Survive the Next Crisis: 10 Expert Tips to Build Resilience in Your Business

The year 2023 has been marked by a series of global crises. From geopolitical upheaval to cybercrime and climate crises, the risks are daunting and unpredictable. These disruptions have had a medium to high impact on business operations, causing financial and reputational issues. Learning business skills and bouncing back from failure are crucial aspects of building resilience.

PwC’s Global Crisis and Resilience Survey 2023 found that 89% of business leaders believe that resilience is one of their most important strategic organizational priorities. However, the survey also found that many organizations lack the foundational elements of resilience they need to be successful. The report recommends that organizations integrate resilience into their overall strategy, develop a comprehensive crisis management plan, and invest in building a resilient workforce.

In this roundup article, we interviewed experts from various fields to gather their insights and advice on developing essential business skills and fostering resilience in the face of adversity.

Resilience entails more than just bouncing back— it involves building robust foundations that enable businesses to withstand shocks and emerge stronger. Let’s dive in and explore the valuable insights from these seasoned professionals who have experienced the challenges firsthand.

A man with an umbrella resisting the storm

10 Best Tips to Make Your Business Resilient to Disruptions

Having a Robust Risk Management Strategy

A robust risk management strategy is a comprehensive plan that identifies, assesses, and mitigates risks to a business. It is a proactive approach to managing risk that helps businesses to avoid or minimize the impact of disruptions.

Billy Parker, Director of Gift Delivery at a UK-based e-commerce business specializing in gift guides and product recommendations, strongly believes in the importance of having a strong plan for managing risks.

"My best tip for enhancing business resilience is to ensure that you have a robust risk management strategy in place. This should include measures such as conducting regular risk assessments, developing a crisis management plan and investing in cyber security."

Billy Parker, Director of Gift Delivery

In 2019, Gift Delivery was hit by a major cyberattack that resulted in the loss of customer data and financial information. However, the company recovered from this setback by implementing several measures, such as investing in a comprehensive cybersecurity system, increasing staff training, and conducting regular security audits. This enabled Gift Delivery to restore its customers’ trust and rebuild its reputation.

Here are some tips to have a robust risk management system and resilience plans:

  • Involve all levels of the organization: Risk management should not be the responsibility of just a few people in the organization. It is important to involve all levels of the organization, from the top down, so that everyone is aware of the risks and how to mitigate them.
  • Use technology to your advantage: Several risk management software tools are available to help businesses automate and streamline their risk management processes. These tools can help to identify and assess risks, develop mitigation plans, and track progress.
  • Regularly review and update your risk management plan: The business environment is constantly changing, so it is important to regularly review and update your risk management plan to ensure it is still effective. This includes identifying new risks, assessing the impact of changes, and updating the plan as needed.

Embrace Intentional Inefficiencies

Peter Mendez, Co-founder and Experience Director of Crafted, introduces a mind-boggling yet sensible resilience strategy: embracing “intentional Inefficiencies.” Contrary to the prevailing focus on streamlining processes, Peter advocates deliberately building redundancies in critical areas of operations.

"Yes, you heard it right. Most people are laser-focused on streamlining everything. But here’s the twist: too much efficiency can make you brittle in crises. We intentionally built redundancies in critical areas of our operations. It's like having a spare tire; not efficient, but lifesaving."

Peter Mendez, Co-founder and Director of Crafted

This long-term approach may not seem efficient on the surface, but it proves to be lifesaving during crises. For example, despite the cost-effectiveness of outsourcing, Crafted maintained a small, skilled in-house team. When a storm hit, this team became their most valuable player, enabling them to recover 60% faster than similar agencies.

Consider these tips when embracing intentional inefficiencies:

  • Build redundancy: Instead of relying solely on a single process or resource, intentionally build redundancies in critical areas of your operations. This means having backup systems, alternative suppliers, or duplicate resources in place.
  • Foster flexibility: Embrace flexibility in your processes and decision-making. Avoid being overly rigid or locked into specific ways of doing things.
  • Invest in resilient infrastructure: Allocate resources towards building resilient infrastructure that can withstand disruptions. This includes investing in robust technology systems, reliable data backup and recovery mechanisms, and secure cybersecurity measures.

Embrace a Growth Mindset

Having a growth mindset and fostering a culture of continuous learning can enhance business resilience during crises and uncertainties. Sonu Bubna, Co-founder of Shopper, highlights the importance of adapting, evolving, and embracing new challenges to navigate through difficult times.

"The ability to adapt and evolve is crucial in navigating through crises and uncertainties. Encourage your team members to embrace new challenges, acquire new skills, and stay updated with the latest industry trends. Emphasize the importance of learning from failures and celebrating successes, creating an environment that values experimentation and innovation. Remember, resilience is not about avoiding challenges but rather about embracing them with a mindset of adaptability."

Sonu Bubna, Co-founder of Shopper

Sonu’s experience during the COVID-19 pandemic showcases the power of resilience. When Shopper launched, they had a promising start. However, the pandemic disrupted their plans and forced them to reconsider their fundraising strategy. They shifted their attention to revenue generation. Despite a slowdown in user acquisition, their resilience paid off, and within six months, their revenues grew over 30 times.

Here are some tips to promote a growth mindset:

  • Encourage a positive attitude and resilience within your team: Celebrate small wins and milestones.
  • Create a supportive and collaborative work environment: Foster a culture where team members feel comfortable sharing ideas and suggestions.
  • Invest in training and development programs: Enhance the skills and knowledge of your employees.
  • Stay updated with industry trends and market dynamics: Identify opportunities for growth and drive creativity and innovation.

Diversify Your Services and Revenue Streams

Diversifying your services and revenue streams can enhance business resilience by reducing dependence on a single area of your business. Tommy Mellow, Founder of A1 Garage Door Service, shares his experience of how diversification helped his company bounce back from a data breach and regain customer trust.

"One of the most important strategies for enhancing business resilience, in my opinion, is to diversify your services and revenue streams. This means offering multiple services or products, so you're not reliant on just one area of your business."

Tommy Mellow, Founder of A1 Garage Door Service

Tommy’s company, A1 Garage Door Service, faced a data breach that resulted in a loss of customer trust and a decline in business. To recover, they took swift action by investigating the breach, notifying affected users, and offering credit monitoring and identity theft protection. They also focused on diversifying their services, expanding beyond cleaning and handyman services. By offering a wider range of services and improving customer service, they were able to rebuild customer trust and sustain their business.

Here are some tips for diversifying your services and revenue streams:

  • Research your target market and identify potential areas for diversification: Understand customer needs and preferences to offer services that align with their demands.
  • Practice constant evaluation: Evaluate your existing resources, skills, and expertise to determine areas where you can expand your services without significant investments.
  • Stay informed about market trends: Regularly monitor market trends and stay updated on industry changes. This will help you identify emerging opportunities for diversification. You can proactively adapt your business and seize new growth prospects by staying ahead of the curve.

Foster Strong Relationships

Marliis Reinkort, education expert and the CEO of Code Galaxy, believes that maintaining a strong and honest relationship with creditors, stakeholders, customers, and key individuals is crucial for the success and resilience of your business.

"Maintain a strong and honest relationship with creditors, stakeholders, customers and people who matter to your business. Your business is only as strong as your relations with those who matter."

Marliis Reinkort, CEO of Code Galaxy

Code Galaxy dealt with the serious issue of business identity theft. By taking immediate action such as inventorying the damage, notifying affected parties, reporting the matter, creating fraud alerts, and closely monitoring activity, they were able to address the situation and continue operating.

Consider these tips for fostering strong relationships:

  • Be responsive to their needs and concerns: When your stakeholders have a problem, be quick to respond and help them find a solution. This shows that you care about their business and are committed to ensuring they’re successful.
  • Be honest with them, even when it’s difficult: If you have bad news to share, don’t sugarcoat it. Be honest and upfront with your stakeholders so that they can make informed decisions about their business.
  • Be transparent with them about your finances and operations: Share your financial information with your stakeholders so that they can see how your business is doing. This will help them trust you and be more supportive of your business.

Win Customer Trust

Building customer trust is crucial for business success, as it provides a significant competitive advantage, especially during challenging times. Goutham Jay, Founder and CEO of Famewall, highlights the importance of engaging with customers, adding value to their business, and constantly working to maintain a positive relationship.

"Ensure that your company is always in the good books of your customers by constantly engaging with them on emails, social media & adding value to their business. Winning customer's trust will give you a huge competitive advantage in tough times."

Goutham Jay, Founder and CEO of Famewall

Goutham’s experience with Famewall demonstrates the importance of customer trust. Initially, their business struggled to generate sales despite having a technically strong product. However, by shifting their focus to building a solid go-to-market strategy and heavily investing in content marketing and influencer partnerships, they were able to turn things around.

Tips to win customer trust:

  • Prioritize excellent customer service and go the extra mile to exceed customer expectations: Train your team to be attentive, empathetic, and responsive to customer needs. Going above and beyond to exceed expectations shows your commitment to customer satisfaction.
  • Engage through various channels such as emails and social media: Actively communicate with customers to maintain a strong connection. Regularly engage with them through email newsletters, social media posts, and updates.
  • Add value by providing relevant and useful content, resources, or solutions: Provide valuable content such as educational resources, tutorials, or guides that help them succeed. By consistently delivering value, you position your business as a trusted partner in their journey.

Constantly Invest in Training

Damian Birkel, Director and Founder of Professionals In Transition® Support Group, Inc., emphasizes the importance of taking charge of your career and continuously investing in your skill set.

"You are in charge of your career. It is your job to train yourself and keep your skill set clean, shiny, and tidy; because, in the end, job security comes from within, and it is your transferable skills that are the key to your success."

Damian Birkel, Director & Founder of Professionals In Transition® Support Group, Inc.

Professionals In Transition® Support Group, Inc. faced a shift in client preferences from in-person meetings to virtual ones using Zoom, reflecting a common trend among nonprofits during the pandemic. To adapt and reduce costs, they made changes to their color brochures. By reducing the brochure size to a two-sided business card format and distributing them widely in permitted locations such as restaurants, churches, and grocery chains, they successfully decreased costs by 40%. This strategic approach also contributed to their return to pre-pandemic meeting levels, both in-person and on Zoom, marking a gradual but steady recovery.

Here are some tips for constant training and development:

  • Stay updated with industry trends: Regularly read industry publications, attend webinars, and engage in professional development opportunities to stay informed about your field’s latest advancements and trends. 
  • Enhance your skills through training: Seek out training courses, workshops, or online resources that align with your professional goals.
  • Network with professionals in your industry: Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and participate in online communities to connect with other professionals.

Stay on Top of Emerging Trends 

Hailey Harris, Business Development Manager at License Lookup, advises entrepreneurs to stay current with emerging trends and technologies while fostering an environment that embraces suggestions for improvement.

"Encouraging your team to be on the lookout for emerging trends and technologies, and fostering an environment where they can openly suggest changes or improvements, makes a business nimble. This ensures that when disruptions occur, your business can adapt more quickly and find innovative solutions to overcome the challenges."

Hailey Harris, Business Development Manager of License Lookup

When faced with outdated software, License Lookup seized the chance to revamp its system, embracing cloud-based solutions and automation. This not only resolved the immediate challenge but also enhanced overall efficiency.

Here are the best practices to stay on top of emerging trends:

  • Support professional development: Provide resources, mentorship, and opportunities for your team members to enhance their skills and knowledge.
  • Invest in technology and automation: Identify areas where technology and automation can streamline processes and increase efficiency. Optimize workflows, reduce manual errors, and improve overall productivity.
  • Embrace change and see challenges as opportunities: Develop a mindset that embraces change and views challenges as opportunities for growth. This mindset enables your business to adapt quickly to unexpected situations, find creative solutions, and turn setbacks into stepping stones for success.

Increase Your Online Presence

To thrive in today’s digital landscape, businesses need to prioritize increasing their online presence. This involves utilizing various digital platforms and strategies to connect with their target audience and expand their reach effectively.

Dennis Sanders, Founder and CEO of Burning Daily, a successful eCommerce site, believes that by leveraging digital channels effectively, businesses can reach and engage their target audience, even in challenging times.

"We were able to pivot to be 100% online, and our employees in sales started focusing more on digital marketing, which allowed us to actually increase sales significantly despite all the odds. This resilience enabled Burning Daily to not only survive but thrive even during those unprecedented times."

Dennis Sanders, Founder and CEO of Burning Daily

During the pandemic, Burning Daily, experienced success as their products were in high demand for combating stress and boredom. However, they encountered a setback when technical difficulties arose on their website, resulting in a five-day disruption in order processing. Despite the challenges, the team quickly identified and resolved the issue, ensuring minimal impact on customer satisfaction and service. Additionally, their sales team embraced digital marketing strategies, which led to a significant increase in sales.

To enhance your online presence and strengthen your digital marketing strategy, consider the following tips:

  • Understand your target audience: Identify your target audience and develop a comprehensive understanding of their online behavior and preferences.
  • Create a mobile-friendly website: More and more people are using their phones to shop online, so it’s important to ensure your website is optimized for mobile devices.
  • Use social media to connect with your target audience: Social media is a great way to build brand awareness and engage with your customers.
  • Run paid advertising campaigns: Paid advertising can help you reach a wider audience and generate more leads. During the pandemic, Burning Daily leveraged the expertise of paid media agencies to navigate the surge in online demand for their stress-relief products, strategically targeting their ads to reach the right audience.

Stay Aware of the Economic Scenario

Stephen Keighery, CEO and Founder of Home Buyer Louisiana, advises businesses to stay in touch with the economic scenario to anticipate potential challenges and opportunities, make informed decisions, and adjust their strategies accordingly. 

Staying aware of the economic scenario means keeping oneself informed and knowledgeable about the current state of the economy. It involves understanding factors such as inflation rates, market trends, consumer behavior, and overall economic indicators that can impact businesses. 

“This means that you can adjust your pricing strategy at a pace at which inflation affects businesses. You need to assess your sales data as well and understand the situation of your local community to know how to price your products and services in a way that you will not be losing out on profits nor have patrons leave.”

Stephen Keighery, CEO and Founder of Home Buyer Louisiana

For instance, if you’re in sales, it’s recommended to plan your pricing strategy as soon as economic inflation begins. This allows you to take advantage of the changing economic landscape and create a new price list that considers the financial capacity of your target consumers.

Here are some tips to stay aware of the economic scenario:

  • Stay updated with news and publications: Read reputable sources for economic news and analysis.
  • Follow economic indicators: Keep an eye on key economic indicators such as GDP growth, inflation rates, employment data, interest rates, and consumer confidence indices. 
  • Attend industry events: Participate in industry conferences, webinars, and seminars that focus on economic trends and forecasts. 
  • Monitor consumer behavior: Pay attention to changes in consumer behavior, spending patterns, and preferences.
a happy team at the business office

Frequently Asked Questions About Resilience in Business

What is business resilience?

Business resilience is the capability of an organization to withstand and recover from disruptions while maintaining its critical functionality and thriving. This includes the ability to continue operations, protect its assets, and meet its obligations to customers, employees, and other stakeholders.

Why is business resilience important?

Business resilience is important because it can help organizations to mitigate the risks of disruptions and to recover more quickly from them. This can improve financial performance, increase customer satisfaction, and enhance employee morale.

What are the benefits of business resilience?

The benefits of business resilience include:

  • Reduced risk of financial losses: When an organization is resilient, it is less likely to suffer significant financial losses from disruptions.
  • Improved customer satisfaction: Customers are more likely to do business with resilient organizations and that can recover quickly from disruptions.
  • Enhanced employee morale: Employees are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and to stay with a resilient organization and that can recover quickly from disruptions.

What are the components of business resilience?

The components of business resilience include:

  • Supply chain resilience: This is the ability to ensure continued supply of goods and services to customers.
  • Information technology resilience: This is the ability to ensure continued access to critical IT systems and data.
  • Operational resilience: This is the ability to continue operations even in the event of a disruption.
  • Financial resilience: This is the ability to withstand financial losses from disruptions.
  • Human capital resilience: This is the ability to retain and motivate employees during and after disruptions.

What is a business continuity plan (BCP)?

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that outlines how an organization will respond to and recover from a disruption. A BCP should include:

  • A description of the organization’s critical operations and assets.
  • A list of potential disruptions that could affect the organization.
  • A plan for how the organization will respond to each potential disruption. For organizations looking to develop or refine their BCP, engaging with business continuity plan consultants can provide valuable expertise and insights.
  • A plan for how the organization will recover from each potential disruption.

How can businesses build a resilient culture?

Building a resilient culture requires fostering a mindset that embraces change, encourages adaptability, and values learning from setbacks. It involves promoting open communication, providing employees with the necessary tools and resources to manage challenges, developing critical thinking skills, and recognizing and rewarding resilience in individuals and teams.

What are the key factors for successful business resilience?

Successful business resilience relies on a combination of factors. These include effective leadership, proactive risk management, robust contingency planning, strong collaboration with stakeholders, regular testing and evaluation of resilience strategies, and continuous improvement based on lessons learned.

Key Takeaways

Building resilience in your business is crucial not only for surviving the next crisis but also for thriving in an ever-changing and unpredictable environment. The ten expert tips provided in this roundup post offer valuable insights and practical strategies to enhance your organization’s resilience.

We encourage you to take these tips to heart and implement them in your business practices. Furthermore, to enhance your skills and knowledge in areas such as business, career development, technology, and entrepreneurship, subscribe to Skill Success All Access Pass. With access to over 3,000 courses, Skill Success offers vast resources that can help you acquire new skills, deepen your knowledge, and stay ahead in an ever-evolving business landscape.

Be proactive, stay prepared, and embrace the opportunity to enhance your skills and resilience. 

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