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“Be light on your feet” is perhaps the best business advice I’ve received regarding today’s economy. Never has there been a more important time to be flexible and nimble in your business strategy. In this uncertain economy, it is a must. It may be the most important thing a company can do.

A company must be able to adapt to the rapidly changing market or it risks becoming irrelevant. Here are 6 tips that I use to help my businesses stay a step ahead of the competition.

  • Always be on the lookout: New ideas can come from some very unexpected places. Really listen to what people in your network are saying and be vigilant about potential opportunities hidden in solving their problems.
  • Never be positional: We often associate exceptional visionary leadership with an individual. While a particular individual may be a “genius”, they can also hold you back while you concentrate on one person’s ideas. The reality is that many of us have even greater potential if we use the creative energy of the people on our teams.
  • Know your resources: A realistic assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your company is the key to being able to take advantage of new opportunities
  • Be open to new opportunity no matter how “out there” it is: Its human nature to resist change, but true market leaders drive it. Wildly successful companies often see a niche where others don’t, creating their own market in the process.
  • Make decisions, not judgments: Finding the key to tomorrow requires a mental shift from our routine day-to-day, year-to-year struggle. Organize planning sessions with only a strategic focus. Encourage and facilitate the paradigm stretch using creative thinking techniques and thought exercises such as brainstorming, visually identifying relationships. Don’t label ideas as good or bad, instead let the conversation flow, making decisions on what’s possible based on your goals and resources.
  • Don’t be afraid to shake things up: Once you’ve generated ideas that are out in left field, evaluate them carefully for the seeds of change. Bring the seeds into the present for planting and cultivating. Don’t let them lie fallow, bring them to life as goals and action plans.

One of the many ways I’ve recently put this into practice was with a total redesign of the PressKit 24/7 website, an on-line press kit I offer. We had been getting significant traffic to the site, but we were not getting a satisfactory number of people signing up for the service. I called my team together for a brain-storming session we generated 3 areas of improvment.

  1. Information needed to be reorganized to be more succinct
  2. We needed to offer a better interface to meet customers needs when inquiring or purchasing the service
  3. The look and feel of the site needed to change to reflect a technology instead of a service.

After implementing the ideas that came out of the session, we’ve seen a happy increase in the percentage of visitors that convert to Presskit 24/7! What do you think?