In business, just like in the rest of your life, having a plan B can be the difference between success and failure. In fact, this can be even truer of business, as having an adaptable business means having a successful one. You cannot adapt if you do not have a plan with which to do so, therefore having a plan B becomes central to the success of your startup or established small business. There is a popular adage in entrepreneurial circles that goes "failing to plan is planning to fail", which should dictate the importance of having that plan B around. The following are five plan B's that you can implement to try and save your business or enhance the way that it is running--they are not exact business plans, as that will have to be personalized for each and every business, but simply certain models that can inspire a change in business practices, which will lead you to success.

Redefining Your Focus

This is central to the success of your business. If you find that your profits or growth are not where you would like them to be, redefining your focus is going to be the fastest route to success. Perhaps you are not targeting the proper audience, or are not providing the best solution to the problem that your business is setting out to tackle. Either way, by redefining your focus, it will help you really connect with the core of what your business is trying to accomplish, and will therefore give you the results for your business that you desire.

Changing Your Approach

While radically changing your business's approach at problem solving is nearly never a viable option, branching out into similar ways to accomplish your business's end goal could be the way to connect with your target audience in the manner that you need to in order to become a success. This does not even have to mean changing your product that much--all it really means would be making your product more accessible to different people or platforms (depending on whether it is a physical or digital product), or adding in extra features in order to make it a more viable product.

Honestly Evaluating Your Product

Sometimes the easiest plan B to implement is one that just takes a little bit of extra attention to what you are selling. Having focus groups, reading studies in your industry, and other methods of objective research will best help you to see which direction you need to go in in order to save your business through the refining of your product. After all, at the end of the day, no matter how well your business is run or how great your vision statement is, it is the product that matters most. By bettering your product, you will better the rest of your business and the success that you are seeking will follow close behind the improved product.

Consider Rebranding

A lot of the time, it will not take changing your product, operations, or outreach. Many customers will admit to judging a book by its cover, which is why proper branding is so important. If customers can look to your brand and see something that they trust and value in it, they will be more likely to buy from you. A successful branding is usually creative but crisp; inclusive but defined; and definitely gives off an air of professionalism that far surpasses competitors. Just be warned, however; if your branding conveys a message that you cannot back up with your products, you will be setting yourself behind more than propelling yourself forward.

Open Your Operations To Suggestions

Lastly, there are times when you cannot identify exactly what needs to be changed within your business it make it run better and increase profits. Anybody running a business is going to be coming from a position of bias when it comes to evaluating it, so open yourself up to suggestions from friends in the market and employees; after all, different perspectives always lead to better, more well-rounded ideas and in the case of your business operations and your products, having honest suggestions for bettering them is invaluable.

Published on: Oct 2, 2014