If you are viewing this article, it’s likely you are contemplating launching a new business or have started the process. You’ve pondered long and hard of pursuing this dream that promises many considerable rewards, including newfound financial freedom and control over your life your present day job just doesn’t allow. You may or may not know of the extensive and exhausting legwork that goes into planning a new business. If you already have a business plan or one is in the works, you’ve done your best to prepare for any potential issues that may affect business operation. However, no matter how much meticulous planning and foresight goes into a business, it’s the inability of a business to adapt to the unforeseeable future which most often leads to its demise.

The Real Key Is A Flexible Business Plan and Approach

No one launches their business only to see it take a nosedive into the ground. We start businesses with the hopes and intentions of succeeding. However, the harsh reality is most businesses don’t survive in the long term. In fact, the difference between the number of successful versus failed businesses is staggering. One in five new businesses never make it past their first year. Half of all businesses won’t make it to their five-year mark. If you find these statistics intimidating , you may not want to know your business will only have a 30% chance of enduring more than a decade.

But if your business plan is rock steady, what could go wrong? You spent countless hours crafting a bulletproof business plan. You’ve approached matters from multiple angles and you’re certain you’ve considered just about every potential scenario your business may encounter. The budget has been scrutinized, accounting for every last expense. You have filed all necessary documents either on time or early. Your marketing plan is in place. You have gone over your business plan with a fine-tooth comb, and you’re confident every t is crossed and every i is dotted. How could your business fail?

The dilemma is that we base the careful attention that makes it into our business plan on present conditions. We base it on the now. No one can predict the future, and there are plenty of things heading your way you will never see coming. Changes in the economy that impact the demand for your product or service. Perhaps an unexpected health problem emerges, altering your ability to operate your business. Or, you experience supply issues with the product you are selling. Such difficulties are likely not accounted for in your business plan and for good reason. You cannot account for everything.

The solution is that both you and your business need to be flexible enough to adapt to any impending change. Your business plan is an invaluable tool and its usefulness cannot be understated. However, by incorporating flexibility and introducing diversity into your business model you are empowering your company to evolve when it faces challenges. Rather than coming to an abrupt halt, business flexibility allows your company to shift gears and restructure when required, which insures its long-term prosperity.

Perhaps even more ruinous than an inflexible business plan is a business owner with rigid thinking. By having a fixed mindset you stay closed to viable alternative solutions to a current problem. You reject any atypical non-standard viewpoints and instead cling to preconceptions. By electing to remain within a set style of reasoning you limit both personal growth and the advancement of your business. This leads to missed opportunity.

Just as any business is a living breathing thing, an entrepreneur has to be able to adapt over time.

Robert Herjavec-Shark Tank

6 Tips On Staying Flexible In Both Business and Mindset

1. Budget

Overestimate your budget while underestimating your projected sales.
Combine this with additional padding and you will create a healthy financial buffer so that your company might avoid any money issues.

2. Staffing

Cross-train your employees.
Not only does this help mitigate staffing issues, it also streamlines operations when your workers are familiar with the roles and duties of their coworkers.

3. Diversify

Offer related products and services.
Branching out and expanding your current offerings keeps your options open.

4. Target Market

Don’t limit your customer base.
Try to keep your personal opinions separate from decisions regarding who you are targeting when marketing your products or services and watch your customer pool grow.

5. Development

Continue your education.
Even if you are an expert in your field, take a humble approach and never assume you know it all. By seeking and integrating new information you will expand and enrich both your business and your mind.

6. Mindset

Take the Myers-Briggs Test.
Taking a personality test can provide some important insight into your strengths and weaknesses, allowing for personal growth and more effective business management.

In today’s ever-changing marketplace the ability to adapt to any potential adversity is paramount. A scripted approach with a well-developed plan has its advantages. However, a plan able to morph and change at will ensures your business is never in a state of uncertainty. A free and pliable mentality in business means you stay receptive to alternative solutions and possibilities. Doing so can help ensure business longevity and keep you open to opportunities you may have otherwise missed out on.

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