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How to survive organisational change with your small business or side-hustle

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Organisational change refers to having a flexible outlook on your business and the wider environment.

The one thing you can always be sure of is that the world is constantly changing and one of your ideas today may not be suitable tomorrow. Having an open mind in your business outlook can help you to manage constant organisational changes required to help your business succeed.

External conditions require you to have entrepreneurial flexibility when approaching entrepreneurship.

There are several factors responsible for your business environment and some of these factors will either push or pull your business and you will make the decisions that will keep the business going.

Due to the continuous nature of business and the need to overcome constant challenges you’ll likely face some of these challenges as your side hustle or entrepreneurial project grows:

  • Local financial challenges

  • Technology, techniques and knowledge changes

  • Social and cultural changes

  • Politics, regulations, changes in the law

  • International and global conditions

Taking the time to think about the following areas will help you to make different choices about your business, especially during times of hardship or unforeseen problems:

Local financial challenges

Your entrepreneurial business does not exist on its own. You will need other people or companies to run your business, such as suppliers of materials or products, direct or indirect competitors, freelancers or employees, environmental conditions, regulations and rules, etc.

Some common issues, such as suppliers increasing prices or refusing to stock a certain product line could make your business difficult to run without finding another supplier.

Tracking supplier issues (and other local financial challenges) will prevent surprises when they occur. You will then be able to make changes to your business operations to ensure you can keep providing your customers with products or services.

Technology, techniques and knowledge changes

Starting your small business requires you to have some knowledge of the different techniques, services and technology required to provide your product or service. This means any changes in best practises or technology improvements or businesses removing technology from their product line could have a negative impact on your business.

Your type of business or side hustle project will make it clear how much you could be affected by technology-led organisational changes.

For example, what happened to the typewriter with the invention of home personal computers. Typewriters quickly went out of fashion and are now almost extinct. If you had a business that only focussed on typewriters, you would have a big issue unless you could see how the industry and world was changing.

It’s important to keep an eye on your industry and stay up-to-date on best practices and trends, as you could be affected by your industry moving in the opposite direction.

Social and cultural changes

Sometimes your business will be affected by cultural differences or societal changes. You'll need to ensure your entrepreneurial project is not ended by evolving and modernising attitudes or demographics.

For example, restaurants that do not cater for allergies, dietary preferences or religious beliefs would quickly lose a lot of business as society is changing their attitudes to increasing choice when it comes to food. Much of these changes would affect restaurant owners unless they started catering for different customers' food preferences.

Whilst many of these social factors are difficult to predict, it’s wise to be aware of the world and understand changing attitudes as they could majorly affect your small business. So it’s necessary to be up-to-date with society based organisational change.

Politics, regulations, changes in the law

Your business needs to follow rules and regulations. You should keep up-to-date with rule changes or regulation updates in and around your industry, so you can meet any legal requirements.

This could be anything from industry specific guidelines, such as changing hygiene regulations for hospitality businesses, personal privacy or GDPR rules, which may affect businesses operating in specific regions.

International and global conditions

Importing and exporting restrictions imposed by international relations could affect your business, even though you may have nothing to do with international treaties and agreements, but your business may still be affected by the outcome of trade agreements.

The relationship between countries could cause issues for international and global trade. If your business provides products or services between countries, you may need to keep an eye on changes to import and export rules.

Global conditions could also affect your business, if the world is struggling to overcome a global financial or medical crisis. This could affect your ability to provide your customers with products and services.

Internal conditions require entrepreneurial flexibility (internal organisational change)

It’s inevitable that your business at one point or another will have internal challenges. The success of your entrepreneurial business will be down to what you decide is the best response to each set back. Some of the internal conditions, which may affect your success can be separated into the following areas:

  • How do your people work and do what they do?

  • How do you structure your business?

  • How do you do what you do (i.e. processes)?

How do your people work and do what they do? (co-founders, employees, freelancers, etc)

“You know, as most entrepreneurs do, that a company is only as good as its people. The hard part is actually building the team that will embody your company culture and propel you forward.” - Kathryn Minshew, The Muse

People closely connected to your business or entrepreneurial project should provide your business with productive work. Dedication to their work will help you to succeed and provide suitable products and services to your customers.

However, if there is a problem with the performance of an employee, partner, co-founder or freelancer, you will have to overcome the problem and make any changes necessary for the good of your business.

How do you structure or coordinate your business?

Structuring your business to efficiently provide your customers with products and services needs you to organise and structure your entrepreneurial instincts.

This means you will have roles and responsibilities written down and agreed, so everyone understands the structure and their part within your business.

However, it’s not uncommon for things to change over time and you’ll need to keep up to speed with the most efficient coordination of the business and its structure. So you can provide your customers with products and services to meet their needs.

How do you do what you do (i.e. processes)?

There are many ways for anyone to do anything, but you have to choose the best process or procedure that works best for your business to effectively provide your products or services to your customers.

Don’t worry as this can take a while for you to work out the best processes for you to get your business off the ground. It’s unrealistic for you to get this right at the first attempt. As your business grows it’s likely that your processes will change and grow along with it.

You can make the best decisions for your side-hustle or small business when your business is dynamic during external issues and internal challenges. Both will affect you throughout the course of your business life.

To succeed as an entrepreneurial business owner, you must continually make adjustments to how your business operates, so you can remain in business during external and internal changes.

Good luck!

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