Category: News

If your business goes through a tough period, it may be time to pivot your strategy

Necessity is the mother of all invention.

Many firms have had to pivot their business strategy due to the current market conditions. In order to pivot your strategy, you will need to start by doing your research, reassessing your current business model and building a new approach from there.

Pivoting your strategy may involve targeting a different customer base, new routes to market or even a new range of products and services. If pivoting your strategy pushes you into a new market, you will likely need to re-evaluate your approach to sales, marketing and day to day business processes.

In the current environment, many bricks and mortar businesses have pivoted their strategy to focus on online services, direct to consumer sales and home delivery models.

Once you have evaluated when and where you need to pivot your strategy, you will need to move quickly in order to shift your business to the new model efficiently. Trust the data and insights that you gathered during the planning stage.

Decisive action will help you to avoid wasting time, effort and money. Communicate your new strategy to your people in order to gain their buy-in. Involve them in some of the planning and decision making in order to build their trust and bring them on the journey.

If you can get your team members to buy into the new strategy and really get behind it, you are much more likely to succeed.

Create goals and objectives for your team that align with the new strategic direction of the firm. Don’t try to fix things that aren’t broken. A pivot in strategy doesn’t mean you need to change everything. For example, if you move your business to a new online-only model, you can probably use some of your current processes and procedures for things like sales or order management.

Once you pivot your strategy, ask your customers and staff for feedback. What has worked well, what could work better and what new ideas should you roll out as part of your new strategy? You can use this feedback to refine your new strategy and adopt further refinements.

If you would like some help with evaluating your strategy please contact Tanya Ibberson at tanya@fdbs.co.uk

 

Supporting your team through turbulent and stressful times.

After dealing with the effects of the pandemic for over a year, many people are feeling isolated working from home, while others are struggling to manage family responsibilities alongside the demands of their day job. What can businesses do to support their people and help them to manage their mental health?

Start with a plan

Creating a mental health plan for your business can help you to promote wellbeing for your team. A typical plan might include wellbeing tips, tackling causes of work-related stress, a system for recording sickness absences that are related to mental health and training for all staff on stress management.

Promote an open culture

As ever, communication is key. Business owners and managers should strive to create a culture that encourages open dialogue, where people can discuss issues regarding their mental health without stigma or fear of being judged. This is more important now than ever before, as your team could be juggling a range of interconnected issues such as childcare / family care challenges, financial worries or feelings of loneliness due to working remotely for a long period of time.

In addition to this, you could carry out an anonymous internal survey where you ask your team to feed back on their personal wellbeing, stress levels and general mental health. You could also use this as an opportunity to gather feedback on the types of wellbeing measures that the team would like to see from the firm.

Spotting problems before they become wider issues

Train the managers in your business to spot problems. Teach them to look out for employees who are showing signs of distress such as regular absenteeism, changes in behaviour or signs of irritable or irrational behaviour. If your team are still working remotely, managers should make contact on a regular basis in order to catch up and “check in” with other team members.

Offer support where possible

Often the best support that your people need is to feel like they have been listened to. Let your team members know that they have the option to have a confidential conversation about mental health, if ever they need to. Managers can then work with the individual to agree a course of action to manage stress and get them back on track.

Making Tax Digital extended to more businesses

Making Tax Digital (MTD) forms a key part of the governments’ plans to make it easier for individuals and businesses to get their tax right and keep on top of their business affairs. This shouldn’t be a new term for us now; changes to payroll under the Real Time Information system was introduced in 2013, and MTD for VAT has been in operation since 2019.

Details of the latest CJRS “Furlough” Grants

The ongoing support from HMRC in relation to employees of businesses and companies has been further extended; the fourth version of the CJRS “furlough” grant scheme started on 1 May 2021 and will run until 30 September with employees affected continuing to be supported and entitled to be paid at least 80% of their “usual pay” subject to a limit of £2,500 a month for hours not worked.

Details of fourth self-employed income support grant

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) like the CJRS scheme for employers has been extended to September 2021 and the details for claims for this fourth grant have now been released.  This fourth grant covers the period of February, March and April 2021.  A fifth grant will be announced to cover May to September 2021.

Welcome & First Post

Hello, and welcome to my new blog! This is meant to be informative and thought-provoking, and I would welcome any comments and feedback, so feel free to comment on the posts and get involved.