Posted January 23, 2010 6:57 am by with 9 comments

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Wet NoodleAs I write this post, it is my birthday, and there is a White Russian with my name on it, after this post is done. So you will have to excuse me if today’s column is a bit short, but I have a party to go to!

Even though all of the data says something different it is clear that the life span for most small businesses is incredibly short. Yep that’s right, people fail all the time.

If you ask most defunct small business owners why they failed, they will point towards one or two key areas of their business. Some will say that they didn’t have the right marketing mindset, others might say they didn’t have the right product. And all of these reasons may be true. But one thing that many won’t even recognize is because their business wasn’t flexible.

Flexibility is important in a small business plan but is often times overlooked. Many times we focus so much on our core products or services that we build a mindset and infrastructure that limits our ability to be flexible when needed.

So why is it so important to be flexible? It’s important because you can’t control markets. It’s important because you can’t force people to buy. It’s important because no one can produce the perfect product or service. It’s important because your competitors might be better than you.

If you want to keep from failing all you might have to do is hustle. But if you want to grow your business and create more wealth then try being flexible too.

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  • Don

    While many small businesses fail, many succeed because they remain flexible and can change their business strategy when needed. The important thing is to be different from your competition and be able to show the benefits of your product or service. This can require constant tweaking until you get it right.

  • Jom

    Yup, even I think that when it comes to business, flexibility is the name of the game. Some people become very rigid with their business fundamentals and somewhere are not able to change themselves according to the ups and downs in the market.

  • You have a great point which I think ultimately boils down to this: solve your customers’ problems. If you’re not solving the problems, your product isn’t any good. And especially in the online area, solving a problem can be two completely different things between two clients. Vary your product, not the results.
    .-= Josh Braaten´s last blog ..My Squarespace Website Review: 3 Pro’s and 1 Con =-.

  • Without flexibility the “fail” times are much harder to recover from.
    Happy belated birthday, Joe!
    .-= Vlad´s last blog ..CEO Of LeapFish Removes Rebuttal To Click Fraud Bombshell =-.

  • Thanks for the good reminder. I thought your column on Flexibility was right on!

    I have seen too many companies just not make it beacuse they were not flexible. The only other word I probably would have put in there was “Balance”. Any new business ( or old one for that matter ) needs Balance and Flexibility when it comes to their marketing strategy. ( See article on balance – )

    Flexibility is a good thing for all of us to remember.

  • I read this on my phone and haven’t had a chance to get in here and comment until just now. Thanks for this post. I glad your White Russian could wait because this post couldn’t have come at a more timely point in the young age of my business. I do PPC managment and SEO and Facebook ads and Google maps. I have “wet noodled” to that extent, but I worry about becoming a jack of all trades and a master of none. Your thoughts on my company would be greatly appreciated.