Young: Entrepreneurs learn to adapt to change
I forever find myself mulling over the roller coaster ride of the entrepreneur and realize that nostalgia is a wistful yearning for the past, an almost childish desire to have our world, unchanged, constant and secure as it once used to be for us.
While it’s an emotion most of us feel for different things, it can be deadly and dangerous for an entrepreneur to feel.
Why? Because change is a constant in an entrepreneurial business environment.
Being willing, even eager, to embrace and adapt to change is a serious competitive edge for all entrepreneurs. Welcoming trend shifts, positioning yourself to stay on top of them, and striving to remain ahead of your competition are all functions of such readiness to change.
Yet, embracing change, trying new things and growing in some avenue are mandatory choices every entrepreneur must make.
A friend and colleague told me several years ago when we were judging business plans in Ottawa: “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” He meant that stagnation, or a wishful longing for constancy, is a kiss of death for your entrepreneurial venture.
So let’s look at how and why your business can change, to help encourage you to make changes more confidently and securely.
Depending upon how long ago you began your entrepreneurial journey, you may look back and wonder how far you’ve come, not just by way of growth, but how you have personally changed, improved and grown. That’s evolution. I
It’s what sets apart the most seasoned venturer from the greenhorn. And because we all evolve in some capacity, we internally drive certain changes in our pursuits.
When you began your venture, you probably weren’t sure of your skills and found that through constant practice and incremental improvement, you grew better at expressing your thoughts, opinions and feelings in writing. As knowledge and experience grows, you will make changes more swiftly, effectively and confidently.
There is no question, your purpose in creating an entrepreneurial venture is bound to change over time. Your own needs and goals from your business are changing all the time for sure. Five years from now, you’ll probably find the targets you set are completely different from what you wanted then. Your goals and purpose will be different.
Every entrepreneur in our era appears to be affected by technology. We love it because technology streamlines and fuels most of our daily actions. We also fear it because it changes so rapidly, often leaving the older versions in the dust. While it may not be true of some niches, the explosive and continuous growth of various tech usage has led to growing competition in many areas. Smart entrepreneurs will always adapt and compete efficiently.
Customer demands—sometimes it’s better not to know how the future will be for your venture. There is that thought that says, “…if I had known, I might never have started…” But what customers wanted three years ago are changing, shifting, moving with the marketplace demands. If you keep offering them the “same old, same old,” trust me, they’re going elsewhere for what they want now.
Lastly in this diatribe of change matters is the factor relative to change in the business environment. Even if you launched your venture three years back, you’ve weathered the rough seas of global recession that has eaten into profitability and sales and prompting many to turn to other venture paths.