Small Business Column: Evolution a requirement for survival

This week, Kehlan Kirwan from the Small Business Show looks at developing new strands in order to survive and learning new ways to grow your enterprise

When Charles Darwin first released his theories on evolution, a god-fearing public scoffed at his notion that animals, including humans, could have somehow changed in order to maintain the most basic and primitive of instincts, survival.

Darwin explained in his theories that either a species develops the necessary traits to develop and move on or it simply dies out.

So it is in business. In order to survive, you adapt and change to ensure that you continue on the right road. I have met and talked with so many business-owners who attribute their success to the changing of how they did things.

A new mechanical process or new thinking in their business has brought a chance for success and development. In business we often think our product is ‘the best’ but if you linger it may soon be the worst. In these moments tough decisions need to be made and new directions sought. If you lie still, you lose.

For some this process comes easy. Shift and swing with the ebb and flow of a fast-changing world. Technology ensures that we must constantly reevaluate where we go in our businesses.

For others it is only when they are at the end, staring into the abyss, that they see the need for venturing from their comfort zone and walking uncharted territory.

But both work just as well. It is necessary for survival to go through uncharted territory.

I once spoke to a man who had invested a lot of money in the reinvention of his business. It was a big risk for him at the time. As I chatted with him after the interview, I spoke candidly. “This could kill your business,” I said. “That’s true,” he replied. “But you can get killed walking across the road in the morning; does that mean you should never try to cross the road?”

He is set to double his sales figures on last year.

Calculated risks are key to a business developing, or simply holding on.

Of course much of this depends upon the individual who runs the business. Often it’s hard to see the wood for the trees when you’ve been working long hard hours. But if you don’t stop and think where you are going, who will? The crew makes a ship operate smoothly, but only a captain can steer the course.

Business-owners can be creatures of habit, going through the motions in a constant battle for survival. But business evolution is what they really need to define their thinking. In a world where competition is no longer at the end of the street, but on the other side of the globe, adding new values to your business is a must.

Dinosaurs thought their traits would see them survive, and look what happened to them.

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