The art of navigating disruption and shifting business mindsets

The small-business landscape appears to have shifted a decade, from what feels like 2020 to 2030 overnight. As business owners, we have not only had to swiftly upgrade our technological practices and business models but also completely change our way of thinking.

While there’s a genuine need to regularly innovate your sales strategies, the events of this year have shown us what can happen when we don’t work to continually improve our business to remain relevant and move forward with both our present and future customers. Going back to the way we were before is no longer an option but from this big shift, new opportunities will come. For those that did not innovate their product and/or service during the pandemic, rest assured it is not too late to put in the work and catch up to your competitors.

A year of reflection

2020 has been a year of reflection, forcing us all to slow down and be with our thoughts. What is really important to us? Where do we see our business going? All aspects of our lives have been disrupted. Although navigating disruption can be perceived as a setback for a business, many people will tell you they’ve found the slow pace of the pandemic allowed them to grow and develop in areas they didn’t know or think they could – and this all comes down to mindset.

From a small business owner’s perspective, the mindset shift that needs to occur to allow you to grow and develop is the transition from prioritising working in your business to working on your business. You need to move from working in a fixed mindset to a strategic mindset. Some points on how to begin this transition could include:

  • Having a preparedness and eagerness for change
  • Moving from a fixed mindset to a strategic mindset
  • Always looking for ways of doing something better
  • Seeking out new ways – i.e. is there a way to do this differently?
Dealing with disruption

A sense of optimism and a balanced view of what you can and can’t control as a business owner when facing disruption will set you up to take charge of your mindset and control the outcome of the situation.

It’s also worth defining disruption, in this context I am referring to shifts and changes that are out of our control, creating fundamental changes to the business. So not your occasional negative customer review or minor stock delay – we’re talking the big-ticket things like…well, a pandemic. In this scenario, we need to accept the things that we cannot control and change the narrative ourselves. We need to BE the disrupters!

Disrupters innovate their businesses with the customer in mind and are always contemplating how we can deliver our product and/or service to provide more value for the customer.

For example, is there the option to use technology to provide your service faster and/or cheaper than the competition? Are there unmet client needs that you can step in to fulfil that change or transform your business model? One idea leads to another, and another, and another.

The key takeaway I want to share is the need to create resilience ahead of disruptions. Business owners need to use digital technology to anticipate the changes to their industry as early as possible, and hence act as early as possible so that your business doesn’t lose relevance.

Jacqui Attard, CEO, Realise Business