Adaptability is an attitude and key to an entrepreneur’s survival. Successful business owners navigate rising and falling economies much like skilled swimmers playing in the surf. Just like the surf, the economy brings a continuous ebb and flow of change and opportunity. Economies will rise and fall and businesses will come and go, but change just thunders on and on.
Entrepreneurs manage chaotic conditions in order to solve problems for customers. In part, your success as a business owner will be measured by your ability to embrace and manage change.
As an owner, you will encounter change in many aspects of your business:
You’ll work hard to develop positive relations with customers, only to discover your key contacts get new jobs, transfer, quit, get fired or die. When the change hits, you’ll start over again, building your business relationship with a new person or team.
You’ll build credibility with suppliers, only to have them drop off your radar – mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, phasing out old products, new management and different policies. Supply line issues can be the cause of many sleepless nights for business owners.
You might craft your business model to serve the needs of a large corporation or government agency, only to have the revenue stream dry up when your client shifts focus to deal with the changes it faces.
You might create a product or service, only to have a competitor scoop your customers by innovating, lobbying, or buying your customers away from you. Or they might eclipse you by adapting your widget to build a cheaper or better one.
You might get comfortable with a software application, only to have a newer, faster version parachuted into your workplace, necessitating yet another unsolicited learning scramble.
You’ll labor over your business plan, only to discover that everything changes the moment you shift from planning to operating your business. Change is disruptive for all business owners, but more so for those who prefer stability. It’s probably most painful for those who don’t recognize when things have changed, or those who resist change or refuse to adapt.
Customers control the direction of some changes for a business, given that they vote with their money. Business owners who are open to change are better able to listen to and serve customers.
It’s easier to manage change when you’re energy is high. Embrace change in the same way you would greet waves when playing in the surf. Use the power of change to your advantage, surf while your energy is high and when you get tired, get out of the surf and rest.
About the Author: Dan Boudreau makes business planning achievable, fast and fun. Want to learn more about how to do your own business plan? Subscribe to the RiskBuster Newsletter and instantly download a free copy of Dan’s popular fast-track business plan template at http://www.riskbuster.com/user/register
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