Change is unavoidable. How frequently it happens or needs to happen is dependent on a business’ environment and long-term goals.

How a business goes about executing change or responding to it is capable of determining the future success or failure of the business. Businesses that are unable to properly respond or adapt to change are rarely able to make it beyond their first five years of existence. On the other hand, businesses that are capable of adapting to a changing environment are prepared to thrive for decades and even centuries.

The sort of changes that are capable of affecting the future of business is varied. And depending on the nature of a change, it can present a company with more opportunities than threats. In such a scenario, it is up to the business to identify the opportunities and take advantage of them while avoiding the threats.

To effectively prepare for change and be able to take advantage of any opportunities it might present, a business – especially start-ups – must have the following in place.

Effective communication

When a change occurs or when expecting change, it is important to keep employees and business partners regularly informed. This way, stakeholders can take appropriate action as well as have faith that the organisation’s management is on top of things. Also, effective communication is important because it is capable of motivating stakeholders especially employees to embrace change and do their best to make the transition a success.

A strategic plan

This plan must have been communicated to all stakeholders long before the change occurs. By having such a plan in place, all involved can be proactive to elements of the change rather than reactive. By being proactive thanks to a laid down plan, everyone involved already knows their role and will deliver as such to make the change process a more successful one. The company can also provide productivity resources that will help keep employees on track when the time comes for change to begin.

Know your strengths and weaknesses

When undergoing a change in order to expand a business, what the business actually excels at needs to be identified and focused on. By doing this, the business can avoid wasting resources on endeavours that have fewer chances of success and can instead focus on what is important and profitable. Also, knowing a business’ strengths places it in a better position to identify the opportunities presented by a change and know if it possesses the competence to take advantage of them.

Always make clients a priority

Change might be enacted to help a company grow. But if the change will in any way negatively affect clients or customer satisfaction, management should consider re-evaluating the planned change and instead opt for a course of action that will do customers more good than harm. If not, a business risks losing its most loyal customers.

All businesses, especially start-ups need to keep the above in mind so as to ensure they get only positive results from going through changes.

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