3 Tips to Loan Small Businesses a Higher Level of Adaptability
If there is anything that 2013 taught small business owners, it was that, even in a slowly recovering economy, they must still be aware of the potential for major challenges arising within their industries. From the roll out of the ACA to myriad new regulations, especially in the commercial trucking industry, small business owners must be aware of the reality that their situations can change rapidly in our current economic and political environment. It’s not enough for business owners to simply hope that nothing will effect their businesses. In order to have some peace of mind surrounding the business that creates your livelihood, small business owners owe it to themselves (and their employees) to create a strategy that allows them the maneuverability to adapt to changes in their industries. Here are some recommendations for creating a highly adaptable business plan.
Be constantly refining your strategies. The more static a business plan is, the more vulnerable it makes itself to sudden disruptive changes in its environment. In order to combat change, it is a good idea to meet it head on and constantly be tweaking your business’s approach before changes become overwhelming. By actively staying on top of the newest trends and changes in technology in your industry, your business will already be moving in the right direction when a change that is out of your control occurs. Additionally, even if you are not 100% prepared for a sudden event you must adapt to, being in the habit of constantly adapting means that you will be less likely to miss a beat when things really count.
Keep your quality of service high. In trying times, making sure that you are able to retain your core customers will be the difference between success and failure. Every business will have their few “regulars” who they can count on the support them with sales. Usually, it is a combination between consistent quality service and a rapport developed with the customer that will allow for this type of bond to be created. Regardless of what your business is going through, keeping the quality of your core products on track with what you have been offering is vitally important.
Keep your team up to date. If something is going to be effecting your business on a large scale, you should let your employees know what it is and exactly how you plan on dealing with it as opposed to leaving them in the dark. Your employees will usually be able to sense when something is different anyway. By taking the time to explain to them the challenges being faced by the business and what needs to be done to address them, you can keep their morale up and make them more prepared to address the challenges you are going to have to face.
Photo credit to Emilian Robert Vicol on Flickr