The business world is ever-changing. Today’s business needs to be flexible enough to adapt to new opportunities and resilient enough to withstand both market fluctuations and unexpected events. Here are a few ways to keep your business flexible and adaptable in changing times.
Keep an eye on your market
When it comes to markets, the tools and strategies that worked yesterday may not work today. It’s important to pay attention to your business’s market trends to ensure there will still be a niche for you to occupy in the future. Similarly, you may want to stay abreast of changes in technology, regulations and labor markets to ensure your business is poised to take advantage of shifts in the business landscape.
Make sure your customers can find you
It’s hard to think of anything that’s affected businesses as universally as the internet. From social media websites to dance apps, the range of technology options can be intimidating.
In addition to having a website with your information, it can be a good idea to choose a few apps or platforms that make sense for your business and start with those. Think about where your customers are likely to be and how you might reach them on those apps.
Accommodate your customers
It isn’t enough to pay attention to your markets and be discoverable on social media—for your business to stay competitive over the long-term, you’ll want to understand and even anticipate your clients’ needs. This can mean listening, responding, and offering new services when you notice a demand.
Have a plan
A savvy business owner knows to hope for the best and plan for the worst. It’s unpleasant to think about, but often necessary: If you pass away unexpectedly, a life insurance policy (often combined with a buy-sell agreement, if you have a business partner) can help keep the business running and create as smooth a transition as possible.
You may opt for term life insurance, which lasts for a set number of years, or whole life insurance. What is whole life insurance? Whole life insurance is a permanent life insurance policy that, while typically more expensive than term life insurance, in addition to the death benefit and other features, includes a cash value component that grows over time. Depending on how long you’ve had the policy, you may also be able to borrow against the cash value to help the business if needed.
Which policy you choose will depend on your age, how long the policy needs to be in place, your budget, and other factors.
No prescience, just business sense
It’s impossible to predict every possible opportunity, challenge, or outcome your venture may face. For most businesses, the key to long-term success doesn’t lie in gaming the market or predicting the next new craze; it’s through ensuring your priorities can adapt to changing conditions. With thoughtful planning, you can help your business stay well-prepared to change and adapt with the times.