The business landscape is very challenging for business owners and their teams right now. A lot of business owners are facing unavoidable losses that simply cannot be helped. The stats that I’ll quickly share here paint a particularly worrisome picture. Two-thirds of businesses are reporting losses of revenue, with one in 10 pausing trade altogether. The hospitality sector has been hit especially hard, with 70% of businesses from that sector being forced to reduce their staff hours, or shut up shop altogether, and 43% of business owners across the board are sending workers home or are needing to place them on unpaid leave, which is just devastating for everyone.
There are a few common mistakes that are being made as people scramble to adapt. The business owners who do survive through this really challenging time and come out the other side are learning these hard lessons, and evolving to rise to the challenge. Today we’ll to take a look at six key mistakes that are happening in the lockdown right now, so that hopefully you can avoid learning these things the hard way as well.
“To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future” Plutarch
Departing From Company Promises:
The first mistake that’s being made right now, is that businesses are panicking, and thus veering away from their company promises. Now, your reputation is everything in business. When people come to know and trust you, you become the one that your customers and clients rely on to solve their problems. Your staff, your team, and your suppliers are all relying on promises you’ve made. Stay true to your core values and don’t get so desperate that you end up doing things that you really might regret down the track.
Chasing Unsustainable Sales:
The next thing that I see happening right now, is that businesses are chasing unsustainable sales without building out the systems for growth. The quick grab for cash is a problem that I’ve seen a lot in small business in particular, and right now especially it’s quite prolific. Remember that whatever you’re selling and delivering needs to be something that will continue to contribute to an ongoing business growth plan. If you don’t have systems to scale that offering, then it’s not a good long term plan at all.
Failing To Evolve:
The next mistake people are making is that they’re failing to evolve and adapt. Look around the landscape of your business right now. What resources do you have to leverage? What problems can you solve while staying true to your company values and utilising the assets that you’ve got available to you right now? The business that learns how to deliver whilst remaining true to its core promise will come out stronger on the other side. Evolve, adapt, innovate, create, and change.
Sending Workers Home Without Support:
The next mistake people are making is sending workers home without adequate support or instruction. It breaks my heart to see workers going home and not knowing what they’re meant to do, not having access to instruction or information when they need it, and not being connected with their team or with their boss. It’s a recipe for disaster, and it’s one that needs to be addressed by facilitating great communication methods, placing resources readily accessible in the cloud, and making expectations crystal clear.
Spending Too Much On Unnecessary Expenses:
The next mistake is spending too much valuable cash on things that you just don’t need, and you may not even realise this is happening. Especially If you haven’t sat down in front of your budget (that I hope that you all have) and had a really good look. Take the time to go over your cash flow with a fine tooth comb and see what expenses you can trim back. It’s best for your business to do this anyway, not just now. This is about playing the long game with your cash flow management.
Missing Funding Opportunities:
I’ve seen this last mistake made by a handful of owners. Horribly, they are missing opportunities for the funding they need to keep going, because they’re too busy trying to keep all the balls in the air. This really is a recipe for disaster. If there’s funding available from the government right now, or specific project grants that are available to you, jump in and grab them. Make sure you give some time to find out what is available for you to get through this chaotic period.
Only those playing the long game are going to win the long game. It’s true in business and in life. I hope you do really well and avoid these mistakes, and remember that adapting your business is crucial. We will see you again really soon.