At a time of recession when everyone in the business world is feeling a bit shaky, it can be tough to know whether your business, industry or department is going to make it through the bumpy times or not. Balancing risk and stability or security is the challenge of any business owner and many executives and workers struggle as well. Of course, we do not want to be so focused on keeping things stable that we avoid taking the risks necessary to actually grow a business. But, at the same time, we can’t be jumping and leaping about with such abandon that we put our livelihood at risk. In insecure financial times, there are ways to evaluate the stability of a business in order to make changes or plan for future growth.
What does “stability” actually mean and how can you tell how stable your business or department is? It is important to understand that business-owner’s or executive’s stability is going to be different from another’s. Having a cushion of savings, knowing how and where your customer base will grow, having a steady relationship with your suppliers-these are all some of the ways that a business can build security and stability. Evaluating whether or not any elements of these issues will change with a recession can be important. Being able to anticipate those changes and having contingency plans can help you to stay stable even when things around you seem precarious.
Try to remember that you might be expecting too much if you are expecting stability too early in the life of a business, product line, department, etc. Those first few months or years can be pretty hand-to-mouth and if they happen to coincide with a recession, it can really seem precarious. It helps to have ways other than income or revenue to define stability-building a strong, solid, secure base for the business can mean building stability into different areas of the business and not just focusing on how much money is being made. That way, the business operations can continue even when income dips or layoffs become necessary.
Evaluate how restricted your business, department or product line is-the more restrictions there are tend to signify less security or stability. For example, if the business is totally dependent on a specific location, or there is only one major customer, client or supplier-things could be devastated very easily. The more flexible and diverse the operations are, the more stable the business will be. Being able to adjust revenue streams or find new suppliers, or being able adjust services, etc. when the need arises will make the business more stable in the long term.