Business survival through adaption
Evolve or dissolve – businesses need to adapt to survive, grow and one day be sold.

Struggling businesses are hard to sell unless there is a strong upside. So take time to change and adapt your business model so you have a business for tomorrow.

For your business survival, the strategies that worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. In times of economic upheaval it pays to be flexible, adapt to change and identify ways to redefine and stimulate your business for the current environment.

To do this, you need to look at your business model and how you might best operate, exploring ways to improve your business. Aim to improve your productivity while reducing costs - tapping into new markets and being more competitive. All this will lead to a stronger and more profitable business. Innovation and effort will help your business adapt to tighter markets, ensuring you have a more valuable and saleable business.

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." Charles Darwin.

These words are especially relevant for today's business climate - to not only survive, but also to thrive in today's complex, dynamic and turbulent marketplace. This will require new adaptive approaches. A resilient organisation is one that can effectively innovate and perform, not only in the good times, but also in the face of adversity. Rather than being flattened by an inability to change, resilient organisations often bounce back even stronger after a time of stress, guaranteeing the survival of their businesses.

5 steps to business adaptation

1. Refocus. Balance a clear, unrelenting focus around purpose and goals with flexibility and openness to new approaches, roles and ways of getting work done.

2. Research. Research your industry for trends and shifts. What works well, where are the opportunities?

3. Innovate. Leverage technology to become more agile. Foster a climate of learning, creativity and a proactive approach to finding opportunities to continually improve your business model, products or services.

4. Communicate. Value open communication within your business. Strong leadership is a key factor, but don’t lose sight of core competencies and the importance of taking your team with you.

5. Review. Take a little time to reassess the business, the team's strengths, and strategic advantages. What is working in your favour can often be built on. Adjust, test and reassess.

Your customers are your most valuable assets in troubled times, so ensure your team has the necessary information and materials they need to do their jobs efficiently.

Encourage a workplace culture that supports agility. Being able to seize opportunities and adapt quickly in this uncertain economy may mean the difference between success or failure. Not being able to change course quickly was the end of the Titanic!

There are two options for surviving - either become smaller with a tight focus or develop capabilities that broaden your markets. Whichever path you choose, be committed and retain a strong focus with your hand firmly on the business helm and grow your business.

Richard O'Brien - nzbizbuysell

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