Tips for entrepreneurs: The importance of adaptability

Embarking on the journey of entrepreneurship is both thrilling and daunting. For those eager to launch their own venture or elevate an existing one, the road ahead may seem uncertain

Tips for entrepreneurs: The importance of adaptability

With statistics from Forbes Magazine revealing that ‘only 8% of startups succeed’ it can sometimes seem like everyone, and everything, is out to get you. So, I wanted to provide some budding entrepreneurs with some advice that will help them on their journey. 

Over the course of my career, I have had the pleasure of mentoring some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs from start-ups to multi-million pound turnovers, and extracted the critical framework that separates the best from the rest.

What I have learnt is that adaptability is one of – if not the – most important trait that an entrepreneur can possess. The power to stay resilient and adaptable no matter what life throws at you. Setbacks are inevitable, but it’s how you respond to them and learn from them that truly makes the difference.

Let’s look at Lego for example. In the early 2000s, LEGO faced a crisis due to the birth of the digital era, which caused a shift in children’s play preferences, and products like the Playstation and GameBoy were on the rise. LEGO experienced financial difficulties and was on the brink of bankruptcy. However, through a strategic turnaround focused on diversification and brand fortification – including lucrative partnerships with beloved franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter, as well as diversifying themselves into the tech space with Lego MindStorms with their programmable ‘intelligent brick’ – LEGO not only survived but thrived, reclaiming its position as a titan of the toy industry.

It takes a lot of courage and a cool head to make decisions when things seem to be on the down. To remember that setbacks do not equal failure; that they’re actually opportunities for growth and evolution. So, how can you cultivate adaptability?

Embrace change

Instead of resisting change, learn to embrace it. Recognise that change is inevitable in business, and those who resist it are often left behind. Stay attuned to market trends, technological advancements, and shifting consumer preferences, and be willing to pivot your strategies accordingly.

Develop resilience

Resilience is the backbone of adaptability. In the face of adversity, cultivate resilience by developing coping mechanisms, maintaining a positive outlook, and nurturing a strong support network. Remember that setbacks are temporary, and with perseverance and determination, you can overcome any obstacle that stands in your way.

Learn from failure

Failure is not the end; it’s a stepping stone on the path to success. Instead of viewing failure as a setback, see it as an opportunity for growth and learning. Analyze your failures objectively, identify the root causes, and extract valuable lessons that can inform future decisions and actions

By embracing these tips and incorporating them into your entrepreneurial journey, you can cultivate the adaptability needed to thrive in the ever-evolving business landscape. Remember, adaptability is not just a skill; it’s a mindset – a mindset that helps you turn obstacles into opportunities and be ahead of the rest, no matter what challenges lie ahead.

Alison Edgar MBE
Alison Edgar MBE

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