Thriving in the Face of Uncertainty

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Perhaps the only thing predictable about the business world is that it’s unpredictable, so here are some tips from business expert and author Donna Every for thriving in uncertain times.

When your business gets hit by uncertainty, use your available resources and skills to your advantage. Don’t spend time, energy or money chasing a goal you can’t attain. Instead of planning based on past successes or predictions of market conditions that may never materialize, focus on what you can accomplish now to improve your business.

Every offers the example of a designer who specialized in upholstery. A storeroom full of material was just sitting there, so instead of waiting for business to pick up again, the designer decided to make cushions with inspirational quotes, in the process creating a booming new business.

In an unsteady or uncooperative business climate, you may have to take a financial risk chasing an opportunity. Every advises treating such risks as a gambler would, asking yourself, “What am I prepared to lose?” It may turn out that you can’t lay out so much cash in pursuit of that next big score, so a more modest investment may be the answer.

And even though they can be painful, you have to view setbacks as opportunities and keep an open mind. “Have a positive outlook and be fairly able to bounce back,” advises Every. “Instead of planning damage control for the next unexpected contingency, try looking at it as an opportunity. Get creative as you look for the positives it presents.”

Alliances are one good tactic for a tough or uncertain business climate. Every once reached out to a rival business speaker and consultant. Instead of competing for speaking engagements, they teamed up. As a result, they now head bigger – and better paying – seminars.

Adapted from 5 Tips for Thriving in Unpredictable Times by Pedro Hernandez at Small Business Computing.

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