3 Strategies for More Success In Uncertain Times
Summary: Have you discovered yourself in uncharted waters due to the current health and economic crisis? Are you a business owner or entrepreneur that wants to be more successful despite the uncertainty? Are you ready to take on new opportunities as they emerge?
The effect of the global pandemic in our lives and businesses has been unimaginable. Economic growth rates are in decline, a massive number of employees continue to are without jobs, and businesses have collapsed while others are barely surviving.
Although we have faced other challenges such as recession and economic downturns in the past, the scale of the COVID-19 crisis and the effect it has had on a global scale is unprecedented. We all didn’t see it coming.
Without a doubt, we live in uncertain, chaotic, and unsettling times that will shake even the strongest to the core. Most businesses were unprepared for a crisis of this magnitude, and some have been rendered inoperative with mandatory closures and stay-at-home orders. It is not business as usual.
What should entrepreneurs and business owners do now? Is it the time to close shop and shelve off ideas waiting for a time when all the uncertainty is over? Or is it time to find and create new opportunities to solve emerging problems and deliver real value to clients?
In this article, you'll learn three proven steps you can take to guarantee success in any circumstance.
There are Opportunities in Every Crisis
While it is true that such uncertainty and instability can present real challenges to the success of businesses, we also know that it presents new opportunities for flexible business owners and entrepreneurs. For those prepared and quick to adapt, this may be a launching pad for amazing new businesses.
How do I know that? It is a well-known fact that some of the best and most successful businesses have been born in times of crisis and uncertainty. Some of the most significant innovations and advancements have also emerged in such moments of chaos and disruption.
Even in the current crisis, some businesses are thriving and have become even more profitable during the global pandemic.
But it is important to note that traditional strategies may not work in such circumstances. Business owners and entrepreneurs have to shift into real-time innovation and problem-solving mode to identify problems arising from the crisis and then leverage their capabilities and unique skills to provide solutions.
Don’t Miss Out On New Opportunities
Two things will make you miss out on the opportunity to make new moves and be more successful in your business:
1. Not Trusting Your Instincts
Intuition is an essential part of decision-making in business. When you lose trust in your instincts, you second guess yourself. You end up in a state of indecision and hesitation, thus, missing valuable opportunities. Of course, some of your instincts will be wrong, and they may fail, but you should be willing to experiment to see what works.
It is easy to get caught up in the over-analysis trap, looking for assurance in a constantly changing, unpredictable environment. Unfortunately, there are no assurances. There is no script. You will have to make quick decisions as new information and opportunities arise. Overthinking is an obstacle to timely decision-making and delays taking action. Remember, you do not need to be perfect; you only need to be good enough and then keep improving as you go.
Want to be more successful? Follow These 3 Strategies.
How can business owners ensure that they are ready to take on new opportunities? How can you be more successful even in a time of uncertainty and instability? Here are three proven steps you can take to guarantee success in any circumstance.
Success Strategy 1: Understand the Level of Uncertainty
The first step to exploiting new opportunities is to determine the degree of uncertainty in the market. Without this, you may end up underestimating the uncertainty and making decisions that don’t take into account the threats posed by high levels of uncertainty. On the other hand, overrating the level of uncertainty may cause business owners to abandon or ignore viable opportunities that may show up completely.
There are four levels of uncertainty:
Level One: You know
It is easy to identify and predict with a high degree of probability future trends in the first level. The future is clear enough to be able to make strategic decisions. You’ve been here before. Though there is always a level of uncertainty, it is insignificant in making strategic decisions at this level.
Level Two: This or That
The second level of uncertainty is where certain factors may be unclear or unfamiliar but could be known or determined with further analysis or research. In other words, you can define the possible outcomes, but it’s not possible to know which one will occur. Therefore, you develop a strategic plan for either of the outcomes.
Level Three: Any of these could happen
At this level, there is plenty of uncertainty. This situation is common when entering new markets, operating in emerging industries, or introducing a new product. In this case, there is a range of potential outcomes where you can identify no distinct scenarios. The strategic approach here is to filter through all those possibilities into the most probable possibilities and then test and measure which strategies produce the most success.
Level Four: I’m Clueless
At this level, there is so much uncertainty that it might not be possible to identify, let alone predict, possible outcomes in the future. You have no clue, and you have to figure it out as you go along. The environment is constantly evolving, and so you have to keep learning and innovating along the way. Isn’t that what makes an outstanding entrepreneur?
Success Strategy 2: Determine Your Strategic Position
Once you have done a situation analysis and determined the level of uncertainty, the next strategy is to develop a strategic position for your business that is appropriate for the degree of uncertainty.
There are three strategic options that you can take depending on the level of uncertainty, your risk appetite, and your business capability. These are as follows:
1. Pivot Strategy
Sometimes you have to completely change or reshape your business model, gearing towards new opportunities. You come up with a completely different way of doing things that is more efficient, solve an existing problem, and delivers the most value for your clients.
2. Adapting strategy
This approach is a more reactive but strategic attitude where you alter your strategies to suit the environment’s changes. For example, most schools and colleges have switched to an online mode of delivering their services to the students due to the current pandemic.
3. Reserving the right to play
This approach involves hanging on, preserving what you have while making incremental investments, and building capacity as you wait for the environment to be less uncertain. This strategy can help your business survive while others collapse.
Success Strategy 3: Take Action
The third strategy you have to take is to implement the strategic option you have chosen for your business. There are three ways you can do this:
1. The first option you can choose is the big bet, all or nothing. If your business is stable enough and can afford the risk, you commit to a plan and go for it, which may involve making significant investments that may result in either payoffs or huge losses.
2. You can also go for the best bet, the most probable. This means that implement the strategy that will result in the best outcome for the business. The goal here is to go the option that promises large payoffs in the best case while minimizing losses in the worst case.
3. Thirdly, you can go for the no-regrets option. This involves investing in things that will pay off no matter what happens. For example, a business owner may focus on reducing costs or building capacity by learning new skills or gathering market intelligence.
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It is possible for your businesses to not only survive in times of uncertainty but to thrive and emerge bigger and better. It is only the organizations that will be flexible and innovative enough; quick to adapt to the ever-changing environments that will be ready and will have the ability to take advantage of new opportunities that will arise from any crisis.
Business owners must assess the level of uncertainty within their environment and determine the most relevant strategy for their business. While your competition is still wondering what happened, you’ll get a head start on big moves that may change your business forever.
Remember that these are unprecedented times. Things keep changing; new information keeps coming up. Everyone is affected; your clients, your employees, your suppliers. The usual one-size-fits-all strategies will not be effective in a constantly changing environment.
Suppose you develop a flexible, more adaptive attitude towards how you look at your business, how you manage your business, and how you manage your business strategy. In that case, you will no doubt successfully navigate your business through the uncertainty.
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Leslie Hassler is a popular author and speaker who spends much of her time coaching business owners on how to run their growing businesses by their rules. Delivering high-touch, personalized service, Leslie works with her clients as a partner, not just a consultant (who would pop in, tell you what to do, then leave).
Leslie teaches her clients a structured way to decide what to do first, second, next -- and never – in their businesses, so that they can learn to do it for themselves.
Leslie lives in Dallas with her husband and two kids, so she knows it’s not just about growing the business – it’s about getting the business ship shape so it grows and you can be home in time for dinner.
Leslie speaks on topics such as business leadership, prioritizing the business owner’s To Do list, and how to create and implement a strategic plan for growth.
If you’d like to have Leslie come speak to your group or organization, or present at your event, inquire here.