If we as entrepreneurs have learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that disaster can strike at any time and from any quarter. As such, we must be proactive in protecting our businesses. Instead of waiting for the worst and hoping we have what it takes to stay afloat, we must build stability and adaptability into the very architecture of our brands.
Of course, this is all easy to say, but what does it look like in practice? To protect yourself, your work, and your investments, what steps should you take to ensure your business thrives — even through unexpected crises?
1. Build Agility into Your Business Model
During the pandemic, companies in every sector were forced to make sudden and sometimes drastic pivots. From businesses in the food industry implementing widespread systems for delivery and curbside pickup to corporate giants adopting remote and hybrid work models, organizations were tested on their ability to adapt. And in many cases, this ability defined their success moving forward.
However, these pivots came at great cost as businesses scrambled to put them in place on short notice. Instead of being forced to react and evolve in response to a threat, how much better would it be to have agility already built into your company’s services or processes?
Take the time to conduct a thorough audit of your business, identifying potential limitations that could hamstring your efficiency if disaster were to strike. Consider alterations you could make to these processes now that would make them more flexible and responsive. By addressing these issues in advance, your team will be well-positioned to adapt to any necessary changes, even at the last minute.
2. Have Contingency Plans in Place
Where agility fails you, contingency plans can help support your business’ viability and overall success in times of crisis. Most companies already have emergency guides in place for certain disasters, comprised of everything from fire escape routes to succession documents. However, is your business prepared for some less obvious obstacles? Just as COVID-19 took corporations worldwide by surprise, there may be potential crises that your current contingency plans have overlooked.
As a start, review your emergency planning to see if there are standards in place to contend with the following:
- Natural disasters
- Data breaches
- Social distancing/quarantine
- An active shooter situation
- PR scandals
- Financial recession
3. Communicate Honestly with Clients and Stakeholders
When disaster does inevitably occur, your clients and investors may be left feeling as nervous as your staff. It is vitally important that you provide the clarity and reassurance they need to move forward as valued partners to your company. However, under no circumstances should you “gloss over” crucial information or try to manipulate their perception of the situation.
Communicating honestly with your support base will establish your business as trustworthy and transparent even in the face of hardship, cultivating a positive public opinion that will continue to last once the danger has passed. On the other hand, clients or stakeholders who feel tricked or misled by your messaging will be hesitant to work with your company in the future.
Certainly, you do not want to stir up fear or uncertainty by lingering on the negative impact of a crisis. Still, you can foster open communication by being sure to speak on each of the following points:
- How the crisis has impacted your business in the short-term
- Plans or pivots you are putting in place to minimize this negative impact
- Long-term goals to recover from any setbacks
- Gratitude for their ongoing support and reassurances that you are taking every possible action to protect their interests
4. Embrace Changing Markets and New Innovations
One somewhat surprising effect of the pandemic was how it threw into stark relief the willingness of certain businesses to evolve. While some companies embraced new standards, procedures, and technologies to weather the storm of COVID-19, others entrenched themselves, merely hoping to survive.
In March 2020, no one could have predicted how long we would continue to feel the pandemic’s effects. But as the years roll by, it becomes clear that short-term survival was not a sustainable course of action — and many businesses have paid the price for their inertia, forced to significantly downsize or close doors altogether.
The lesson is clear. When a crisis occurs, successful companies must be willing to pivot and upgrade to stay on the cutting edge. This need not be a worldwide crisis, either — consider the list of situations we addressed for contingency planning. If a downshift occurs in your particular market, how will your brand stay ahead of the competition?
Utilizing new innovations and making the most of developing trends can be the difference between success as an industry forerunner or failure as you lag behind. This may include adapting anything from the nature of the services you offer to the internal assets you use to keep your team working efficiently.
While change can certainly be intimidating, there is no such thing as a stagnant market. To consistently enjoy prosperity in any field, you must be willing to meet and exceed the ever-evolving demands of your target audience.
5. Work with Experienced Partners
Our last tip for thriving against all odds is to choose your partnerships wisely. Working with organizations or investors with experience can give your business the upper hand in times of crisis by providing you with access to expert advice, critical financial support, and a further network of potential allies.
They say that no man is an island, and the same holds true for any business. Progress, especially when navigating disaster or setbacks, depends on your ability to make wise decisions and leverage the resources available to your business.
Do you already have rewarding partnerships in place, or are you seeking additional support to help your company enjoy measured growth through both good times and bad? If your groundbreaking startup is looking for investors with the knowledge and experience to mold your great ideas into actionable advancements, Fahad Alrajhi Group is the partner you need. With a demonstrated history of supporting incredible businesses across multiple industries, Fahad Alrajhi provides more than capital — we provide the guidance and support to take your startup to the highest echelons of success.
To learn more about opportunities to partner with Fahad Alrajhi, contact our team today.