The news that Jamie Oliver is planning to close six of his restaurants as a result of tough trading and rising Brexit cost pressures, has highlighted how tempting it can be to look for excuses when times are tough. No one can deny that these are indeed challenging times, but it’s important to remember that businesses need new challenges to stay at the top of their game. In fact, in the absence of any external pressures, you need to remember to set your own challenges or risk standing still.
So before you leap on the blame Brexit bandwagon, remind yourself that it’s business as usual and follow these 3 steps to help you keep raising the bar and stand out from the competition.
1. Know What You Stand For
This may sound obvious, but you’d be amazed how many businesses can’t articulate exactly what they stand for. So first things first, work out what differentiates you from the competition. Next take the time to hone your findings so you can explain them in a simple way. Finally, make sure you communicate them clearly and consistently to your employees, customers and/or consumers. It’s only by having a clearly defined offering that you can hope to convince your customer to choose your products or services over those of your competitors.
2. Keep Moving Forward
In difficult trading conditions, it can be easy to fall into a spiral of negative thinking where you imagine worst-case scenarios. A great way to counter this is by drawing on your resilience and focusing on the positives instead. Emotionally resilient people bounce back from setbacks by taking the learnings and moving forward. So the next time you face a challenging situation, remind yourself what’s good about you, the company you work for and the sector you operate in. Remember, as Billy Ocean said, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going!”
3. Dial-Up Your Creativity
With the pressure on, you need to make sure you are using creativity to give you a competitive edge. Innovation is now seen by many as the cornerstone of success so try to make changes on a daily basis and never stop looking for those small opportunities. Be switched on to new ways of doing things. A great way to do this is by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. Ask yourself what you can do differently to make their experience better? It could be product renovation or new routes to market. Draw on your own experiences as a customer for inspiration.
I hope that these three steps will help you unlock your commercial confidence so you can be the very best that you can be. By understanding your differentiator, bouncing back from setbacks and adopting a positive and solution-orientated mindset, you will be in a strong position to weather the Brexit storm and achieve real commercial success.