Your company is thriving; you employ a moderate number of people, you have grounded yourself in your market, and you feel that your place there is secure. You may have fallen into a trap common to many small business owners: you have lost your hesitancy. Business owners who fall into this category are particularly at risk of being negatively harmed when changes occur.
Change can come in many forms, like cash flow issues or loss of market share, but change isn’t always bad: change can range from explosive business growth to increased staff numbers as well. Regardless of what form change takes for your business, it is crucial for your business’ success that you remain cautious and aware of the potential for sudden change. Here are 4 rules to follow when considering how to prepare for change, because they could be the key to making sure your business is stable now and in the future.
Being realistic with yourself and your business
It is easy – and common – for a business owner to be optimistic. You have put everything you have into it; countless hours and immeasurable effort have been dedicated to your company, so of course you can only envision its success. But this is a place where a warning is necessary: it is often necessary to be realistic as well as optimistic. For morale, it is good to be optimistic, but when looking critically at your business, realism is the best path.
“Make sure that you and your business are ready to respond to change.”
Being realistic means repeated re-evaluation of risk and opportunity, looking at potential room for growth, and analysing your market and your business for vulnerabilities you can mend or exploit. It also means ensuring your business is protected in case of concern and being ready to alter your business model if change were to call for it.
Make sure that you and your business are ready to respond to change and grow with it, rather than being crushed by it.
Constant analysis and responsive action
At the beginning of business ownership, it is easy to be caught in the now: which orders need to go out, what stock needs to be mended, and what does today’s report look like? And while these are all important for a small business owner, just as important is the need for dedication to analysis. By analysing your business as well as the market, you find places where growth is possible. Your business may need to be restructured in order to maintain efficiency and productivity in a changing market, or your market analysis may show that there are key places of vulnerability which you can exploit to increase market share. Either way, consistent and repetitive analysis of your business and its situation (as well as instituting changes that respond to them) are important for every small business owner.
Watching over your books
Is your business prepared in case there is a period of minimised cash flow? Is your stock ready for increased sales? Are you keeping an eye on invoices and how customers are treating their payments? These are all key questions when it comes to preparing for change. Optimism suggests that the changes will be good, but it can easily happen that a change is negative, or even severely damaging, for your business. Being aware of your current costs, identifying and analysing growth opportunities, and watching over payment windows are all things that can help you in the case of a crisis. Just one to two months can be enough to ruin a business, so it is important that you are prepared.
“Change can easily be one of the best things to happen to your business.”
Do not fear change
While daunting, change can easily be one of the best things to happen to your business. Without change, there would be no room to restructure, be creative, or grow. Changes happen every day; you just need to be prepared for it.
Seeking out a professional may be a good idea for your small business if you are worried about change; they can help you prepare for and cope with the changes that are thrown at businesses constantly.