Whether you’ve been in business for decades or are starting out, you’ll know that uncertainty in business is inevitable. Lots of entrepreneurs throw up their hands and say, “what will be, will be,” and let nature take its course. Others prefer to try and control every aspect of a business to limit the damage.
There’s no guaranteed outcome in business, so even if you manage to deal with unpredictability, you won’t eliminate it for good. That’s the first rule of dealing with uncertainty. Of course, there is more to it managing the present and not looking too far into the future. Yes, it might offer peace of mind, yet it won’t last once the first storm hits.
The key is to remember that when you reach an obstacle, you do have the tools to tackle it head-on, no matter how challenging it might appear. The following tactics will help, too.
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Stay In The Now
Trying to predict the future is not only impossible, but it’s counterproductive. After all, the business might never get that far if a feature of the present turns up unannounced and you’re unprepared. The COVID-19 outbreak is the perfect example. Companies weren’t ready, and their lack of remote work policies and emergency savings cost them dear.
By staying in the here and now, you are more likely to see the pitfalls coming your way, allowing you to react in real-time. You can do this by following economic forecasts and keeping an eye on investments and markets. That way, you can adjust your strategies accordingly. For example, if business begins to slow, you might want to add extra money to your rainy day fund.
When the disaster strikes, the fact that you operated in the present day means you’ll have more resources to survive, which increases your chances of trading for the long-term.
Of course, preparing for a crisis isn’t a guarantee you’ll react correctly. You still must make decisions based on your thoughts and feelings and the statistics. As a result, human error is always at play. Living with this fact is necessary as you shouldn’t let it prevent you from being adaptable.
If the Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted anything, it’s that the companies that are versatile and creative find a path. EJ Dickson talks about how a strip club in Portland, Oregon, did a three-sixty and started delivering food to customers. Although the service wasn’t a typical offering, the willingness to try anything to boost revenues, as well as the novelty factor, earned the business worldwide notoriety.
If you’re unsure of the next move, Jeff Bezos has a rule – make decisions on 70% of the information. He says there will always be gaps in your knowledge, and waiting for the extra 25% will only cause you to miss out on opportunities.
You can’t control everything, yet you can understand it better by reviewing products and services. While you don’t want to micromanage, you also need to avoid using overanalyzing as an excuse for laziness. It happens all the time for the simple fact bosses don’t want to do the hard work.
However, Deepak Agarwal points out that split or A/B testing is neither challenging nor insignificant. By switching a handful of criteria on a website, you can gauge what consumers prefer. This insight is vital for two reasons. Firstly, you can use it to tweak your offerings per their requirements. Secondly, there’s no need for invasive and tacky marketing tactics.
Merely using an analytics’ program to evaluate peoples’ habits is enough to work out why shoppers make purchases, abandon carts at the checkout, or bounce as soon as they land on the page.
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Business isn’t a meritocracy. Entrepreneurs tell themselves that as it makes them seem more important, yet the truth is the industry is about who you know, not only what you know. The distinction is vital as it encourages bosses to humbly accept their downsides and look for ways to strengthen them.
The best option is to make contacts. A black book of names, addresses, and phone numbers is like gold dust to a failing business since it represents opportunity. With a quick email or a short phone call, you can attempt to negotiate the resources you need from friends and acquaintances who are in privileged positions.
However, you can’t do it if you never bother to make small talk and provide favors for others.
To deal with uncertainty, you must look at the bigger picture. What does it say?