In the wake of new competition, loss of customers, technology overtaking, any number of reasons can affect your business. Adapting to change is a skill needed continually when running a business. Here are some tips to help:
- Address any issue quickly--don't put things off, deal with them right away. Brainstorm possible causes (a necessary learning exercise), solutions, and make decisions on responding to threats.
- Business is about making money. Don't lose sight of this fact. Consider the financial implications of taking action, or not taking action.
- Focus on achieving the goal. Assess the impact on business. Set a goal, make a plan of action, and focus on the goal. Set measures of success to know when you've reached the goal.
- Don't Procrastinate. Excessive planning can become an excuse for lack of action. Once you have decided to proceed, stop thinking and start doing.
- Don't expect immediate results. There is often a time-lag between action and reaction. Cash flow is an excellent example of this. Things put in place now may not take effect for a few months. This time-lag factor can often bring pleasant surprises from areas or contacts long forgotten or not previously considered.
- Remember ethics. Speculate to accumulate but don't lose sight of business ethics –what comes around goes around and reputation is a key factor to your ongoing business survival.
- Trust your instincts. Trust your own judgement. Find out enough to make a decision, and do it. No one knows your business like you do, and presumably you know your customers well. Business is about taking calculated risks, so don't be afraid to back your inner feelings.
- Be prepared to make mistakes. Mistakes are about learning. All businesses do it at some time or another. To make a mistake does not mean failure, learn from it, correct it, and try again. Be constructive rather than despondent. Successful businesses never give up at any obstacle. Adapt, change and try again.