The Paradigm Shift: How To Embrace Change As An Entrepreneur

The world has seen massive shifts in business and social spheres in the last few years. The pandemic was a catalyst for change, and in the post-COVID era, we find ourselves facing a workforce who increasingly wants to work from home and an economic climate that is less than ideal. So, how do you face a paradigm shift as an entrepreneur and avoid being swept away? Better yet, how do you embrace change and ensure you weather unforeseen changes?

Adjusting To World Changes

The rise of the digital age and new ways of working, living and consuming have drastically impacted the entrepreneurial journey in the last two or three decades. We’ve learned much from these world changes and gained many insights from past experiences. However, if global events seem like they have the potential to overwhelm you and undermine the success of your business, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that doesn’t happen:

Stay current — keep yourself updated on the current state of the world economy, technology, business news and strategies, innovation, and advancement. Knowledge is power.

Try new things — do not allow yourself to be stagnated by an ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ mentality. Constantly consider how you can improve your processes, approaches, tech, strategies and analytics. Try new ways and methods. If they don’t work, you can move on, but if they do, you can incorporate them into an ever-evolving business that’s accustomed to changing with the times.

Pivoting To Accommodate Shifting Consumer Behaviour

As with changes in the world, there are ways to ensure you’re ready for changing consumer behaviour. Never has this been more pointedly demonstrated than in 2020, when consumer behaviour suddenly and dramatically changed due to lockdowns. So many people being forced to remain at home and isolated for prolonged periods completely changed their buying habits. Everything from groceries to clothes and toiletries were suddenly ordered online for home delivery. Working from home required purchasing new tech that homeowners had never before needed or wanted. Social distancing and isolation led to the purchase of anything that would allow individuals to feel connected and enable communication.

Sales for some businesses skyrocketed while lockdown was in effect, yet it was inevitable that those sales would — to some extent — return to lower levels once restrictions were lifted. Online alcohol sales, for example, had never been higher. Unable to go to bars and restaurants, many people took to ordering alcohol and food online.

Many businesses failed to predict that this hike in sales would not be permanent and made rapid and extensive expansion plans while sales peaked. However, that commitment to larger facilities and greater expenses rapidly came around to bite them when restrictions lifted and sales returned to their pre-pandemic levels.

At the same time, brick-and-mortar businesses faced ruin due to the inability to open, a lack of foot traffic, and no means of selling online. As a result, many embraced and launched digital products and services to combat this issue, setting up new ways of digitally delivering services or digital products that could be sold through their websites.

The lesson from this is two-fold:

Look before you leap — ensure you are as confident as possible that a change in consumer behaviour is permanent before you change your business model or incur extra costs.

Create flexibility — try to work flexibility into your processes and strategies as much as possible, giving you options. Work multiple revenue streams into your business to scale and reduce sales techniques and channels as needed.

Overall, the key to embracing the paradigm shift as an entrepreneur is having an open-minded approach to business — and life. Expect flexibility to be a necessity and plan for it. Build your business in such a way that flexing in various directions is possible. Anticipate potential curveballs by ensuring you remain current and have a diverse team offering various perspectives. And remember, change is a natural and necessary process, it’s a positive thing!

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Philip Keezer

I’m Philip J. Keezer, president and founder of management consulting firm Grindstone Capital. Dedicated to hard work, learning, positivity and accountability.