How to Prepare for Uncertainty in Business

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The truth is that there is no magic formula that you can take/buy or borrow so that you have all your bases covered to avoid uncertainty in your business. But you have to be prepared nevertheless. So how do you prepare for the future of your business?

The bad news is that you can’t do very much, but the good news is that there are a few things that will help you in the long run if done correctly. For example, you need to be up to date with all current trends within your business sector, to continue to create quality and long-term partnerships and, above all, never assume anything.

If you’ve been part of the business for decades, you can understand where I’m coming from. Circumstances will always be subject to change while unforeseeable events will occur no matter how hard you try to avoid them. And since you’re not a psychic that can tell the future, you need to make some smart decisions so that you’re prepared in case an unforeseeable event occurs. By doing so you will have that peace of mind you’re longing for, and you’ll be more likely to react effectively and quickly when such a situation may occur.

Probably, you’ve had your fair share of uncertainty if you’re in the business for as long as I have, but what exactly leads to or causes uncertainty?

No matter how much a business owner wants control and predictability when it comes to his or her company, uncertainty is like the pain in your back; it’s there to stay and it makes its presence sensed every once in a while. Given, conditions may seem unfair from time to time, but make sure you remember that you’re not the first person that has been exposed to similar or identical effects.

Simply by looking at all facets of your business will help you determine three aspects that are out of your control and that can produce significant damage to your company.

First of all, the economic climate cannot be changed. If we learned anything from the recent recession, it’s that small mistakes made over time and at a national level can lead to terrible consequences. Take Greece for example. The country hit a rough patch, thus determining companies to cut back on several important things such as resources, hiring or even expenditures. No matter what, make sure you have a plan ready to go.

Illness is another thing that is out of your control. Whether it’s a simple flu or contracting a serious illness, this is something that can have negative consequences.

So many companies have to close up shop because customers are in a constant search for change. Shifts in consumer behavior have determined even giant companies to fail.

Preparing for uncertainty: Tips
It’s (or at least it should be) common-knowledge that you cannot fully prepare for every event that may come your way. However, you can equip your company with the essential and necessary tools that will help you fend off every potential threat. Do this by creating specific plans for uncertain situations.

1. Remain in the present. Avoid getting caught up in your own little world. In my opinion, one of the best ways that will help you overcome financial uncertainty is by being up to speed with the economic indicators. Educating yourself on the general state of the economy, the decisions made at a national level, the way in which economic forecasts could affect your industry, you need to be one step ahead of the others.

2. Prepare for multiple possible scenarios. Instead of assuming the most likely outcome that will turn up, make sure you prepare for multiple outcomes regardless of what you think the outcome may be. Foresight allows you to effectively respond in every and all situations. The best way to prepare for outcomes is to include every department and all employees in the planning process. By doing so, you’re able to get new and unique perspectives that will result in innovative and critical thinking.

3. Constantly review. A company that has a forward-thinking vision is able to understand the value of analysis. Are you frequently reviewing and renewing your business plan? This is extremely helpful if you consider that it’s a great way to combat changes in customer demands. For example, if your business plan is addressing the needs of the customers as they were five or even ten years ago, chances are that it’s out of date and even in danger of extinction.

4. Forge solid relationships. In dire times, what will help you get out of a slump? A computer? Possible, yet highly unlikely. Actually, what you need to do is the support of both your peers and partners. One of the best investments you can make is ensuring you create solid relationships with your customers, employees and business partners. Given the present economic context, a lack of resources or changes in demand is some of the reasons so many companies struggle. By forging strong and healthy business relationships you, my friend, can get through the rough patches.

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