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How prepared is your business?

2016 was a year of political unrest both at home and abroad and the remainder of 2017 is looking equally as unstable. Is your business prepared for what the future may or may not bring and how well will you cope?

Here are just three areas to take a look at.

Political Stability
Yes, it is true there have been a number of significant shocks that have gone through the UK/EU/Global political environment and economy over the last 12 months and who knows how that will reflect and develop into 2017. There is so much that is totally out of our control, and there is fear of the unknown. However, there is no point in fear mongering and joining in on the band wagon of doom and gloom. Instead look at the positive, build on your company strengths and look for opportunities to gain that ever-important market share.

Life and business will inevitably carry on and the more prepared your company is, the more likely you will be to survive and come out even stronger. Now is the time to reflect not on the negatives but on the positives. Discuss these with your work force and face every challenge together and with one voice. 

Identify Risk
So, what are the risks that face your business? Do you know them? Have you identified them? Have you planned to cope with them? Every company needs a detailed risk assessment and no more so than when we face times of adversity. Hopefully it will never effect your company, but it is amazing how many companies we know, who, however risk adverse have experienced serious issues which could/have closed the business down. Don’t let that company be you. Be prepared, plan for the worst, know where your risks are and then have a disaster recovery (DR) plan in place for every eventuality. It is not good enough to simply think you have a plan. Make sure it is documented, communicated and tested. And don’t forget, if it applies, consider your suppliers, customers and supply chain. There is nothing new about risk to a business and risk management should be good practise - but is it?

Resource Time Management
Another area which needs careful planning and consideration is resource time management. So, do you know where, when and how your people are spending their company time? How much is being spent on revenue generating activities, admin, and planning the future growth of the business. Know what the split for your company should be and make sure it is happening. Don’t just focus on the current P&L, but invest in the strategy and projects which will ensure you achieve your planned business growth. Create space in your diary to plan for the future before the future dictates you! There are programmes, devices and aids that can help you plan ahead but if I can give any one reading this one piece of advice it would be, know your company, know your strengths and most importantly know and reward your people for they are your company’s future.

2017 is now looking good!

Author: Jeremy Gill, 24 April

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