For a business to truly succeed and thrive, there’s a lot that needs to be done right, and there are various potential obstacles that need to be overcome.
Between all of the technical aspects of making a business successful though — considerations relating to things like good business budgeting, for example, and sophisticated marketing — there’s also the need to make your business as resilient as possible to unforeseen setbacks and the simple everyday challenges that are bound to arise.
Ideally, what you want is to be able to make your business more resilient over time — transforming it from the thing it was at the outset, and developing it into an ever-more sophisticated, effective, robust and substantial organisation.
Here are a handful of tips of suggestions for making your business more resilient over time, so that one bad quarter, or one failed product launch, doesn’t sink the entire thing.
Cultivate a sense of community among your employees
A business is only ever as resilient and powerful as the individuals working for it — and, specifically, the degree to which those individuals get on well and are able to work effectively, with a sense of investment in the enterprise and ideally a good amount of organisational citizenship behaviour.
Businesses with strong teams behind them — teams that support one another, work together effectively, maintain good lines of communication, and are genuine believers in what the business is doing — are always going to be far more resilient both in the short term and also in the long term.
As a business owner, it should therefore be one of your core priorities to do what you can to foster and cultivate this kind of sense of community among your employees.
Team building activities, professional development courses and programs, a collaborative and open working environment, and the opportunity for employees to register their thoughts and concerns during meetings may all be examples of the kinds of things that can be helpful in creating strong ties within the company, in addition to an empowering company culture.
Adopt the “Kaizen” concept of small, ongoing improvements
The Japanese concept of “Kaizen” — meaning something like “continuous improvement” — has been growing in popularity in professional circles for some time now, particularly due to its manageable approach of encouraging small, ongoing improvements within a business, day-by-day.
For any business to be resilient, it can’t afford to “stand still” or “stay stuck in time.” Better, more sophisticated, and more streamlined ways of doing things will always emerge, and businesses that aren’t able to continue consistently improving are bound to be left behind in the dust.
At the same time, though, it can be very tricky figuring out the best way to execute a major company overhaul or improvement strategy. There will typically need to be a lot of capital investment up front, a very comprehensive business plan, and the process is likely to be quite disruptive, too.
A “Kaizen” approach may offer the best of both worlds, in that it allows a business to improve consistently, but focuses on small tweaks on a daily basis, each of which should be quite manageable in the moment, but all of which will contribute to major changes over time.
At regular intervals, take the time to study and incorporate lessons from setbacks you’ve experienced
You’ve probably heard some version of the phrase “there are no failures, only learning opportunities.”
These types of mantras may be pretty frustrating in the moment when a major setback has threatened your business’s very existence, but the fact of the matter is that most setbacks really can yield invaluable lessons.
At regular intervals, you should take the time to study and incorporate lessons from the setbacks you’ve learned in your business. Weekly meetings for this purpose may, for example, be a great idea.
The most resilient businesses are those that learn from their setbacks and implement changes to become more robust, following those setbacks.
Adapt to the changing demands and tastes of the market to remain relevant
For any business to be resilient over time, it naturally needs to be responsive to the changing tastes and demands of the market.
Instead of staying in your familiar “groove” and offering the same product or service, unchanged, consistently, routinely conduct market research and keep your finger on the pulse of popular trends.
If you can remain culturally and practically relevant to your customers and their interests, and can stay in touch with the Zeitgeist, your business will very likely be significantly more resilient.