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The economic environment has changed beyond recognition in the last 12 months, making adaptability a key business tool. 
Evidence shows that businesses that adapt and change will be more resilient in the turbulent times still to come. 
While we all know that things move on, the speed and type of change is unprecedented. 
Ecommerce, health and hygiene, delivery companies, and home entertainment businesses have seen extraordinary upturns but have also had to deal with social distancing, home working, and new remote payment processes. 
On the other hand, hairdressers, pubs and restaurants, and event organisers have been faced with the challenge of recreating their service in a lockdown environment. 
In the longer term, we’ve seen changes to manufacturing and publishing and the continuing trend away from the High Street retail model. 
Some of the businesses we probably assumed would always be there have closed their doors. 
Take control 
With so many uncertainties all around us, it might be tempting to wait until there’s more clarity, but you can’t afford to wait. 
As a business owner or manager what can, and should you be doing in the current business environment? 
Two things will tell you clearly that change is here to stay: 
Supply and demand – simple, good old-fashioned economics. Look at who is buying and what people are selling. Which businesses are succeeding, and which ones are struggling? This is part of your market intelligence and you will want to monitor it over time, rather than taking a snapshot occasionally. 
You can adapt and add value when you understand what is driving market trends. Even better, you can create a niche for your business. 
Customer behaviour – if you have an excellent product that nobody wants you won’t have a viable business. Look at what’s happened to businesses like Kodak, for example, since the arrival of smartphones with high quality cameras. 
While there’s a small part of the market that might still value the sound of vinyl records, Spotify has marginalised many digital players and people are now modifying iPod Classics to run the streaming service. 
Understanding changes in customer behaviour and turning potential challenges into opportunities is a strategy for success. 
For example, major corporations like BP have embraced green energy and traditional car manufacturers like Audi say they will be ready to launch their all-electric cars by 2023. 
Be flexible 
While you might have been running 10 kilometres three times a week to stay fit and agile, it could be time to start cycling instead. Perhaps your knees are suffering, or you might have moved to a new house where there aren’t any suitable running routes. Things change. 
The same can be true for your business. If you accept that constant change is a fact of life, then the saying that ‘madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’ is probably true. 
All business owners and managers need to recognise changing trends in the market and then respond effectively within an appropriate timeframe. 
There are certainly risks and costs associated with change but failing to change can do far more damage to your business. 
If you would like to explore your capacity for adaptability and how you can turn it into a winning strategy for your business, please get in touch. 
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