A Survival Strategy To Breathe Life Into Your Business Post-2020

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According to a BizFluent article written back in 2019 when Corona was nothing more than a beer brand, business survival strategies were an invaluable resource because they allowed businesses to pay attention to small changes before they became insurmountable threats.  

It’s almost laughable to think that, once upon a time, we truly believed that our business plans would see us through the impossible. Then, the impossible happened, and many companies realised that the survival strategies they had in place were good for nothing in this ‘new normal’.

The irony of this realisation is that it both cemented the importance of survival strategies and revealed the fact that nobody had nailed them. This has had crippling repercussions for many, with nearly 100,000 companies having to shut their doors. But, for those businesses who have been able to survive despite the various Coronavirus waves, these lessons could be the springboard on which future success stands. After all, by finding your feet (or writing a business survival strategy) during adversity, you really can prepare for any eventuality. But, what exactly should a successful post-2020 survival strategy look like?

Never run finances on a shoestring

For small businesses, specifically, the myth of the ‘shoestring budget’ has long done the rounds. Previously, it’s even been seen as a strength if you can run your business on a small amount, allowing for precise budgeting, effective spending, and startups that are easier to get off the ground. The trouble is that, as countless small businesses found when the pandemic landed, shoestrings don’t leave any real room for survival. 

Specifically, companies who had to close their doors at a moment’s notice had little choice but to rely on furlough schemes where applicable and secured loan options where not. While undeniable saving graces, these solutions brought obvious setbacks. Not to mention that amounts for lending were capped at levels that often altogether failed to cover ongoing expenditures. 

The solution? Moving forward, companies seeking survival strategies need to make sure that they have money to play with. Ideally, excess cash should be enough to cover at least a few months of wages and business rent. The best way to make sure of that is to take the time to invest excess cash whenever it comes into your business bank balance. That way, you can not only ensure you have money as a backup, but also that it continues to earn as you go about your everyday. 

Don’t forget to diversify

Diversification has always been a survival strategy buzzword, but it’s one of those trends that companies have considered without truly understanding. And, that’s a mistake that they’ve more than paid for this past year.

After all, diversification has never been more fundamental, as is evidenced by the fact that countless car manufacturers and factory owners, in general, shifted towards PPE production to pull them through. Equally, the need to turn to click and collect or online sales has seen countless companies having to switch to subscription services and other unique and diverse solutions for survival. 

As such, the pandemic has proven that a diversification survival strategy is about more than simply broadening your in-house product range. Rather, businesses need to move with the market and be sure that they’re offering solutions that their customers need at any given time. 

Always streamline

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Admittedly, streamlining business processes is always key, but this is an especially fundamental aspect for survival strategies moving forward. After all, it’s always possible to increase savings, even if that means simple things like reducing electricity bills or turning to one inclusive third-party MSP rather than many. Specifically for survival strategy purposes, businesses need to be 100% clear on where they spend, and where savings could happen should another pandemic-esque financial blow ever come their way. 

More pressing even than financial streamlining this past year has been the increased need for streamlined processes that allow for smooth remote transitions. This is an area that countless companies have fallen flat with, specifically with regards to long-distance communications. Even if a move back into the office is on the cards once the pandemic is a bad memory, businesses should thus have reliable communication backups in place for ongoing operations no matter where teams have to work from in the future. 

Flex those muscles

Along the same lines, flexibility and agility have become non-negotiable to survival this past year. Again, this is something that many business owners already knew the importance of, with 92% of C-level execs stating that agility is critical to success. Yet, pre-2020, only 24% of those considered themselves to be highly agile. 

That’s been a significant problem this year, with some companies altogether failing to offer the flexible solutions that their teams, suppliers, and customers need. This has been a nail in the coffin and is proof that as well as creating effective business systems with the streamlining processes above, companies need to be willing to change those processes.

For instance, companies who utilise certain types of software must be willing to overhaul if the current climate suggests doing so would be wise. And, of course, teams who rely on in-person operations must be willing to allow for at least some level of remote practice moving forward. Not only that, but businesses need to understand the intricacies of their existing processes, and put strategies in place for changing those with next to no notice, and next to no disruption.

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Review, review, review

Most importantly, the past year has taught us that survival strategies cannot be stagnant solutions. This may be obvious, but many companies altogether fail to review their survival processes, meaning that their solutions lack the relevancy that ultimately makes or breaks survival efforts altogether. 

As we’ve all learnt, business landscapes can quite literally change overnight, and the survival solutions needed to weather those storms can change pretty quickly too. As such, it’s fundamental to review survival strategies at least once a month and make sure that your solutions are relevant and effective in the face of existing challenges.

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