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Why it pays to be flexible in business

Why it pays to be flexible in business

Business adaptability – commonly referred to as agility – is absolutely paramount in the ever-changing world of business. It helps to keep you ahead of competitors and allows you to stay on course through even the biggest market fluctuations.

Here are four examples that illustrate the importance of a flexible business model.

1. It attracts better customers

Many SMEs are going up against a wide array of small partnerships and freelancers, who are able to combine low overheads with a strong focus on customer service and quality. When you work hard to match them with a solid project management plan in place, you become more attractive to those consumers who are willing to pay a premium for a better product and customer experience.

2. It creates a more resilient supply chain

If your business depends on consistent supply of raw materials, it’s important that you have backup plans in place should the process be interrupted – whether it’s because a partner went out of business, industrial action or your own cash-flow issues. As part of your business change management, keep an up-to-date list of viable alternatives on hand so that production can continue to meet demand no matter what happens.

3. It increases skill-based ROI

Outsourcing can be an excellent way to access special skills – from sales and marketing to IT – if your business can’t afford to take on full-time staff. You will only be paying for work that brings a measurable return on investment, and you won’t be hamstrung by work contracts.

The increasing popularity of outsourcing is also good for the service provider, as it increases demand for their skills, which in turn expands their client base. This type of flexible business model means that if they lose a client, they’ll still have other revenue streams they can fall back on – which is the kind of resilience that all businesses should be aiming for.

4. It reduces waste

Ideally, you’ll want to maintain a ‘cushion’ of spare cash that can help keep things running during lean times.

With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to look for ways to eliminate unnecessary business costs. Even small recurring charges, such as credit card fees and agent commissions, can be reduced or eliminated if you shop around, potentially adding up to big savings that you can invest back into the business.

A nimble business is also a strong business, capable of absorbing the shocks and bumps of an unpredictable marketplace while staying focused on larger goals.

Flexibility can be one of the first things to go as your business develops. Find out what else to keep an eye on while you expand your business.

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