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Why it pays to be as flexible as an entrepreneur

If you're planning to set up your own company when you leave education, it's important to prepare yourself for what lies ahead

Posted by Joe Lawson-West | March 28, 2017 | Technology

 You might have lots of the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in the world of business, but do you have the right attitude? One of the traits that could help to give you an edge is flexibility. In this blog, we examine why it pays to have this characteristic as an entrepreneur.

 You can’t expect to be able to control everything

 One man who knows what it takes to head up a thriving business is Chris Niarchos, Appco founder and chairman. In a recent blog post, the entrepreneur suggested that no matter how much of a perfectionist you are, it’s impossible to control everything when you’re running a business. He highlighted the fact that even if you keep a close eye on what goes on inside your organisation, there are a range of variables outside your business that you cannot control. For example, you can’t determine what’s happening in the wider market.

This means that being too stubborn and unyielding in your approach can be a recipe for stress and potential business disaster.

 Adaptability can give you a competitive edge

 Being flexible as an entrepreneur can provide you with an important competitive edge. It helps you to exploit opportunities as and when they arise. For example, if you spot gaps in the market and are quick to react by developing new products or services, or by adapting your current offerings, you may be able to outmanoeuvre slower moving rivals.

In contrast, businesspeople who get too attached to a particular way of operating and who are unwilling or unable to make changes in this way can struggle to respond to any developments in consumers’ needs and preferences. Ultimately, this is very bad news for their bottom lines.

It makes you more resilient

 Adversity is part and parcel of being an entrepreneur. Even the most successful businesspeople suffer setbacks from time to time. The important thing is that you’re able to pick yourself up and carry on. Having a flexible approach can play an important role in making you more resilient. It means that if you have to change tack to respond to difficulties, you should find it easier to adjust your expectations and goals to suit your new reality as opposed to dwelling on what might have been.

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