How to operate successfully during a crisis
Hey fellow Entrepreneurs and everyone reading,
It’s been a while since our last blog. Almost a year!
Truly, my apologies. But oh boy we have some great content fixed and ready for you guys!
Over the past year so much has happened. The world has literally gone to a semi standstill and a lot of sectors have felt the effects of this outbreak. Especially Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.
Many companies are under pressure and have to cope with disappearing clientele, revenue that is declining or even completely disappearing and fixed costs that are continuing.
In addition, employees have had to work from home, combined with caring for their children and their education.
Entrepreneurs are still faced with difficult choices, both personally and commercially, in which it is important to properly involve employees.
Over the past 6 months, we have coached, advised and helped many entrepreneurs to continue doing business successfully. Based on our experiences in recent months, we have listed 8 important tips, lessons and experiences.
Tips for you as an entrepreneur, so that you are able to continue to operate successfully yourself, to make the right business choices and to properly involve your employees. Take advantage of each of these tips and put your insights and ideas into practice after reading so that you can take your business further.
Tip #1: Think and act in scenarios
As an entrepreneur, it is important to have a view of the future and to think in scenarios. Compare it with a game of chess. A chess player always thinks a few steps ahead and, just like in a game of chess, the opponent can still make a move that upsets the player’s strategy.
But by thinking ahead, you are able to easily determine the right moves to achieve your goal. It is the same in a time of crisis. When running a business, we call this scenario planning.
Instead of “trying something” or “I think it’s going that way,” you work out certain scenarios and think about the consequences. Due to the unreliable course of things, you may be wrong with your scenarios, but you have thought about it, realized the different consequences and consciously chose a path.
This awareness and thinking about the actions and consequences is one of the main success factors of successful companies, even in times of crisis.
Tip #2: Become a managerial leader
In this current time, we need not only leaders with a vision for the future and ability to create, but also managers who know how to motivate employees and bring about change at this time. The ideal manager has leadership behavior and thinks long-term, but also behavior that belongs to a manager. Someone who is firm, disciplined and result oriented. It is precisely these elements that give a manager strength in the troubled times we are in right now.
The leader shows that they care about their employees, customers and organization and they believe in a bright future for their organization. Whilst the manager tries to achieve the desired results in a disciplined way, encouraging their employees and themselves to achieve extraordinary results by working together in all kinds of ways.
So the greatest need for now is a manager who has leadership skills or vice versa.
Tip #3: Be socially fair
A company (today) is socially just and thinks long-term. The company continues to focus on all stakeholders around the company and invests in contact and network with them. A company is part of society, so by taking good care of its employees, paying salaries and paying attention to the immediate environment, the company acquires a sustainable place in society. Society in its own way will have (and feel) a responsibility for a good business climate.
The switch to more responsible business models, more focused on all different stakeholders, had already started before the outbreak of the corona crisis. As a company you should understand the importance of a good relationship with your employees, with your suppliers and responding to the needs in the market.
If you focus on these aspects, you will come out of the crisis better.
Tip #4: Invest in innovation
Which companies are doing relatively well, are able to stabilize or even grow their turnover and are able to tap into new markets in times of crisis? These are mainly companies that invest in innovation and technology. Companies with an online webshop and companies that have automated and digitized their processes.
Digitization is an important driver for your company. A smoothly running production process is productive and efficient. Not being dependent on workers makes you more flexible and just takes away micro managing everything.
Think differently, see which process you can automate, know how to reduce dependence and create new sales opportunities. Let your people also think about this process, so you involve them in the automation. They often know best where the acceleration can be achieved.
Tip #5: Make your company sustainable
A few years ago, the motto within the business world was People, Planet, Profit. If you wanted to do something in the field of corporate social responsibility as a company, you would have included the 3 Ps in your vision and strategy. Nowadays, a company that still does not see the necessity of doing business with an eye for people, the environment and society is no longer credible.
We must produce sustainably, strive for circularity in the supply chain and meanwhile be good for all stakeholders in and around the company.
So as Entrepreneurs it is our task to produce goods or deliver services in sustainable and eco-friendly way, as much as possible.
Tip #6: Focus on the customer experiences
Successful new companies in technology are characterized by improving their processes based on customer experience or user experience. So what is the experience of your customer or your user when they order, use, taste your product, or when they purchase your service?
If you know how your (end) customer experiences your product, you can make improvements to surpass this experience. By simply asking them what you could improve.
Betting on reliability is something that fits very well with the current times. Customers want less and less surprises. So one important step that you can take as a company is to focus on measuring customer experiences and drawing up your customer journey.
Tip #7: Make sure you have sufficient financial reserves in your company
We remember it from the time of the financial crisis of 2008. If the revenue suddenly halves – or worse: minimizes – it is very nice to have a good financial position. Money offers you a buffer for your continuity and it is a measure of profit.
So you see, it is not the profit that guarantees the continuity of your company, but the fact whether you have sufficient money in your company.
An absolute hallmark of a successful business is the presence of sufficient financial reserves. Make sure you have good (payment) agreements with your debtors and be sharp about the payment term and are aware of the expenses you make yourself.
Tip #8: Deal decently with people
In the first few months of the corona crisis, cutting workers off wasn’t the thing. This is changing. It is inevitable that companies will reorganize in order to remain afloat themselves. At one time, a layoff will appear as ‘unjust’, at other times it will be conceivable.
As a company you do not want to be on the list of ‘bad reputation towards employees’. You must therefore prepare well for a layoff round, do it well-considered and most importantly, explain and communicate very well. Ultimately, you want to move on with those left behind, so a culture of treating your people decently is a MUST for a successful business.
Time and again it appears that committed and enthusiastic employees are an important factor for a well-performing organization. In fact, people are the most important value you have. Without them, your company can hardly be called a company. Your people provide the added value and are the calling card of your organization. Customers do business with your employees and not with you, your logo or the brand promise.
So all in all companies should be adaptable, flexible, innovative and have a culture of mutual respect; towards employees and clients.
We hope to have spread some light on a few important topics when it comes to companies in general and how to stay afloat during this pandemic.
Keep following our blogs through our website www.arthemconsultancy.com and read more about some interesting topics!
Until the next time!