There’s no doubt that 2020 was a challenging year for many. With numerous countries still experiencing lockdowns and hardships associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, business owners need to learn to adapt in an ever-changing, unpredictable economy.
If you’re starting a business, or are looking for new ways to scale your enterprise, these three simple steps may be a useful guide. They are based on three strategies we implemented in our own business that helped us succeed during the peak of the coronavirus.
However, remember that every business is unique, and what has worked for us may not work for you. Different strategies may also be more applicable to different sizes and/or stages of business. Feel free to experiment with, be entertained by, or dismiss the following advice:
- Strategies before you prioritise
If you own a business, there are countless things you could do to progress your business further. But what should you prioritise? Should you work on your accounting, or your social media? Should you hire a new employee or invest in new technology? Should you listen to your consultant, or your gut feelings? Should you invest your time in product development and research, or sales? Or should you spend more time with your family and loved ones?
To complicate things, you may also feel that whatever you do, it’s never enough. It’s as if there are never enough hours in a day – no matter how many time management apps you install on your phone.
Unfortunately, based on our experience, there are no simple solutions to these dilemmas; however, one principle that has helped us comes from the core thesis behind the book, The One Thing, by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan. In it, the authors suggest asking this one question: “What’s the ONE thing I can do, such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary?”
This is where we strategise before we prioritise. Before we start the day, or week, or month, we ask, “What’s the ONE thing I can do, such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary?”
- Don’t forget insurance
Investing in insurance may be the least exciting, yet most important step in your business journey.
The second you start a business is also the second you expose yourself to numerous risks. Providing the wrong advice, having your email hacked or even having a customer injured on your premises can lead to crippling financial losses to both your business and personal assets. For a nominal cost, however, insurance can provide you with a crucial safety net should things turn for the worse.
Business insurance can provide you with the funds required to cover damages such as legal costs, reputation repair, claims investigation costs, defamation costs and much more.
Business Interruption Insurance may be particularly useful in unpredictable times. As of time of this writing, Business Interruption Insurance in Australia can protect you from ‘unpredictable’ events such as from cyber attacks, fires and storms, DDOS attacks, product recalls, the breakdown of equipment and more.
- Benefit from leverage
In Adam Smith’s world-changing work, The Wealth of Nations, he speaks about the positive implications of division of labour. In it he gives an example of a pin-maker. We’re paraphrasing here, but Smith suggests that if one person with no experience or understanding of pin-making attempts to make a pin, it may take him a day to create just one. However, if you streamline the pin-making process between a set of focused experts (“One man draws out the wire; another straights it; a third cuts it; a fourth points it; a fifth grinds it at the top for receiving the head,” etc) then you can produce thousands of pins per day.
We understand that as a first-time business owner, you may not yet be able to afford dividing your labour into focused experts. But it shouldn’t stop you from streamlining certain aspects of your work. Today’s technology allows you to leverage and greatly scale your business without the costs of hiring a full time employee.
For example, there are numerous online tools that allow you to accomplish much more at a fraction of the price of hiring someone full time. There are tools that allow you to develop websites quickly and efficiently. There are tools that allow you to communicate with, and manage teams, from all over the world without requiring you to leave home. There are social media tools that allow you to schedule posts at the ideal times. Further, there are platforms to leverage the cost of labour from all over the world – you are no longer required to be limited by the resources available in your local area. You can employ a virtual assistant who can accomplish just as much as a personal PA, but who can do it much more affordably. With online technology, you can greatly scale your work at the fraction of the time and cost it once used to require.
These are just some quick tips you can find on this website. Remember, to be up to date with business news and tips, read more business news and tips from other authors.