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Building business resilience and what it means for your cost.

What comes to mind when you hear the word resilience? Toughness? If we were to describe resilience with a quote, it would be, “tough times never last, but tough people do”.

Business resilience is simply the ability of a business to survive despite disruptions that affect the business climate. The world is in the face of a probable recession, and events like the Russia-Ukraine war suggests that business resilience is critical for survival in the future.

The pandemic was another significant disruption that affected many businesses. By the end of the pandemic, many businesses had been significantly affected to the point of shutting down. Even after the pandemic, a few businesses still shut down. A report shows that 22% of small businesses permanently closed in February 2021.

In this resource, we extensively study business resilience and how it ultimately affects the cost of organizations. Keep reading to find out more.

What does business resilience mean?

Businesses have to be fluid and be designed to survive tough times. Resilience features a lean and agile framework that allows you to survive through disruptions and tough business conditions. It works two ways, businesses are either agile or are fluid enough to switch to an agile structure during disruptions.

It is important to note that business resilience cuts across every aspect of a business. Most of them are myths largely mistaken as business resilience. Many SMBs mistake business resilience for agile supply chains, risk mitigation, or an operational plan or think crises happen infrequently. Business resilience features all this but transcends them all.

Business resilience cust across supply chains, finances of a company, customer service, IT, etc. As opposed to risk mitigation, business resilience anticipates and projects for likely disruptions so that they are unaffected in the event of a disruption. Beyond projecting for changes that may disrupt businesses, business resilience entails that businesses take advantage of crises for growth through pre-thought strategies.

Resilience is a trade-off between short-term wins and long-term efficiency. Rather than focusing on KPIs like profit/ROI, business resilience focuses on adaptability as a competitive advantage.

Things to note when building business resilience

Business resilience is an operational strategy formed as a system that cuts across every business unit. Luckily, building long-lasting and efficient systems is not a luxury. Any business can achieve business resilience provided they feature a few things in their systems.

Some of the key features of long-lasting systems that help businesses build resilience include:

Business must be built with redundancy in mind.

Redundancy is often a trade-off between short-term and undisrupted, consistent long-term efficiency. To build with redundancy in mind means to build with a shock-proof in mind. The principle is simple, functional things core to the business have several duplicates. This way, there are ready materials/systems to replicate the crippled functionality when anything affects any core aspect of the business.

Resilient businesses prioritize prudence.

Business managers achieve resilience by taking preventive actions that make them stay ahead of shocks and disruptions. The school of thought that guides this principle is accepting that if an event could plausibly happen, it will inevitably happen.

There are many ways to prepare ahead of disruptions. This means there is a contingency plan or risk-proof plan for any identified event that could disrupt business. Businesses watch for early indicators and plan (whether or not the event will eventually happen). Watching for vulnerabilities, war games, etc., can help you avoid disruptions.

Resilient businesses encourage modularity.

Many businesses that have proven to be resilient are designed to be modular. This means that several units of the business exist in a way that its failure doesn’t affect other units. Or the failure of one unit doesn’t translate to the failure of the entire system. Understandably, this may not be visible for every business model. Nonetheless, there must be a modularity plan during the crisis to ensure that businesses see the light of day.

Adaptability is key.

Businesses that will scale through disruptions focus on adaptability across every building phase. As opposed to stability, these companies encourage diversity and different ways of thinking through solutions. Rather than perfection, the system is open to scaling the best ideas, making errors, and effecting quick changes that put them at risk.

A key aspect of adaptability is diversity (an important recipe for building business resilience). It simply means hiring a pool of talents from diverse backgrounds. This makes your strategy sessions highly intellectual because multiple ways of thinking through problems and risks are featured during your plans.

Resilient businesses find societal application.

This is hinged on the principle of embeddedness. It simply means that the long-term goals of a business must find easy alignment with much bigger goals capable of disrupting the existence of the business. For example, you can’t attempt to sell a product the government will fight in the future.

Business resilience is easy when the goals of a business find easy application to society’s goals and other pillars of society. But when business goals are eventually anti-society goals, you’re fighting a lost war. Your business will eventually close down or be annihilated.


Sometimes diversity entails multiple lines of products and diversification of business investment portfolio to ensure modularity. This means the failure of one product line or an investment portfolio is not strong enough to make the business sink.

It’s smart for businesses to have a resilience plan for things like a pandemic or recession. For a fact, these events will happen again, whether we’re prepared or not prepared for it.

Business resilience impacts the cost of businesses significantly. It makes operations more costly but ensures judicious use of available resources. As an added advantage, your business will certainly survive—nothing is more rewarding in the long term than this reality.