on the plan is the only way to achieve your vision. So many times, I hear about companies that develop a strategy and never execute it.
That’s why I currently work with my clients on a long-term basis. In the past I’ve worked with people on simply developing a strategy, but every time I would run into a client that I’d done this for I would ask, “how’s the strategy working?” And their response was always, “we never actually implemented it, and we aren’t performing near to our planned expectations.” The execution must happen to make the strategy work!
By paying attention to these four pillars, companies are able to develop incredible resilience. This is a recipe for success and, when tied together with the tools for resilience, your company can thrive while others struggle. However, neither should not be thought of in a linear fashion. I encourage my clients to reflect on each by creating a monthly review process.
It’s important to look at your results and see how you are executing. Then, go back to the strategy and make sure you are still on course, or determine if you need to change things. If you need to change, do you need to change your operations or your strategy? In my experience, most of the time it’s the operations that need to change, but sometimes there also needs to be adjustments to the strategy — especially in our ever-changing world.
This circular approach to managing your business is the key to success. Many of your competitors will not have the discipline to do this, so if you can maintain this discipline, you have a much higher chance of success.
The tools for resilience I’ve created are designed to be applied to the four pillars of business growth. Utilizing these tools in your decision-making process will allow you to understand success factors during times of economic change.
- Make sure your decisions tie into your strategy.
- Reforecast for your decisions
- Evaluate the effects of these decisions
- Assess your decisions constantly
- Market your product in a way that resonates with your customers in changing times. This often changes as the economy changes. For instance, during COVID, people’s needs and desires changed significantly. Marketing your product so that it fits better with your customers’ needs and desires is the key to driving revenue.
Having the four pillars in place and applying these tools can help you rapidly adapt successfully to change. The easier you can predict the future, the more successful you will be in an ever-changing economy.