Staying Flexible In A Changing Business World

Warren Jolly is the CEO of adQuadrant, a leading omnichannel digital marketing agency in Orange County, CA.

No matter how big or successful your business is, new developments can still affect it. I know from personal experience that no matter how prepared you are, there are still some changes that can pull the rug out from under you. Of course, there’s no way to know for certain what the future will bring, but there are certainly ways to mitigate any potential negative consequences. I’ve found that the key tactic is to evolve along with the changes you’re facing.

Take as an example changes made by third-party platforms that your business relies on. This is something you can’t completely prepare for because it’s outside of your control. My company relies heavily on third-party platforms and companies like Facebook. This means that when these platforms make changes, it can dramatically affect our business.

TikTok is one example. TikTok is the fastest-growing social media network in history. As this platform continues to become more prevalent with older audiences, I think it could cannibalize the other ecosystems that we currently work within, such as Facebook and YouTube. This begs the question of how as a business owner and marketer you can stay ahead of the cusp of change and avoid becoming disenfranchised or irrelevant because of newer platforms.

As a company, you have to change with the times; you can’t fight them. One thing we focus on doing at my company is aggressively figuring out ways to keep up with or stay ahead of the changes. This means getting creative with collaboration and forging strong industry and channel partnerships — like we’ve done with TikTok — whether they’re easily accessible or not. As a TikTok agency partner, we have a direct line into its ecosystem and strong insights into its performance when it comes to advertising.

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt identified persistence and curiosity as two qualities that high-performing people tend to have in common. I deeply admire these qualities and look to instill them into my team. My main goal as a business owner is to exude these qualities no matter what. If you embody these exceptional qualities, you will likely find a way to break through when you’re faced with a challenge.

My advice on dealing with change is to be firm yet flexible in all situations. I’ve found that this allows you to pivot, grow and adapt when unexpected changes occur.

Also, be sure to face change as a team. At my company, we brainstorm any growth challenges as a team to help us effectively navigate any changes other team members may be facing. 

To remain nimble and mitigate the changes that will inevitably happen in the future, I believe that you always have to treat your business as if your back is against the wall. Once complacency sets in, that’s when your business can become challenged by changes that are outside of your control. No matter how successful you are, maintaining a sense of urgency and refusing to allow an industry or technology development to render you irrelevant can make a world of difference.


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