We do not need to tell you that things are tough out there for businesses at the moment. We know that we have all lived through some of the most turbulent years in recent memory, if not ever, but anyone who runs a company is more than aware of the fact that we are going to be facing more challenges in the months and years to come. The continuing headlines about the cost-of-living crisis and the government’s attempts to combat it are forcing us to take a serious look at how we can continue to operate in such a challenging environment. It is clear that we will still see new wrinkles in our day-to-day dealings with international companies as a result of Brexit. There is also the ongoing climate crisis to reckon with, as we all look for ways that we can make our businesses sustainable and reduce our carbon footprints.
However, there are no business owners out there who are unfamiliar with the concept of a challenge. We have all learned so many new skills over the last couple of years, and we have all been forced to find new ways to be flexible, resilient, and inventive. If you want to give you and your company the best chance of not only getting through the difficult times ahead but continuing to grow and succeed, you need to plan for the challenges. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the next few months.
Make Sure You Know Your Budget
We are going to start with one of the most important things for any business owner to be worrying about right now. So many businesses took heavy losses recently, but now it looks like things are finally starting to get back to something approaching normal. However, it would be fantastically reckless to ignore the fact that interest rates are rising and there are growing rumblings about a recession. One of the most important things that you can do is to be 100% clear on your budget. Sit down with your financial advisor and make sure that you know exactly how much you have to work with. You also need to think about creating a financial cushion that will carry you through any difficult months. Consumer spending is going down, which means that those difficult months are coming.
Prioritise Your Staff Wellbeing
We all learned a lot about people management recently, and having a good relationship with our employees has been integral to our continued success. As we move forward, you will need to continue to be a conscientious employer who is good to work for, but to have a reputation as a company that looks after its employees as you look to grow. One of the best things that you can do as an employer is to provide your staff with opportunities to grow and develop into new roles and career paths. We all heard a lot about the Great Resignation at the end of last year, and one of the biggest driving forces behind that was this feeling that employees were not feeling as valued as they could be. If you want to ensure that you are retaining your talent and inspiring them to go further, then it is time to talk to a professional. Randstad RiseSmart help companies around the world to grow and develop with a number of different talent mobility solutions. They prioritise the personal touch and will work with you to find the perfect solution.
Look For Greater Sustainability
Sustainability has become one of the most important buzzwords for businesses in the last few years. With the impact of climate change impossible to ignore, it is vitally important that business owners act now to reduce their carbon footprint and their energy waste. It is also very important to remember that customers and clients are going to be looking for companies that have a demonstrable green plan. This is not just an issue that businesses are worried about, this is something that is at the forefront of all of our minds. With that in mind, you need to think about the changes that you can make, both big and small, which will help you to be a part of the solution.
There are little things that you can do in and around the office, such as getting rid of one-use plastics and cutting way back on the amount of paper that you are using. You could think about what you can do to motivate your staff to go green, such as offering sponsored alternatives to taking their cars to work. You should talk to your suppliers and business partners and find out what steps they are taking to improve their sustainability and raise concerns if it feels like they are not taking the correct steps. You could also think about partnering with local charities or green initiatives in your area. Finally, you should absolutely look at the materials that you are using in your business, from deliveries to construction. You need to prioritise using recycled and/or recyclable materials, or you will risk losing customers.
Work On Your Web Presence
We have seen a massive pivot to digital over the last couple of years from businesses across all sectors, and it is so important to remember that your web presence is not something that you can update once and leave. The technology is changing so rapidly right now, and Google is always working at improving the algorithm. You need to stay up to date with the latest developments and think about how you can more effectively communicate what makes your business unique.
If it has been a while since you last updated your website, it is high time that you look for ways to make it more accessible and engaging. An AI chatbot, for example, could be a great way to get your visitors to stay around after clicking through by answering any questions that they might have. Written content is a great way of demonstrating your expertise and experience, and you can give yourself a boost in the search rankings by making sure that it is SEO-friendly. Alternatively, or rather additionally, you could think about using different media if it is a better fit for your specific business. Maybe it would be easier to communicate your value through video content or podcasts. Finally, social media channels are such a good way to engage your followers and demonstrate your unique persona.
Cybersecurity Is Still Paramount
Finally, we need to touch on the issue of cybercrime. We have seen such a staggering increase in cybercrime activity in the last couple of years, and we have seen world leaders talking about the measures that need to be taken to combat it. However, we need to remember that cybercriminals are always working to find new ways around the measures taken to stop them. There is always going to be more that you can do to improve your security, so you should absolutely sit down with a cybersecurity specialist. They will be able to talk you through the latest threats and where your business may be at risk. They will also be able to help your team to develop better habits, which is particularly important if they are still working from home. Remember that good cybersecurity is worth paying for, so do not simply rely on free versions and half-remembered advice from years ago.