This TED Talk by Martin Reeves is about building a business that lasts. He compares it to the human immune system, which responds to changes in your body to keep you healthy.
What I found especially interesting was the comparison between Kodak and Fujifilm. Kodak went bankrupt due to the changes in photography technology. Fujifilm made better business decision, remained more flexible, and took over the lead. Kodak survived its bankruptcy, but was much weakened.
Of course, as a home business, it can be difficult to think about how to make your business last 100 years. You may often have times where it’s a struggle to make it to next year. It’s hard to be flexible when it’s just you in the business sometimes; you don’t always have the resources you need. On the plus side, you’re the only one you have to convince to give it a try when you have a new idea. On the other hand, it’s up to you and only you to come up with that idea in the first place.
When you’re a very small business, a part of flexibility comes from taking the time to learn what’s new in your industry. Keep up with things, and note the trends. If you can spot the important changes while they’re small, you can start adapting before most others in your industry.
You should also consider which parts of your business can be handled by a virtual assistant or maybe even an employee. You’ll have more time to note upcoming changes if you aren’t always swamped by the routine parts of your business that don’t require your personal attention. It’s hard letting go – I’m no good at it myself – but can mean a big boost to your business once you get things going.
Don’t rely on any one thing to keep your business going. Diversity is vital. That means having multiple products, multiple steams of income, multiple marketing channels, and so forth. Sure you may be getting your best marketing results from Pinterest (Facebook, Twitter, ad placements, whatever) now, but what if things change? If something goes wrong with one thing in your business, you need to have other things there to take its place.
Don’t limit yourself or you home business by only thinking about the short term. You have to think about it some – the short term may well be what keeps food on your table. By considering long term plans as well, you can have a better idea as to the direction you would like to go, and use that to help guide your short term plans.