Running your own business can be incredibly difficult under normal circumstances but how about when something unexpected happens? Change in business is hard to predict as the economy changes based on external events that are completely out of our control. We then have to adapt in order for our business to survive.
Every business should have a contingency plan in case of certain disasters (such as a flood or a fire) so that they can continue running their business despite that. This means how you will look after and restore documentation, where backups will be kept, how you will operate, etc. There are many different aspects to consider and each business is different which is why you have to create your own.
There are instances which are hard to prepare for though such as a change in suppliers or demand dropping. After dealing with a pandemic, many businesses learnt how they had to adapt to such a drastic change in the world.
When presented with the unexpected, the first thing to see is how it affects you directly. Do you need to close your shop, move location, change something in regards to legislation, etc.? That is the part that will impact you straight away which is why it is the first thing to address. Once you know how it affects you, you can then look at the options you have available to you.
To consider options, you may have to do some additional research. For example, your supplier suddenly goes under meaning you have to find a new source. It’s likely that you will have to do some research into other similar suppliers and compare prices. That could then impact your selling prices but that would be considered a little bit later. You would need to calculate how much time you have before needing to place the next order with a supplier.
Being an entrepreneur means that problem-solving is one of your many skills and unexpected change can bring problems that need solving. That means being able to assess the situation effectively and respond proactively. There will be the initial hit as mentioned but then you also need to consider how long that impact will last. If we continue with the example of the supplier, that would mean you need to find a long-term supplier so it may mean you can get good prices if you strike up a year long deal to not use anybody else. However, if you encounter a problem such as flooding, you may need to see if you will be able to use that building again or how much it would cost to do so. If you rent the property, you would check with your landlord to see how long it’d last. It may be an opportunity to change location or even move online.
Change is usually associated with a bad thing and that’s understandable as it brings about uncertainty. However, change can be the perfect thing for us to move forward and build something better than it previously was. It inspires us to adapt our business strategies and structure to something more modern and sometimes even forces us to bring about something new and innovative.
Ultimately, you should aim to create some kind of contingency plan in case something were to drastically change so that you can continue running your business. For the unforeseeable events, it’s about taking the time to analyse the situation and remain level headed. It may require some uncomfortable decisions, but if they don’t work out how you envisioned, then you learn from them. The greatest rewards often involve the greatest risks.