“More than one-third of businesses today will not survive the next 10 years”.
- John Chambers Cisco’s CEO for 20 years
Are you already in business or you are planning to start one? Statistics from the Bureau of Labor that says that close to 50 percent of new businesses do not survive past the first five years of operation? The business world is challenging and quite demanding. It’s not all always rosy. Every organization goes through tough times that if unchecked, can threaten its existence. By proactively implementing strategies and tactics your business can emerge stronger with growth projections into the future. Consider five actionable strategies to help organizations survive tough times.
Ensure continuous, timely access to finance
Having timely access to finance guarantees an unhindered business operation. It is an excellent and confident indicator of the health of a business. There is no doubt, every business, especially startups struggle for market shares. All businesses go through periods of low sales. Depending on the severity can affect the bottom line. However, this is no time to shy away from the marketing and business plan. A temporary downturn could be a result of elements that are outside of their control, especially changes in policy and regulations.
To mitigate these effects, C-suite and executive leaders must put in place, advance measures that would ensure continuous and timely access to finance and revenue streams. These include passive investments, debt, cross, co-partnerships, and diversification. This type of equity planning can ensure that there is no disruption to the organization’s operations.
The need to test the waters
There are many uncertainties in life and the business life cycle. As such, it is better to err on the side of delay. “Testing the waters” in business allows C-suite and executive leaders time to assess the success of a new investment either in the product or service before committing full resources. It serves as a protection against failure and a large loss of capital wealth.
Even with the best intentions, business plans, and hard work, a business could still experience setbacks. Many businesses feel the results and undergo turbulent times as a result of poorly researched, mistaken, or inappropriate investment business decisions. It is necessary for business leaders to minimize their exposure to loss by investing capital with negligible impact on their operations on new businesses.
Be open to change
The business world is constantly changing. With the advent of the World Wide Web and globalization the business world is more competitive and survival is demanding. These changes result in a paradigm shift of power from the producers to the consumers. Consumers, unlike any time in product and service development of the past, are less loyal and extremely skeptical. They have the power to choose, what to buy, who to buy from, and when, based on numerous factors that appeal to them.
Businesses must earn their trust, pivot, and adapt. Organizations that survive tough times are those that are flexible to change. There is a need to keep abreast of changes in the information technology industry and how it affects your business. In addition, ensuring an open line of communication with your customers on how to best serve them is the step in the right direction.
The place of documentation and a succession plan
The unexpected death of a business owner or a key player in an organization could lead to tough challenging times. In view of this, it is critical to have in place a succession plan that will minimize disruption in operations. This involves a plan for every key member and department on the team.
Natural disasters such as fire, flood, and acts of violence and sabotage are on the human side. The unpredictability of life events is a tangible personal loss that can be moderated with prearranged plans. In this light, executive leaders should explore the utilization of insurance, best practices, policies and procedures, and a disaster recovery plan to minimize exposure. In addition, all credentials, records, vital information and documents that are critical to the organization’s operation must be preserved. There is an obligation to have them stored in a secure place accessible by all key C-suite and executive members.
Bringing it home
Adopting a preemptive protocol approach to business management is the key to surviving in tough times. Many businesses experience difficult times as a result of a reactive mindset approach in management.
To be successful, be observant and look out for early notable signs. For example, elevated customer dissatisfaction rates indicate that the health of a business may be in jeopardy. The ability of leaders to nip quickly every red flag warning in the bud determines financial stability, growth, and determines the path into the future.