Change is the one true constant in the business world. If you’re worried about change, you shouldn’t even try to start a company. Actually, change provides exciting opportunities for a business to grow and thrive, sometimes by overcoming a challenge or by latching on to a unique opportunity. Savvy entrepreneurs understand the importance of staying calm when the industry begins to shift. Here are five tried-and-true ways successful entrepreneurs have learned to overcome their fear of change.
Meet Change Head-On
Fearful business owners tend to see the cup as half-empty, and likely to spill at any moment. But successful entrepreneurs see a half-full cup, and they plan to fill it to overflowing. Instead of running scared when change appears on the horizon, they sprint for it, eager to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity to enhance the company’s opportunities. Changes in the industry or market often serve as catalysts for improving an organization’s success.
Roll With the Punches
Some change can be difficult to weather. An economic downturn or rising prices may cast a shadow on a company’s operations. The smart businessman or businesswoman understands that changes come and go, and a company built on a solid foundation can handle a few setbacks and regain momentum, going stronger than ever. No business operation runs perfectly all the time. When the currents of change overflow and threaten success, a wise entrepreneur will keep a level head while working through the issues.
Seize the Moment
Change often represents opportunity. Companies that take advantage of unforeseen changes can stay the course and come out on top of their game. For example, a bad market day provides the incentive to review the company’s budget and possibly downsize to a more manageable operation. A shifting customer demographic provides the opportunity to review customer needs and adjust product and services accordingly. Without the push of imminent change, some entrepreneurs would settle into a comfortable groove and let their business go stagnant. Change is the impetus for improvement, or in some cases, survival.
Seek Advice and Use It
Any substantial change in conditions that affect a business has the potential to impact the owner, customers, and stakeholders. When change is imminent, that is the perfect time to meet with stakeholders for advice on how to take advantage of changing conditions. A customer survey, product evaluation, or board of directors agenda item can lead to fruitful findings about organizational health and possible ways of making it better. Those who hold an interest in the company will likely have valuable recommendations for adapting to change.
Have a Plan B
For business owners who view change like a tsunami, it is in their best interests to devise a backup plan in the event that change comes unexpectedly and wreaks havoc. This is unlikely in most cases, but when it does happen, the companies most sharply affected are those without a contingency plan. Prepare for the unexpected so that if a sudden or dramatic change materializes, the company owner will be ready. For example, a business owner may decide to designate a relative or friend to run the business if he or she happens to get sick or pass away unexpectedly. That way, the business may stay afloat instead of tanking.
Change should be embraced rather than feared. Shifting conditions inspire fresh insight and a productive approach to resolving problems that may arise. Preparing for change is the best way to maximize it when it appears. Consulting with experts, studying the competition, observing industry trends, and keeping current with business news are additional ways to plan for possible changes that may occur. Don’t be caught off-guard. Consider change a friend, not an enemy.