As of writing this, the weather has broken. We have been enjoying days of very nice, sunny weather and a few where the heat actually became uncomfortable. All very different than how we think of the British summer. Yes, we plan for a few hot days. We get out the sun cream, fire up the barbecue, and dig the fan out of the storage unit, but when it is expected, we just don’t seem to get it. In all fairness that is probably because it is unexpected – so obviously we can’t plan for it.
When you run a business, particularly one that is in an industry as dynamic and fluid as recruitment, the unexpected is part of the game.
Don’t worry I am not going to say something ridiculous like ‘plan for the unexpected’ because unexpected means you can’t plan for it. What you can do is adapt and be ready to adapt again because of the experience. Specific, unusual circumstances, could well come along and surprise you, and there is nothing you can do about that. In recruitment, we are constantly juggling a range of variables from high-level government changes such as legislation and tax amendments and the ongoing rattle of Brexit through to day-to-day business changes. We essentially deal in people, and wonderful as they are, and as satisfying as it is to help the client and candidates to the right employment solutions, they are unpredictable. We simply cannot 100% know what will happen, but we can decide how we will react.
Your business plan is your anchor. You will see in our videos that we are very focused on the importance of planning. It is as much a part of your success as your CRM or knowledge base. The importance of having an anchor is that it holds your boat in place. It keeps you where you need to be. However, if what the anchor actually does is keep you fixed in place regardless of the circumstances it is no longer doing its job. Rather than being a useful tool, it is a dead weight stopping you moving.
Your business plan is like the anchor because it is meant to keep your goals rooted in place. It is a fixed point for you to hang onto for safety. That means the plan needs to be correct and up to date, otherwise, there is a danger that it is holding you in the wrong place.
At this time of year, it’s a good time to sit back and take stock particularly of where the unexpected happened. Get out your business plan and any other planning you have done and look where they were wrong, inaccurate or not fully working as expected and ask yourself two questions. Firstly, ask if it was because you didn’t get things right in the first place. In effect, ask if your initial plan was flawed. Secondly, where were the unexpected things? What happened that you couldn’t have predicted?
Now update the plan to compensate. The first question you can learn from very easily. You made a mistake or misunderstood a situation. Don’t brood on it, we all make them, move on. Learn and adapt your plan.
For the second one, accept that you cannot foresee the unexpected. Things change, and sometimes they are out of your control. The trick here is to figure out what contingency you could have had in place. Is there anything that would have helped that could go into your business plan? The chances are that a lot of this will come down to careful financial planning and making sure that you can survive a difficult time (because trust me, they happen and one or more will come along) and still meet the financial needs and goals of your business. To do this process, you need to have the time to reflect and grow from the unexpected. You need to learn to adapt your anchor so that you can move to new waters.
As I said at the beginning, the weather has broken. In fact, it has broken so badly that huge hailstones have just battered the Hell out of a colourful flowerbed. Now it’s a sad patch of stalks. Nobody expected the hail, it just suddenly happened with no warning, and the flowers are gone. The important thing is that I know where to get some more and that I have the money in the bank to replace them.
Managing Director at Boomerang Funding™ – All levels of Recruitment Finance