Keeping your business focused in the last quarter of 2020

As we enter the last quarter of 2020 – this week I want to share with you where I believe your focus should be as a business in the coming months.

Let’s be honest the future is going to be challenge to say the least with:

– the government trying to control a second Covid spike

– the economy in a recession and heading towards a depression next year

– the impending exit from the EU

The environment for business, no matter what sector you are in, is and will continue to be uncertain, ambiguous and complex.

Yet businesses can still grow and thrive in this uncertain time if they have focus on five areas that will both strengthen them both as an organisation and as a team – resulting in building there agility and ability to respond, no matter what storm is occurring in the marketplace they compete in.

So what are those five areas a business must focus on whilst dealing with the current reality the business environment presents?

1. Leadership

Navigating your business in the foreseeable future is going to be a balancing act. Look to develop further your and your teams leadership skills in areas such as agility, accountability and discipline. Look also to develop an effective, flexible and consistent way of communicating, whether you are working together in a single location or remotely.

2. Strategic clarity

The businesses most likely to succeed through and beyond this time will remain focused on their vision . Ambitions will not have been dampened, though the route to realising them is likely to have changed. Here, if you have not done so already make sure you identify your strategic levers and know how to pull them in different scenarios to make the most of the circumstances you find yourselves in.

3. Operational efficiency

Most businesses I have spent time with recently have gone through the obvious cost reductions and profit margin protection. But now if you want to go beyond survival and thrive – focus must switch onto operational efficiency, both delivering better returns during this time, but also getting ready to turbocharge profits in the recovery.

4. Innovation

Just as a pure focus on cost-cutting does not guarantee survival or success through a recession, neither does an excessive focus on growth. Instead, as a business you need to be making selective investments in R&D, innovation and new products and services, anchored in a deep understanding of your customer

5. Marketing investment

Maintaining marketing investment and focusing sales teams on top priority customers is essential to accelerating growth through and beyond any recession. However, it is not just maintaining that investment – importantly it must work harder. Therefore a skill every business must bring in house and master is the development of a marketing strategy, especially in a digital world, using the insights and knowledge of your customer and prospect base. Then measure the results rigorously, ensuring you understand the return on every penny spent in marketing.

Master these 5 areas you will not only survive in the coming months but thrive. Look at this time as a once in a lifetime opportunity to reset your business and leapfrog competitors. Don’t waste it!

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"The environment for business, no matter what sector you are in, is and will continue to be uncertain, ambiguous and complex."

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