How Can LA’s Small Businesses Stay Agile?
After a spectacularly tough 2020, the LA small business community is in rebuild mode – and there are a lot of businesses to rebuild. In the US, small businesses contribute 44% of economic activity. In Los Angeles County, small to midsize businesses make up a disproportionate number of its 244,000 businesses.
The businesses that have best withstood the pressures of the pandemic have been those that have been able to act with agility, to innovate in areas of their business they were not necessarily focused on before. In fact, according to a survey by California’s Small Business Development Centers, over half of small business owners adapted how they served their customers and another 40% began offering a new service or product.
Adapting on the fly and turning crisis into opportunity is not easy to do, but an agile approach to business can help. In this blog post, we share some tips on how a few tweaks to working practices can help LA’s small businesses remain agile as they move forward into a new era.
- Focus on a handful of priorities – As much as we have big dreams for our businesses, it’s the next action that counts. Cutting down your list of priorities to just three or four creates focus and momentum. As you complete them, add the next.
- Think short term – Even pre-pandemic, the business world never stood still. New threats and opportunities present themselves every day. Be ready to capitalize on them. Some businesses may understandably be looking back and regathering right now. Look forward with clarity and positivity to what you can do now.
- Recognize limitations – Being agile is about leveraging a growth mindset. If there’s something in your business that’s holding you back, look at how you can overcome it: Training? Outsourcing? A new approach? Talk to your team and your mentors to pinpoint opportunities for improvement.
- Empower employees – Don’t let slow decision-making or bad tools hold your business back. Set your employees up for success by correctly equipping them to do the job you hired them for. Thanks to SaaS technology, there are many tools that do not require a long-term investment or contract. Check out reviews, ask employees to test with free trials and find what works for them.
- Use the right metrics – Metrics are not just about “how many,” but also about “how.” Use actionable metrics that give you insights into how your customers use your products and services. Use them to identify what can be improved, and what is working well and setting you apart from your competitors. These metrics will help you better manage risk and capitalize on your strengths.
- Don’t be afraid to change course “Pivot” has to be one of the top business buzzwords of 2021, The ability to pivot is the ability to look around, make a decision then move, regardless of whether it fit your original plan. Take inspiration from other small businesses to see how they’ve adapted on the fly.
- Have regular retrospectives – Take time regularly to reflect and review progress and appreciate the current situation. Celebrate every milestone and acknowledge how far you’ve come. There’s nothing like recognizing progress to motivate a team to keep moving forward. When ready, refocus on achieving the next milestone. Use feedback from metrics and employees to understand what’s working, what can be done better, what’s holding you back and what are the next set of actions and owners.
- Don’t lock yourself in to unnecessary long-term contracts – The approach you take to selecting tools, can also be applied to selecting working practices and premises. It’s no longer necessary to commit to long-term office rental contracts or consign your workforce to be 100% remote. Virtual office and on-demand physical office spaces provide businesses with an office whenever you need it, wherever you need it. Depending on what’s on the agenda, employees get to choose the best environment to optimize their productivity, and you get to scale your business and costs organically.
SaGE Workspace offers flexible, high-quality co-working space and virtual office services to professionals and business in Los Angeles. Customers find a wide selection of spaces to rent on-demand in prestigious areas of LA including West Olympic Ave, Wilshire Boulevard and West 7th Street. To discover more about the possibilities for your business, search Los Angeles, CA, Workspace at https://www.sageworkspace.com/