Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
January 16th, 2019

Stay Flexible to Change to Keep Balanced

Recently I’ve been teaching my two children how to ski. One of the things I’m constantly telling them is to stay relaxed and flexible while going downhill. When they’re stiff, it becomes easier to lose balance and fall. If they remain flexible, their bodies react to being thrown off balance and can typically recover.

The same can be said of any healthy business. With the business environment in a constant state of change, businesses need to remain flexible to keep their balance when something unexpected occurs. I wanted to share three things you can implement into your business to ensure you stay flexible and balanced as the environment around you shifts.

  1. Never Stop Learning – One great way to remain flexible is to never stop learning new things. What’s true today may not be relevant tomorrow. You need to spend time familiarizing yourself with new emerging trends to prepare for them before it is too late. One of the fastest ways to get out of balance in business is relying on “the way things have always been done”.
  2. Expect the Inevitable – It’s not a matter of if disruptive change is going to happen. The only question is when it will occur. Understanding your market and how change might impact you allows you to expect the coming change and position your company to withstand and thrive through it. Businesses fail for many reasons, but being blindsided by a market shift is a primary one. Ask Blockbuster and Toys R Us how not being prepared for a market shift works out.
  3. Prepare for a Rainy Day – When the market collapsed in 2008, not everyone was hurt by it. Some people, with capital reserves, actually grew their businesses through acquisitions during that transition and came out stronger on the other side. The key is preparing, if you run your business so close to the edge in good time, there’ll be no reserve to tap into during a downturn. I know seasonal companies use the fact they have reserves to hire great talent in the offseason when other companies lay them off. Sure, that’s a net negative those first few months, but they’re positioned to grow as the season comes back around.

I hope that this gave you some food for thought on how to stay flexible to change and use it to help your business survive and thrive through market shifts. The more you focus on staying flexible, the less prone you are to being disrupted by market shifts and run the risk of potentially falling when that inevitable change occurs.

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