Remaining fluid, flexible and in-touch with market conditions

Remaining fluid, flexible and in-touch with market conditions

As the country approaches a 'new normal', a term I think is probably being slightly overused and somewhat outdated, businesses are now getting back to a current and somewhat fluid normal. Uncertainty still prevails, but the desire to take whatever comes our way in our stride is probably the most appropriate route for all business owners. However, how can we collectively approach the current status quo with vigour and gusto?

We are now seeing vast amounts of content around the aspect of what business will look like in the future. Flexible working conditions are most definitely top of the agenda, and we are all adjusting to something very different from the start of the year. Flexibility and 'agility' are two words used readily today and will be top of the business press agenda for some time to come. This virus isn't going away any time soon, and it may be the case we have to live with the consequences of its impact for a good few years. I suspect the news reports transcending from our illustrious media channels will keep us all feeling a little nervous for some time. Overcoming those nerves to push on with our business plans, you could say it is a balancing act and fills us with a certain amount of anxiety. I would say our business plans are a necessity we cannot ignore or dismiss because the announcements across news channels give us reason to do so. Let me explain!

How agile is your approach to business?

The popular term used in the corporate world currently is 'agility', and this is hugely poignant for all businesses, large or small. Most corporates cogs of change move very slowly indeed, and changing direction, or just tweaking that direction can be an arduous, slow and costly task.

For SME's, this can be very different. Agility is part of the SME world's natural advantage. They can adapt, evolve and take advantage of market conditions relatively quickly. Small and medium-sized enterprises have the same insight and knowledge as the larger corporates, they can be just as innovative, and they can mitigate risks quickly and effectively should market conditions take an unwanted or less than anticipated step sideways. Like every economic downturn or period of difficulty, how fast you react, interpret situations and push forward can make a massive difference to your outcomes.

The significant differences are in the confines of flexibility and agility along with our ability to adapt effectively, and I don't mean consolidation out of fear. Consolidating because your market has been affected and market conditions dictate an extreme downturn are unfortunately an inevitability for some. Yes, an unwanted and necessary outcome based on known and sometimes visible forecasts. That's a tough place to be, and we can all think of industries that aren't going to return to 'normal' any time soon.

For the rest, it is about adapting and appreciating how changes are going to impact on how we conduct business in the future. Typically, how we innovate right across our business model, and how we recognise that requirement for new approaches are going to be a big part of that all-important business plan. That is the only addition we need to include on the ideas we made ready for the clock to turn to January 1st, 2020.

We have already seen or will see a considerable amount of change and innovation coming into most market sectors. Market conditions now mean a need for more flexibility in office space. Collectively we will need less of it, but we will need more flexible terms. We will also require new technology to conduct our client liaisons in an online world. We've already seen the impact of Zoom. The trainers of the world will and are looking at recreating traditional face to face training on to the digital world. Consultants have become virtual advisors overnight. Productivity has been the subject of many discussions, and businesses are finding their new-found flexible working conditions to be less costly and more productive. Some industries are seeing a considerable increase in demand because of these changes. It is time for innovation.

Opportunities for the most innovative

History will tell us that the more significant the changes, the more opportunities there are for the most innovative, flexible and agile businesses to take advantage. A big part of what I do as a coach is making sure my clients have this positive mindset and attitude in abundance, continually innovative, adapting and being extremely agile to meet with those changes in market forces. This reserved attitude shouldn't be for recessions and the economic influence of a pandemic.

Despite the uncertainty, nervousness, fear and trepidation we all might be feeling now, our future lies in how vociferous we are with our ability to evolve quickly, effectively and profitably.

If you are looking to explore an agile approach to your market-place, I can help you rationalise those decisions, providing tangible, scrutinised, and logical direction to help mitigate your risks moving forward.

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