How to Accelerate Business Growth during a pandemic

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Jack Spoor, business advisor at Robson Laidler explains how you can give yourself – and your clients more space, money and time.

Jack Spoor Business Advisor
Now more than ever being a business owner can be overwhelming. You may feel like you have cashflow pressure, no business strategy, low revenue or profit, people problems or generally feeling exhausted.

The coronavirus pandemic has certainly become a heavy weight to bare. We have worked with some of the region’s most successful business owners to relieve this strain and given them more freedom across three main areas: headspace, finance and precious time.

So, how exactly do we do this and how can this accelerate businesses at such a rocky time?

First of all, free up headspace.

Bupa Global’s Executive Wellbeing Index, concluded more than three-quarters of business leaders (78%) have experienced poor mental health during the pandemic and experts are warning that tighter COVID restrictions could spur a new wave, exacerbated by pressures on business, the economy and reduced personal freedoms.

How can we therefore reduce this stress? Consider the following:

• Do you have a plan? – We allow business owners to regain control by putting together a solid one page plan that addresses both personal and business goals. We ask where are you now, where do you want to be and how will you get there? We then lay foundations to reach those goals and achieve growth. By putting this down on paper you immediately alleviate this from your head and we then make each goal realistic, achievable, and designate accountability.

• Do you play to your strengths? Motivational Mapping activities can identify, nurture and report on the intrinsic motivation of a business owner and their team and find strategies to help raise engagement, encourage teamwork, and improve individual and business performance.

● Do you practice mindsets? Look at models such as OARBED – above the line and below the line thinking. The above the line behaviours are the OAR part – this is how we should behave when working within a successful team. OAR stands for ownership, accountability, and responsibility. The BED part explains below the line behaviours. These are behaviours which will affect the team negatively. BED stands for blame, excuses, and denial. Having a positive mindset gives you so much more headspace for creativity and growth ideas.

• Stay accountable – a business coach or mentor should check in with your monthly or quarterly to ask you whether you have achieved your goals and ensure you are held accountable.

Secondly, free up finances

Financial freedom is about understanding your finances in real time and using that knowledge to reach longer term goals.

How can you improve your financial freedom? Ask yourselves the following:

• Do you leverage the right technology? The adoption of online accountancy and financial software and apps to drive efficiencies as well as invoice and debtor follow up automation tools to help you get money quicker.

• Do you have the correct access to finance? There are several funding agencies and government grants to help make money work for you. A sound business advisor can not only help you with the application process but will help you plan for this recovery.

• Have you done a cashflow management and forecasting analysis, so you are aware of your business’ health and address any corrective action? A financial projection can help you strategize where you want to be and how to get there.

• Do you know when it’s your financial independence day? Wealth creation and retirement planning come hand in hand. Financial planning advice can help you understand how much money you need to make and save now to have the future you desire.

Lastly, regain time

In a world where we feel we are trying to beat the clock, lack of time can impact our motivation and consequently affect our business performance.

How can we therefore work smarter with our time?

• Are you practising proven time management techniques? Looking at principles such as the ‘four quadrants of time’ can help you identify what and where you should be spending most of your time, what can be delegated and deleted from your mind.

• Are you wearing too many hats in your business? Many businesses suffer from lack of clarity around their team’s defined roles. This can result in the business owner wearing too many ‘hats’, and therefore having very little time to spend on strategic activities. An Organisational Review will give you a functional organisation chart, visually defining departments, functions, roles and responsibilities.

• Have you developed a Life Organiser to provide peace of mind and save time in future? This ensures your affairs are in order and can minimise stress for your loved ones in the event of disability or death.

• Could you outsource? Virtual FD services are available for businesses that have grown to the point of needing more in-house financial strategy and support or who are looking to cut costs and replace their FD.

If you’d like to find out more about Robson Laidler’s accelerator services, email . Download a free one-page action plan template at

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