There’s much to be said for “living in the moment”, as life can be very unpredictable by nature. How many people could have foreseen the COVID-19 pandemic – which, in a startlingly short space of time, has seen the world essentially grind to a halt?
However, while you can’t quite predict the future with certainty, you can still take small-but-crucial steps to prepare for it – and help to buttress your business against future economic shocks.
Be wary of placing all your eggs in one basket
One aspect of the future you certainly can’t predict with too much confidence is how consumer behavior could shift. Therefore, there’s cause for concern if your company currently relies heavily on a single income stream. What would happen to your business if that stream started dwindling?
See what you can do to diversify, even just within that one revenue stream. For example, you could start selling more of your most popular product online or find new partners to grow your horizons.
Try to spend more efficiently
There’s much to be said for planning your company’s spending much like you would plan a home remodeling project: in other words, by accounting for worst-case-scenario costs.
Gregory Kim, a member of the Forbes Business Development Council, advises: “Anticipate the worst when resource planning. Assume that the worst case scenario will last longer and be more costly than expected”. That might mean having to rein in or postpone some of your long-term plans.
Keep your finger on the pulse
Fortunately, it’s not necessarily hard to do that; you probably already know many of the relevant, industry-specific periodicals and resources to which you should now start paying closer attention. Knowledge is power, as the saying goes – so you should minimize blind spots in that knowledge.
Consider, for example, how current developments are affecting buying behavior and how your customers’ priorities are shifting. Also consider monitoring economic indicators, as digital consultant John Boitnott advocates in an Inc. article, to judge how emerging winds could influence your firm.
Support the workers you already have
In a volatile period, it might not be the best strategy to invest in new laptops or similar equipment – not least because you can’t be certain how your corporate requirements might look once the storm has passed. You are likely, however, to have some or many of the same workers in place then.
Therefore, it’s them, rather than the office tech, to which you should pay more attention right now. That means regularly checking up on them to see how they are managing and whether they need a little extra help – especially if, as could remain likely right now, they are working remotely.
Reassess where and how your team ought to work
Yes, many of your employees might be working from home right now – but not necessarily forever. In preparation for when they do return to a physical office, you could reconsider what form that office should take. You could, for example, look into a range of flexible workplaces in London from BE Offices.