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Building Adaptability: Create the best competitive advantage

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

For decades, America has embraced the idea that bigger is better, especially in business. But in the last five years alone, the major shifts in our industry have proven that the idea is no absolute. An indoor tanning business cultivates the ability to survive and succeed not by becoming bigger than the competition, but by remaining flexible and implementing smart changes in a timely manner.

For an industry that has seen its share of curveballs, adaptability has become the best predictor of success. Whether your business is big or small — if you don’t change with the times, your time is most likely limited. To stay on top, make a conscious effort to incorporate these adaptability tactics into your business model.

Do the Research

The best way to keep your business adaptable is to listen to what the data is telling you. In order to do that, you’ll want to invest time and money into getting the right data and reports. Updated software and web analytics can be great tools for organizing the oceans of data about your business. However, it;s also important to create regular opportunities for employees and customer alike to speak up. This information empowers businesses to be proactive instead of reactive. Don’t be afraid of negative feedback: These insights can be the most valuable since they point to the areas that need attention most. Strong listening and analytical skills in these endeavors can help business owners predict issues and trends ahead of competition.

Use Your Business Plan

When entrepreneurs begin the process of creating their own business, the first thing on their to-do list is to create a business plan. Sadly, not everyone checks this item off their list, and even fewer understand how to utilize the true potential of this document. A good business plan doesn’t get filed into the archives as soon as the grand opening ribbon is cut. It should be a living document that captures the mission, vision, plan and goals for your business. These elements are constantly evolving, and your business plan should be, too. Revisit the document monthly to make sure you’re on track and set aside time annually to see where you stand, what worked, what didn’t, and how your business is changing for the future. Accounting for all of these things on paper allows decision makers to stay grounded to the core values of the business when they are making important choices. It’s a tool to make your decisions easier by reminding  you of what good choices should do for your business.

Experiment Thoughtfully

Not everything in business can be determined by a plan or data —  sometimes you have to go with your gut. When you leave yourself some time and space to experiment, you also have to come to terms with the idea that learning from failure is as important as succeeding. But don’t jump into the first crazy idea you have without a contingency plan. Think about what a red flag might look like, and how to identify  it before your experiment turns into a disaster. If A, B, and C are problems, decide what you will do ahead of time if one of those things becomes a reality. This way you spend less time worrying about what could go wrong, and more time focusing on what is actually happening once you begin making changes. It’s a scary process sure, but trying new things is the way to set yourself apart among a market of competitors.

Look Outside the Industry

While I love that you read Smart Tan, and I highly encourage you to keep doing it, it can be quite helpful to broaden your scope through other business and industry publications. Indoor tanning business owners can learn from what restaurants, hair salons, cosmetic companies and fitness centers are doing. Pay attention to the businesses you frequent and talk to the owners about  where they  get their ideas. In no time, you’ll find an oasis of fresh perspective that is easily applied to our industry and your business model. The business world is big, and id you don’t take time to look around once in a while, you’ll miss out on some amazing sources of inspiration.

If you  make habits out of these items, you’er sure to find that your business is more nimble m– and maybe even more profitable! Your salon will undoubtedly have an easier  time navigating the  changing currents of the industry, the economy, and new generations of customers.


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