2020 has forced businesses to function differently, make difficult decisions and fully realise how volatile running your own business can be. The UK based Arcadia Group headed by billionaire Sir Philip Green has officially entered administration – a move that potentially put over 13,000 jobs at risk.
In December 2020, the retail conglomerate – which owns Outfit, Topshop, Burton, Evans, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Topman and Miss Selfridge – appointed administrators following the negative impact on sales resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. There was no announcement concerning redundancy packages at the time of the announcement.
The US fashion behemoth J. Crew filed for bankruptcy protection making it among the first group of companies to do so during the shutdown. The Chapter 11 filing appears to have been a strategic move to buy itself time before passing control over to its lenders in exchange for the cancellation of $1.65bn of its debts. It would appear that this sort of restructuring of their finances was also aimed at giving the company another lease of life in troubling times. J. Crew had in excess of 500 outlets, but the reality was that consumers were embracing online shopping.
Businesses like this publication understood the power of online representation and the need to do business more efficiently. Navigating this new normal requires personal, professional and social adjustments to remain competitive, bounce back and, in many instances, avoid bankruptcy.
Personal. You and your team are the essences of your company and brand. As a small to medium-sized business owner; everything emanates from your vision. You set the tone, culture and rhythm of your business through the example of what you do or fail to do. The skills, behaviour and competencies that define your team are under closer scrutiny in this hour. Work / Life synergy is of greater importance than the outdated notion of work/life balance because any successful businessperson understands that you (and your team/core values/products & services) are the business.
Professional. Reappraise your internal systems, scrutinize your profit forecasts and create time for personal development programmes. The strength of your brand and value of your product or service are paramount.
Social. Social media is clearly a cost-effective way to advertise, promote or sell your products and services. Zoom and Google hangouts have their uses. Your product or service must have a clear presence online and on the relevant social media. Why? Because more people interact digitally. The global response to this pandemic has seen a synchronised and, in some instances, devastating impact on business growth as seen in the hospitality, retail, restaurant sectors.
Equally, it’s not all doom and gloom. Bouncing back after the occurrences of recent months will be as easy as you and your team allow it to be. Things will never be as they were, therefore, this is a unique opportunity to create something new by building on your past business experience. This is an exciting and innovative time if perceived correctly.
About the Author
Malik Muhammad was raised and educated in Jamaica and read law in London. He created The Empowerment Mastery System to influence, help and inspire businesses to cultivate their visions. Malik enjoys vegan cooking and quad biking. He is an after-dinner speaker, event host and convenes empowerment seminars internationally. His latest book COFFEE & CONTEMPLATION: a taste of empowerment is available on Amazon.