If there’s one thing that the global COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated pretty clearly, it’s that a lot of the fabric of society that we all take for granted on an everyday basis is actually a lot more tenuous and vulnerable then we would have imagined, when subjected to unusual stresses.
Many businesses have folded and experienced major setbacks of various types as a result of the pandemic, and this has renewed the discussion in various quarters of the importance of making businesses “resilient,” or even “antifragile,” wherever possible.
Here are a handful of tips for making your business more resilient.
Have risks assessed and mitigated by third-party professionals
There are a variety of expert services on offer that can help you to assess some of the risks that face your business, and to then mitigate them to the best of your ability.
The specific risks that your business may be subject to, and that it may be worth your while to investigate, will vary from company to company and industry to industry. Nonetheless, it’s often a very good idea to have a professional risk analysis done, whether that be a dust hazard analysis, or a review of your online data security and your risk of being hacked and exploited through digital channels.
It’s never going to be the case that you can accurately predict and guard against every variable that could present an issue. But you can at least do a decent job of accounting for some of the most likely hazards.
Plan in terms of your own internal systems and actions, rather than depending on external variables
One of the most “fragile” ways to run any endeavour, is to have all of your plans calculated on the basis of external variables that are not in any clear sense under your direct control.
A much better approach, wherever possible, is to plan in terms of your own internal systems and actions, first and foremost.
This might mean, for example, trialling different marketing and customer focus strategies within your business, rather than investing in a major expansion on the assumption that your recent boost in sales will endure into the foreseeable future.
Have redundancies built in wherever possible, and operate through a variety of different channels
Many businesses these days are structured to be as “light” and “fast” as possible – and include elements such as “just-in-time” restocking.
While these business models can certainly help to cut costs and streamline operations when everything is running to an ideal standard, however, they all but invariably collapse at the first sign of trouble.
A major part of having a resilient business is having redundancies built in wherever possible, and operating through a variety of different channels.
Among other things, this might mean keeping a surplus of stock available, having good relationships with a number of prospective suppliers in the event of an issue with any one of them, maintaining an active web presence, and more.