Whether you are a sole trader, or a larger SME, in these volatile and disruptive times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, L&D could be critical to your future.

In such times is it entirely natural and understandable that SME’s will take a ‘flight or fight’ approach, and batten down the hatches, focusing on survival.  We would humbly suggest, that whilst a natural reaction, a better approach is to continue to learn, grow and develop.

The COVID-19 pandemic will pass, and life will return to a ‘new’ normal, an old normal, or a blend of both. One think is certain, is that there will be change, and in order to survive, and then thrive, in the short, medium and long-term, those SME’s that respond to the challenges and issues they face in an calm, reflective, creative, innovative and agile manner will be those that not only survive, but will enhance their resilience, sustainability and competitive advantage.

Underscoring this, will be access to continued support through learning, development, coaching and mentoring.

So, what would we suggest that SME’s do in these difficult times?

  • Use the time to critically reflect – how can you use the current crisis as a catalyst to transform and change your business and operations, and turn threats into opportunities?
  • Conduct a strategic and operational deep business review. Do you really know your business as well as you should, with the fine detail? What is mission critical to your business and how are those services, products and goods best delivered and clients served?
  • Do your people, talent and teams have the knowledge, skills and competencies to lead, drive, implement and deliver any changes and opportunities you make?
  • How can you help and support your people, talent and teams to enhance productivity, performance and profitability?

From strategic and operational business planning, leadership and financial management; through business administration, communications, commercial and operational management; to MARCOMS, sales, soft skills, problem solving and ICT, do you, your organisation and your people have knowledge, skills and competencies you need to meet and address the challenges and issues you face so that you can adapt, innovate and proactively recover, stabilise and once again grow?

Almost all SME’s are built on the courage sweat, tears, passion and determination of individuals, small teams and families. In challenging, volatile and disruptive times such as the global pandemic crisis, trusted support can be invaluable and be the difference between catastrophe and success. And training, learning and development is but one part of the tale.

As important, if not more so for SME owners and leaders can be business and personal coaching and mentoring, even if it is just a trusted ear to talk to.