A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR YOUR BUSINESS
IN THE TRUE SENSE OF THE WORD, SUSTAINABLE MEANS ‘THE CAPACITY TO ENDURE’. IN BUSINESS, THAT MEANS YOU’RE IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL. IT MEANS SETTING UP A BUSINESS THAT WILL BE RESILIENT AND WILL THRIVE IN THE LONG TERM
Sustainable business mindset
To be sustainable, your strategy sessions need to include a proactive futuristic mindset, that is,. strategies that set you up for fewer crises, and a less frequent need to scramble. I am not saying running a business is difficult and a matter of survival, but rather rather plan carefully and monitor conscientiously what’s happening both externally and internally. By thinking ahead and staying on top of internal and external threats, you preempt what could shake up your hardearned stability.
Here are a few guidelines I share from experience that can enable you to shape a more sustainable future for your business.
1 Embrace change
When you change and act fast, you can be the biggest, boldest and brightest unicorn, but if you don’t change and adapt to what’s happening out there, then you are as close to extinction as you can. (Remember, Kodak…?)
Staying ahead of the curve requires reinventing what you do and reimagining how you do it. Through customer engagement, employee engagement and industry analysis, the introduction of new products, services, or processes opens opportunities for growth. To be a highgrowth business, you need to show a consistent affinity for using an aggressive innovation strategy.
3 Create a value proposition
Figure out your go-to-market strategy that drives value, and how you address current (and potential) customer pain points. Don’t ever lose sight of the fact that business is about driving value for your customers.
Think of your business model as a stock portfolio. When investing your personal funds with a financial planner, s/he emphasises a spread of investments. Similarly, if your business offers a range of products to a broad range of customers, you insulate yourself when the financial climate is cold and unkind to any one of your revenue streams. Even if you’re satisfied with your current business profitability, proactive futuristic thinking and pre-empting new hurdles will sustain you in the future.
5 Stabilise your costs
Increasing revenue is of limited use if costs increase at the same rate. Analyse your business and stabilise your costs to allow your revenue growth to be greater than your cost growth. Think of ways to improve production efficiencies: lower cost materials, supplier negotiations etc. This is very different to just cutting costs!
6 Cash in king!
No matter how brilliant your idea/s, you won’t be able to implement them unless your working capital covers your fixed costs. If you have an ‘eye-catching’ business that’s in start-up phase, consider investors who can provide a cash injection needed to spike that untapped potential growth. Remember, small slice of a big pie, OR big slice of a small pie …
7 Leadership executive team
We all talk about ‘your team is only as strong as its weakest link’. That’s old school! Build a team that compensates for each other’s weaknesses and leverages off each other’s strengths. In that way, your team is as strong as compensating its weakest link!
Take the time to analyse where you are in your business today and discover which of the above may be applicable to you. By acting upon those, your business is likely to become more effective and sustainable than those of your competitors.