As you look for opportunities to improve your business, grow, and become more competitive in your industry, you’ll eventually become aware of the acute need to shift from being reactive to proactive. This isn’t always the easiest transition, but the effort you put into making this shift will pay dividends as your business evolves.
The Dangers of Being Reactive
A reactive approach to business means you respond to an unanticipated event after the fact. Something happens and then you decide what to do. Sometimes this is fine, but other times it can prove disastrous. Some of the ill-effects may include:
- Wasted resources
- Missed opportunities for growth and expansion
- Diminished productivity
- Damage to brand reputation
“The reality is that no business can be proactive all the time, however if you focus on a proactive strategy, you will be more effective at dealing with challenges and as a result, more successful,” business leadership coach Philip Spensieri explains.
3 Tips for Being More Proactive in Your Approach
Being proactive in your approach to business management is easier said than done. However, the sooner you focus on making this shift, the greater your returns will be. It doesn’t matter if you’re in manufacturing, ecommerce, marketing, or any industry in between, the following tips will help you in your transition from reactive to proactive.
- Foresee Issues Ahead of Time
Talk to the CEO of any Fortune 500 corporation, and they’ll explain the significance of foreseeing issues ahead of time. One of the ways they do this is through proactive inspections and maintenance of key systems.
“It’s not enough to purchase the right systems and invest in the right equipment – you need to make sure you’re having it regularly inspected and maintained to meet industry requirements and compliance,” explains PinnacleART, a leader in asset reliability management. “Diligently doing this over time will help prevent issues before they occur, which saves money and eliminates unnecessary downtime.”
- Ask Customers for Feedback
You don’t have to do all the heavy lifting on your own. Sometimes you can engage your customers and get them to help you. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to be proactive without their help.
“As a small business, you are perfectly positioned to engage your customers, listen to their feedback, and implement change – there are fewer layers between you and your customer,” M&R Marketing Group points out. “More than likely, the majority of your customers are local and accessible. Outside of your team, no one understands your services as well as your customers do.”
- Be Intentional With Your Time
Either you plan out how your time will be spent over the course of a given day or week, or someone or something else will tell you what to do. The more intentional you are, the stronger your business will become. This is especially true when it comes to managing people.
“Take the time to hire the right person; someone who demonstrates the company’s values and is focused on finding a long-term career and not just a quick-fix job,” Madeline Johnson writes for Evolution Brands. “For current employees, help them to continue to build and expand their skillsets by answering questions and promoting availability. Employee growth is necessary for business growth.”
Get Ahead of the Game
Proactive business is all about foreseeing issues, risks, and challenges before they arise so that you control the direction of your business, rather than having external circumstances dictate how you proceed. Consider implementing some of the tips and techniques discussed in this article so that you can get ahead of the game.