One of the keys to getting back up and running following a knock in business is to have a purpose for the business, beyond simply making money. Any great business success story is one that is created over time and not achieved ‘overnight’.
Most SMEs face challenges, whether industry specific, regulatory in fashion or budget related – those that have a strong resilience plan in place are normally more capable of surviving and moving forward.
Large organisations such as Nando’s, Black Like Me, Capitec, Cell C, Vodacom and Pick ‘n Pay – highly recognised brands in South Africa – have all faced the challenge of adapting to change, whether it is from a brand positioning perspective in order to relate to their target audience, or to simply change negative perceptions.
The Hope Factory, an established Enterprise Development organisation, arms its entrepreneurs with the skills to develop, operate and grow their businesses.
For many start-ups knowing that the business world is filled with uncertainty is an important factor to consider. It is all about the combination of attitude, the skill to plan and the ability to adapt to various situations that sets successful entrepreneurs apart.
Resilience presents itself in many forms and that young organisations usually experience challenges that were never considered. Any new business owner should ask themselves these questions:
- What are the potential challenges that my particular industry will face both short term and long term, and what plans could be put in place to curb the negative impact on my business?
- Following careful review of the industry and the economic environment (both locally and internationally) what insights can I share with my team to ensure that they understand the various pitfalls that could potentially pop up during the business life cycle?
- What can I learn from competitors, or industry leaders, that I could use to plan more thoughtfully – both from a negative and positive point of view?
- Is it possible to scenario-plan upfront, as part of my risk management plan – and what would those specific situations be that could have both a negative and positive impact on my business? Thinking about all resources including: human, material, economic and so forth.
Purpose, for any individual or business, is critical to the success of that organisation.
It goes back to the need for careful planning and understanding of not only the industry in which entrepreneurs operate within, but also the broader economic environment in which the company falls.
Not all change should be viewed as negative and with every change to the organisation new opportunities are presented – it is as important to be aware and prepared to capitalise on these opportunities as it is to have a sound risk management plan in place in order to be resilient.