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Unplug. Offload. Recharge.

Unplug. Offload. Recharge.

Every entrepreneur and business owner can relate to the hustle of keeping your head above water…often with a worried smile.

These hustlers are managing to pull off various hats in their businesses while making up 90% of formal businesses in the country. They are the ones contributing 34% to the GDP, regardless of ever being quite fully prepared for the ‘normal’ challenges everyday business throws their way. Astonishing!

These business challenges can serve as building blocks to ensure businesses remain relevant, profitable and sustainable.

As in life, some business owners are glass half full type of leaders, while others see the glass half empty. The COVID-19 pandemic has already taken its toll in many different ways. But there is something universal about uncertainty and entrepreneurship. It creates opportunity.

That is why it is time to unplug, offload and recharge your business. Let’s unpack:

  1. Unplug

The determination of entrepreneurs and business owners to succeed can be astonishing, but this drive to succeed can impact the business negatively by restricting the productivity and creativity of the business. Time off is vital! Time is one thing you need to unplug and to gain new perspective to be able to catapult the business forward, often in unexpected directions.

The national lockdown and risk-adjusted strategy of the South African government to open up the economy again have possibly resulted in permanently pulling the plug on businesses. Statistics South Africa’s COVID-19 business impact survey  indicated that 48% of businesses reported a pause in trading and 9% of businesses indicated that they ceased operations permanently.

The reality is that most businesses are adversely affected by the pandemic, but it might have provided unscheduled time off to gain new perspective.

  1. Offload

Chances are that you can relate to the 57% of business owners that Nedbank surveyed – all of whom believe that they would need to make significant changes to their businesses in order to survive the next six months.

Many businesses are rightfully cutting back on spending, but what is most important is to know where the money is going. Make sure to onboard a cloud accounting system like Xero that allows you to keep track of spending with real time data to identify cost-cutting areas.

Offload your workload that is taking up your valuable time and consider outsourcing tasks to professionals that do it best. This will provide the much-needed extra time to free up to focus and add value to the business.

Taking care of mental and physical health must be at the top of the list to ensure that stress does not get the better of you as a leader. Taking a quick walk around the block are one of the 9 ways high performing entrepreneurs and business owners can do to offload stress.

Pay close attention to employees and ensure that their visions and goals align with that of the company to achieve business success. Get the team together and brainstorm on current business processes, to identify pitfalls and optimise processes.

  1. Recharge

Recharging your business does not need to involve extreme measures and restructurings. The focus should be on operating a fruitful, productive, and profitable business.

Be open to evaluating new possible product or service lines. This is even more relevant during uncertain times. Difficult circumstances create opportunity. Be vigilant. Aim to catch the low hanging fruit first. Make time each day to think about the long-term strategy of the business and evaluate whether you are still on track.

Don’t get stuck while trying to engineer the perfect solution, as there may not be one. Rather reach out to advisors as they can be a sounding board and could help you lay the foundation and unlock the tools that can pave the future path of the business.

Let the business assets work for the business. Get rid of old stock that’s piled up in the old warehouse. Put them up on sale and rather rent out that warehouse. Be creative.

Contact the finance house and extend facilities for added peace of mind. Chances are that you may not even need to use it.

A study by Harvard Business School in 2010 after the 2008 recession indicated that those companies who cut costs fast and deeply did not necessarily flourish while companies that invested far more than their competitors did not perform well either. It is clear that striking a balance and implementing small but calculated changes are important.

In conclusion, use the gained perspective into your business to your fullest advantage by making changes to your business with due care. When things work, improve it and when things don’t, get rid of it. Small changes can make big differences and the only way to grow is by not making the same mistakes twice.