Business, my mentor once told, me is like marriage. It goes though ups and downs but if there is love, determination and strong purposes it can survive any storm.
The late American evangelist Robert Schuller said tough times don’t last but tough people do. Good times too don’t often last. This is precisely why as a business leader you should know how to navigate through tough times even if you are enjoying good times.
When your business gets into storms such as lack of funds, loss of customers or personnel issues you must take action.
Taking action is the first step. It is better to make wrong decisions than to do nothing. You can learn from a bad decision but we you cannot get anything by doing nothing.
Your biggest asset is your employee and your customers.
Figure out how to get their support and spell out what you are ready to offer in exchange. Avoid making promises you cannot keep. You need to keep your credibility unquestionable and if you cheat soon you will run out of options.
Nurture relationships. In tough times it is only logical to cut your budget. However, it is the worst possible time to slash team-building and marketing budgets.
Doing so when more customer goodwill, togetherness and team effort are needed to overcome the challenges is self-sabotage.
Keep looking for new opportunities and new ways of doing things.
Enterprises are built on solving human needs. Problems keep evolving and so business leaders need to keep evolving to remain relevant. Often you don’t need to offer different products. You only need to offer what you are offering differently.
Always be realistically optimistic. Encourage and inspire your team but avoid happy and empty bravado talk.
Let everyone know what you are going through and that their survival is at threat.
To achieve this invest in information. Information is potential power that can transform your firm and lift it to new heights. In tough times much of what passes as news of the state of economy and prediction of the future is nothing more than individual writers and popular opinion. Study and analyse the situation yourself before making any decision.
Work smart not necessary hard. Take time to plan and execute a well thought out strategy with long-term goals in mind. Avoid devoting all your time to solving daily problems and losing focus on the big picture.
Finally, re-evaluate your workforce starting with yourself. Sometimes some of the employees in your firm including yourself may be unfit to lead your company to the next level. You need to recruit top talent and do away with under-performers slowly.
If you are one of them, you have to hire a competent person to take over the leadership role.
You can be a ceremonial figure or chairperson and still enjoy benefits. At times you have to choose between money and title, life or death of your company.