Young: Adapting to change a way of life for entrepreneurs

Being willing, even eager, to embrace and adapt to change is a serious competitive edge for all entrepreneurs.

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.

It’s an emotion most of us feel for different things, but that kind of thinking can be dangerous for an entrepreneur to feel about their venture.

Why? Because change, my friends, 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.

The changes you may be forced to face, accept and adapt to may be big or small. Some are major and serious.

Remember,  there is income at risk, an audience who may leave you, a brand that could become diluted and more. Ouch!

Embracing change, trying new things and growing in some avenue are mandatory choices every entrepreneur must make. A friend and colleague told me this several years ago when we were judging business plans in Ottawa: “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”

So, let’s look at a few thoughts on how and why you change, and maybe it will 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, hopefully, grown. That’s evolution.

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. This powers the change in our venture.

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.

When setting out to launch your entrepreneurial venture, likely you had to bootstrap your way and set a limit on expenses. When you look back, you will quickly realize that this would always be a smart decision when your expenses would be less than your earnings.

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.

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.  At times, I feel today’s technology fades a little in significance. At other times, it gets totally decimated by new developments.

While it may not be true of some niches,  he explosive and continuous growth of various tech usage has led to growing competition in many areas.

Smart entrepreneurs will always adapt and compete efficiently.  It may range through redefining the market they target, or by repositioning their offer to be more attractive and appealing, or even by re-aligning and partnering with bigger competitors with deeper pockets.  ( Familiar? )

To stay viable, competitive and useful, what must we do for our customers that will mirror their new requirements.

What our customers wanted three years ago are changing, shifting, moving with the marketplace demands.

Finally, 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.

So, how to deal with change? Simple. Deal with it. You can master the techniques and skills to accomplish the marvels of the entrepreneurial spirit.


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