How do companies plan for success in these confusing times? How does anyone? How do you build a successful business in a market as unstable and volatile as the one we are experiencing right now? If you are looking for inspiration in this sense, we suggest you take a look at how Italian some companies are managing to stay afloat and even grow during the unprecedented economic crisis that followed the pandemic, the first lockdown, and the restrictions that were put in place to cope with the second wave. What do all thriving companies have in common?
Flexibility and resilience are the keys to success
If you take away one concept from this post and from the experience of successful companies, take this one. Flexibility is important at all times, but right now it’s absolutely vital for any business trying to plan for success. An agile business model, designed to change and adapt, keeping up with sudden changes, is the key to the one quality that any business should have, in order to get through a crisis: resilience. What does resilience look like in a professional context? A snappy and uncomplicated approach to collaborations, the ability to take risks without being reckless, an internal hierarchy that doesn’t get in the way of speedy changes and even sudden pivots, and a constant striving to improve the company’s products or services.
How can you improve your company’s flexibility?
It’s relatively easy to define flexibility in business terms, but how do you actually implement it? It can be hard to achieve it, particularly if your business has been running on other core values for a long time. And yet, it is not impossible to change course. The first thing you should do is focus on your internal communication and try to improve it, particularly between the team or teams involved in the development of your product or service. At the same time, you should be open to suggestions from all levels of the hierarchy. The product itself, of course, should be relatively flexible – which will depend on the specifics of every industry, of course. If the ways in which your customers use or consume your product have changed as a result of the pandemic, the product itself should change with them, even though this might result in investment at a time when you might be tempted to cut your budget.
Listen to your customers
Elicit feedback from your customers and listen to what they have to say. You should always treasure negative feedback in particular: unsatisfied clients will always be vocal about their negative experiences. Analyse the kind of feedback you have been getting over the past year, see what’s changed, be mindful of any new problems that your customers might have encountered, and try to help them, even if that means tweaking your protocols. The worst thing you can do in a crisis is hanging on to the past and try to adapt old solutions to new problems.