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Guest post by Adam Przytula, Armed For Life
Adam Przytula, Director, Armed For Life
Every human being on the planet needs resilience, whether it’s in life, business or family. Regardless of the situation you’re in, you’re going to be faced with problems, (no one is immune to life’s challenges).
Resilience refers to the ability to bounce back when faced with a challenge. A resilient business recovers from unexpected problems or events with minimal disruption and impact. How do you build a resilient business? Read on…
Being purposeful in planning for a resilient business means putting plans in place to expect the best-case scenario to happen, while also being prepared for the worst-case scenario to occur. Envision what you’d like to happen in your business and head towards your goals, but at the same time have a contingency plan in place so that you’re prepared for unexpected challenges.
For a business, this could mean creating a Business Continuity Plan. As part of your planning process, consider what you will do if you don’t have any cash flowing into your business for a period of time.
Many small businesses, (mine included), faced this scenario at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, we are prepared for when challenges hit. Simply knowing we have a plan in place provides us with the certainty and peace of mind that our business can continue to function regardless of what happens.
Regardless of the strategies we put in place, our businesses will be faced with challenges. It’s inevitable. Fortunately, overcoming these challenges in a healthy way will actually contribute towards building a more resilient business in the long term.
Managing problems in a healthy way comes down to responding to a crisis, rather than reacting. What is the difference?
A responsive business considers problems objectively. The decision-makers use problem-solving to think through the actions and consequences of each possible solution.
A reactive business goes into crisis mode when problems strike. The business owner/s or decision-makers act based on their emotions, (for example, fear, uncertainty or anxiety) and often struggle to see a solution.
For example, at Armed For Life, we present to schools and workplaces about a number of topics related to resilience and mental wellbeing. when Western Australia first went into lockdown, all of my bookings were postponed indefinitely. Rather than panicking and becoming fearful that my business was going to fail, I looked at other ways I could continue providing my service. I took the Armed For Life platform online, and this is an avenue I continue to use today.
The final step in building a resilient business is perhaps the most important step. Unfortunately, it’s a step many businesses neglect.
Once a problem has passed, it’s absolutely essential to take the time to review how well your business managed the issue. Businesses that take the time to review their crisis management performance have the ability to learn from mistakes and move forwards.
What is the best process for reviewing how your business dealt with a problem? Sit down with your team and consider the following questions:
Taking the time to review how your business coped with a challenge immediately in the aftermath directly determines how resilient your business is now and in the future.
A business’s ability to be resilient isn’t only based on the business continuity plan, response at the time of crisis and review. It’s also dependent on the personal resilience of the business owner and its employees.
As a business owner, you need to be able to cope with life’s challenges. If you’re not a resilient individual and you fall apart when faced with a problem, you won’t be able to function and continue to run your business.
Developing your own personal resilience comes down to the same three stages as described above: preparation, rebounding and review.
The preparation stage is about putting cushions in place to protect yourself so that when you fall, (and you will, we all experience problems), the impact will be minimised. Your ability to bounce back from a problem isn’t based on how far you fall, but how much pain you’re in.
For example, my son Levi is fourteen months. He’s learning how to walk, and he’s falling over all the time. Levi has some huge stacks, but he never hurts himself too much because he has a lot of natural padding, (and the added benefit of a nappy). Levi never finds it difficult to pick himself up and carry on toddling after a fall.
In comparison, a few years ago, I was riding a motorbike when I was hit by a truck. I was okay, but I got my foot caught between my bike’s pedal and the truck. The pain was excruciating. I remember lying on the road, yelling in agony. The pain was so intense that I couldn’t even consider standing up.
Preparing yourself for problems means putting cushions in place to protect yourself when you do fall. It will minimise the impact of the problem, and how much it hurts. As a result, you’ll find it easier to pick yourself up and carry on.
To be able to rebound from challenges you need to be healthy across all of your ‘health gauges’ - your physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual health.
This comes down to being self-aware and working on developing a healthy self-esteem, (how you feel about yourself). To do this, you need to be aware of how the way you think is affecting your behaviour. Particularly, how Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) might be affecting you without you even realising it.
Interestingly, your own self-esteem directly affects the type of employees you’ll bring on board in your business. If you have a healthy self-esteem, you’ll be in a mentally strong position to employ staff who have strengths and capabilities that you don’t have. If your self-esteem is low, you’re more likely to attract and hire staff members who also have a low self-esteem because it’s comfortable and safe to do so.
Once a problem has passed, don’t forget to purposefully sit down and review how you dealt with the problem, and how you could do things differently next time.
Helping your employees to develop personal resilience will have an enormous impact on your overall business resilience. What does this look like?
Be purposeful about promoting work/life balance and positive mental health in the workplace. By encouraging your employees to prioritise their health and mental wellbeing, you’ll enable them to bring the best version of themselves into the business.
Encourage your employees to reach out and talk about any problems they are experiencing at work. Respond to your employee’s issues by actively problem solving, rather than reacting based on an emotional response. If you become aware of an employee facing challenges in their personal life, be compassionate. Encourage and assist your employee to reach out and seek professional help.
You can follow me, Adam Przytula at www.armedforlife.com.au or on @armedforlife across socials. If you want to get in touch, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
An important aspect of our Business Advisory approach at Smith Shearer is helping businesses and agribusinesses become more resilient through proactive business planning. We have put together a ‘Game Plan’ strategy, to enable you to make 100% certain your business is in the best possible position to bounce back from unexpected challenges.
How does it work? If you are a current client of Smith Shearer’s, simply fill in the form below and we’ll do all the work behind the scenes (free of charge!). Gavin, Mel, Cheryl, Sandra and Tania will look at what specific strategies or actions we recommend you implement to build a resilient business.
If you’re not currently a client, fill in the form below and we’ll contact you to discuss how to get the process started.