IMA’s SBC guide presents real-world cases of small business resilience

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)’S Small Business Committee (SBC) initiated a guide – under the title of Thriving Amidst Challenges: A Guide to Small Business Resilience – with the aim of providing management accountants in small businesses with real-world cases of resilience and a model that highlights a path to resilience.

The guide included contributions by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Youngstown State University, comprising Pat Veisz and Joseph Scott; Kimberly Jaussi, Binghamton University, who shared expert insights; Chenchen Huang, Carlow University, who offered advisement during refinement of the resilience model; and Marsha Huber, IMA director of research, who led this compilation and served as principal author.

This guide offers management accountants and leaders ways to reflect, reimagine, reevaluate, reinvent, reconnect, and recharge themselves and their organizations.

Throughout the guide, specific stories illustrate how IMA members and small business enterprises (SBEs) have overcome challenges and achieved meaningful change during the pandemic.

Upon comparing SBC success stories and interviews from the SBDC, commonalities about resilience emerged, thus illustrating the six “Rs” of resilience.

The SBEs reflected upon and reimagined what services or products they offered during the pandemic. In doing so, they reevaluated their offerings and reinvented themselves. Other SBEs reconnected with both customers and employees and recharged themselves, fostering or strengthening a people-centric culture within the organization.

Inventive SBEs tapped into the six “Rs” as needed, especially when it came to reflection and reimagination. These stories of how finance and accounting leaders enabled resilience within their organizations serve as exemplars to be considered.

The COVID-19 pandemic, has disrupted the economy and businesses across the globe. This crisis, including the emergence of the Delta and Omicron variants, has led to a necessity for reinvention and innovation.

Companies and individuals have had to rely on their inherent uniqueness and creativity to cope during this extended crisis at both business and personal levels. As small businesses dealt with the realities of the pandemic and the economic conditions it brought about, resilient companies took identifiable steps to remain viable and, in some cases, to thrive.

Although there is no standard “formula” for reinvention, company transformation starts with leadership.