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From side hustle to resilient business: 5 key tips

Financial Wellbeing Coach

2022-08-25 00:00

Estimated reading time
9 min

In this article

  • Write a business plan for success
  • Understand the risks involved and how to manage them
  • Build a network for support

Back in the day, starting a business was all about having the right amount of money, the right product and the right plan to market your brand to the world. Think about it: a good burger recipe and a budget for a really big shopfront sign? You're set.

But these days, the new businesses that last won't only be the ones with the best or smartest offering, but also those that can withstand the most change.

Building business resilience

We're in the era of resilience, which is defined by Forbes1 as 'the ability to protect and grow value in the face of rapidly changing external conditions.' Your ability to stay the distance and build up stamina will be key to your success.

Whether you're turning a side gig into a full-time job, or starting your entrepreneurial journey from scratch, here are five tips for building business resilience (a tongue twister if ever there was one).

blue shopfront with a checklist for building a resilient business

Image of blue shopfront with a checklist for building a resilient business

1. Set solid foundations

A business plan is like a roadmap. It doesn't mean you have to keep heading in one direction, but it helps you see your route options to get there, detours included. Whatever changes or decisions you make will still need to come back to your core purpose and goals. As long as your actions align with this strategy, then any shifts or new ideas won't come as too much of a surprise. It's all about keeping the train on the tracks.

Here's a suite of practical tools, content and articles that can help you make stronger decisions and keep your business on track, including:

2. Take risk seriously

These days the stakes may be higher, and you may have less time to react. Having a formal risk management plan helps you prepare for the worst. Whether it's an economic downturn or problems within the business, if you can see it coming, you can react appropriately. Businesses these days need to be prepared for reputational risks, supplier risks and even IT risks (losing all your data is not fun). Considering all the potential issues, putting a plan in place means that if something happens you already know how to respond – saving you stress and potentially even some money.

3. Diversify your income

The idea of 'doing one thing and doing it well' might work for some, but these days having a bit of range isn't a bad thing. If the world shuts down your lettuce supply, you might want to have an alternate ingredient up your sleeve – one that customers actually want. And no, raw cabbage is not it.Consider broadening your offering with products and services that can help you operate under changed circumstances.

That might mean offering a digital alternative to an in-person experience like ANZ Small Business customer Silent Sounds, who altered the delivery of their silent disco offerings during the pandemic, or finding alternative ways to use your resources – like a coffee shop using their factory environment to make hand sanitiser.

4. Support networks are everything

Ultimately, businesses are run by people. People need to be resilient in the face of change or difficulty too. Make sure you have a community around you to help bounce ideas off or lean on when times get hard. Make sure you're providing that level of support for your staff or partners too. The stronger the network, the more opportunities are likely to arise. Look out for community groups for small business owners, get a mentor, join unions and put the word out to likeminded people.

5. Keep the customer front of mind

Investing time into a product is always a good idea, but so too is putting time into customers. Client development may even be more important than product or service development when it comes to building a successful business. If you're responding to the changing needs of your audience, you're unlikely to fail even when you try something left of centre. Focus on the people and the product will follow.

Of course, one article does not make a business. Consider seeking independent advice from your accountant, tax adviser, lawyer and/or business advisor. Or head on over to the ANZ Business Hub or the Australian Government's handy site3 for business owners, packed with tips and resources to guide you in building a resilient plan. Remember, we're here to help with any of your business banking needs.

From side hustle to resilient business: 5 key tips
Financial Wellbeing Coach

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The information set out above is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations. You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.

1. Developing Business Resilience: 4 Keys To Success In Uncertain Times

2. KFC fans furious as lettuce is replaced by cabbage thanks to shortages

3. Guide to starting a business