Protect Your Business: Why It Pays To Prepare For An Economic Crisis

If Russia's invasion of Ukraine has taught us anything, it's how unpredictable global risks are and how something half a world away can have a direct effect on us here at home. Now's the time to protect your business ...

It certainly helps to hope for the best, yet plan for the worse and I've put together some key areas that you, as a business owner or manager, may want to think about to help protect your business operations:

- Assess your supply chain

This could be deeply impacted by the Ukraine conflict if your suppliers get goods and other services from the country. It's simple to look at the grain supply with millions of tons being blockaded by Russian warships and unable to travel via the Black Sea. Anything else grown or manufactured there will also have shipping problems, even if they travel by land. Can you find alternatives?

- Protecting your margins

To prevent financial difficulty, it is always important to protect your margins. With rising costs and growing inflation, you should look at reviewing your own pricing to customers. Are there any loss-making products you could temporarily discontinue? Do beware of compromising your product quality by trying to save on costs.

- Increase customer loyalty

Loyalty is always important for your brand reputation, as is maintaining your sales levels. You can review your business strategy to see what could harm your reputation. Review your customer data and respond accordingly. Maybe you could identify some cross-selling opportunities?

- Ensure your cyber security is top-notch

Economic instability and recessions always increase illegal cyber activities and any breach of your business networks or cloud-based software could cause a massive disruption and be very expensive to sort out. Train staff to identify and report suspicious activity and schedule some regular penetration testing of your networks.

- Look at the big picture

It may be worthwhile setting up a working group to look at your business functions and take a look at the big picture of your business. Are there any bottlenecks? Do your workflows and other procedures harmonise and are your workers happy with the way things happen? Look at finance, operations, distribution, legal, HR, IT, and even the top-level management structure. Could things be improved or even streamlined?

- Encourage your team

Times like these are hard on everyone, and we all process it differently. Ensure your employees are all aware of the benefits you have available including medical care, helplines, discounts, flexible working, or even advice on household budgets. Your team is your key asset and they shouldn't be overlooked.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine happened before businesses could even plan for it and the ebb and flow of war needs constant monitoring. It could escalate, it could fizzle out, but it's having a definite impact on businesses here in the UK and will do so for years to come.

With my Business Godparent hat on, I encourage all business owners to do a bit of forward-thinking and respond as needed to protect your business.

If you feel inspired to find out more about anything I've said here, do call me on 01908 774320 or leave a comment below and I'll be in touch as soon as I can.