We have just entered the first week in Level 1 of a long Lockdown as well as the fourth quarter of 2020 and it is a reality that our economy is facing many headwinds. Business owners have had to face many new challenges, learn many new ways doing things whilst focusing on keeping your businesses going or growing during this time.
The German philosopher Friedrich Nietsche once said, “That which does not kill you makes you stronger.”
The famous Reggae singer Bob Marley once said, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option that you have.”
The above quotes both focus on a critical element that all business owners need to build successful businesses in tough economic conditions, and that is the ability to build resilience.
I recently spoke to a family member who is a psychiatrist and she drew my attention to a piece of research that indicated that South Africans have one of the highest levels of “resilience” in the world. Without going into the details of the research—it is I guess—an indication of the challenges we have had to face over many decades in our history.
The Afrikaans saying – ‘n Boer maak ‘n plan, is indicative of this. (English translation – a Farmer always makes a plan.)
So how do we build resilience in the face of the many challenges we are facing? My 17C’s of Resilience are a good guideline for you to focus on:
- Develop absolute CLARITY on your Purpose, Vision and Mission for your Business. Communicate this to all your stakeholders. Times might change but your Vision and Purpose is what will keep you focused.
- Build CONFIDENCE in your ability to deliver the best to your team and customers
- Build strong CONNECTIONS with people that are able to lead you to the next level of thinking and performance.
- Embrace CHANGE as part of everyday living. If you are not evaluating every part of your business and taking it to the next level, you will be left behind.
- Focus on those aspects of your life and business that you can CONTROL and ignore the rest.
- COMMUNICATE often and deeply (honestly) to your family, your team, your customers and suppliers.
- Take extreme CARE of yourself, what you feed your mind with (positive affirmations), your spiritual growth, your fitness and overall health. Ensure that you can play your part in helping those that you lead to do the same. Create quiet time – time to reflect on your blessings and start a gratitude journal.
- Focus on continually building your COMPETENCE – learning new skills in order to play at a different level is a non-negotiable.
- Take CONTROL of those aspects of your business and your life that are going to help you in the short term. Have razor sharp focus on the short-term growth. Let go of those aspects that don’t serve you; mentally, physically, financially and most importantly spiritually.
- Manage CASH-FLOW closely – it is the lifeblood of your businesses as well as our families that we lead.
- Build CAPACITY within your team and marketing funnel to deliver your business and profit goals.
- Look for new ways to build as well as serve your COMMUNITY. This is applicable in your business, your church as well as any other community sector that you are part of. It is during these times that strong and lasting relationships are built and it’s all about relationships.
- Find ways to COLLABORATE with your colleagues, your customers and suppliers, as well as your potential competitors in order to find new ways of doing business or to serve the market that you have chosen to serve.
- Build and maintain your CHARACTER. During times of uncertainty, people look for authenticity more than anything else in choosing who to connect with.
- Maintain COMPOSURE at all times. We are all living under high levels of stress. Be aware of your emotions – regulate your emotions. If you need to, put yourself in the other persons shoes before responding. Keep calm. Think carefully before you respond to anything coming your way. Nothing beats face-to-face communication – avoid relying on email and other forms of communication when dealing with potential conflict situations.
- CLEAR your mind of any distractions and things that waste your time and that don’t serve you. Limit time on social media.
- CHOOSE success for yourself, your team and your family. There are many opportunities to succeed in every economy around the world. You have to put in the effort, you have to embrace change and you have to double your marketing efforts to give yourself the chance to succeed. FOCUSED ACTIVITY = SUCCESS
Our economies are generally under severe strain. We are not alone. In any economy we have pockets that are under strain, whilst there are always opportunities to “follow the money”.
In a recent article on the updated statistics for the SA economy released by Prof Roelf Botha, he highlighted some of the positive aspects for the SA economy:
- The decline in the SA economy Q1 – Q2 is not 15% as was communicated by stats SA, but in fact only 16,4%. The decline Q2, 2020 versus Q2,2019 is 17,1%. This is still high but completely understandable, given the Lockdown. However, it is NOT 51% as this figure is annualized.
- The services sector represents 70% of the SA economy.
- The ABSA Purchasing Managers Index* (PMI)—which a good indicator of the recovery rate in the manufacturing sector—rose to 57,3% in August – the highest in 13 years!
- The value of Mining output in July rose by 12% – a level higher than in July 2019.
- Retail sales and hardware sales figures for June were higher in 2020 than in June 2019.
- The confidence levels in the Agri sector of SA measured by the IDC moved above the neutral level of 50% and the maize harvest for 2020 is the second highest in the history of SA.
- In addition; there are clear signals of a V-shaped recovery in the SA economy during the Q3 and Q4 of 2020.
In closing, despite the challenges in the economy, we need to focus our attention on the growth sectors of the economy. As business owners we need to raise our game by raising our marketing efforts, by focusing on our core purpose, by communicating with all our stakeholders frequently, by building resilience, and adapting to what the market is offering us at all times.
“FOLLOW THE MONEY”
Our Global Vision remains as applicable as ever:
“WORLD ABUNDANCE THROUGH BUSINESS RE-EDUCATION”
Our South African Vision is what keeps us going in order to serve you:
CREATING “THRIVING BUSINESSES, IMPACTING ECONOMIES, TRANSFORMING COMMUNITIES”
At ActionCOACH our prayers go out to all our clients. We pray that you will all be blessed at this time and that you will not only survive but THRIVE so as to be able to serve your communities in an abundant manner.
Pieter Scholtz, Country Partner Southern Africa
*developed by the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch University