When the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced his Autumn Budget 2021, a key idea was about building an economy as the UK “emerged” from the pandemic.
But fast forward to December, and we found our Christmas and New Year’s celebrations on the line.
“There are no guarantees in this pandemic”, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said when he was asked whether a circuit breaker lockdown would be introduced before the festive season. Anxiety about further restrictions remains.
So, resilience will be on the mind of many business leaders today. It will certainly be a key to success over the next year, maybe more.
But what does a resilient business look like?
First, a resilient business will be prepared for 2022 by being ready to adapt to any situation.
You probably had a run at adapting to the challenging trading conditions the majority of businesses faced in 2020 and 2021.
Now, though, businesses will need to change to different challenges. For instance, you might be ready to switch from offices to home, but are you ready for a wave of COVID-related illnesses and isolations among your workforce?
This is something you genuinely need to prepare for. Indeed, the Office for National Statistics found that in December 2021, 3% of the workforce were not working because of COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolation or quarantine.
That might not sound like a lot, but it is the highest figure there has been throughout the pandemic.
To become as adaptable as possible, you should start preparing for eventualities now. For instance, research some outsourcing companies that will be able to help you complete your workload if staffing issues hit your business.
Keep an eye on upcoming changes in legislation, too. For instance, businesses must now make customs declarations for most goods they import. New Brexit-related rules will continue rolling out in 2022 – are you prepared for them?
Of all methods to help your business’s adaptability, technology is one of the most effective. The importance of technology in business cannot be understated.
First, we’ve seen its importance for communication and adapting to the work from home orders that unfortunately weren’t unique to 2020 and 2021.
But technology isn’t just crucial for offices. The opportunities to simplify processes with technology are almost endless.
Not only will this make your employees more productive in their work, but more engaged and far less stressed. New employees will be far easier to train, too.
Technology can also increase your business’s capacity. You’ll be able to reach and serve more customers in less time than usual and coordinate with suppliers seamlessly.
If times become tough, your ability to reach more people or get more work done with less people on your team could just be the difference between struggling and flourishing.
With all this praise for technology in businesses, don’t underestimate the importance of the fundamentals of your business: your people.
Remember, technology is only truly beneficial when the people using it are competent and skilled individuals.
But what is especially important is having a cohort of engaged employees. It’s simple: involved employees are far more likely to post messages, pictures and videos about their employers on social media and help boost sales than uninvolved employees.
The type of people who are only willing to share your brand and strengthen your sales tend to be far more committed to the organisation they’re a part of. Encourage your people to become advocates, and half your job’s done for you.
And, most importantly, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing you have a workforce that has your back if times get tough.
Talk to us about your business.