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Unexpected events — surprises, whether good or bad — can make or break your business. Your ability to recognize and react to these events is key to both your growth — and your survival. As an entrepreneur, you must have enough knowledge to plan and anticipate, yet enough street saavy to know when things are going unusually right or unusually wrong.

We’re talking here about really big surprises — like discovering that one of your products is selling much better than expected — and you don’t know why …or… discovering that you are selling to the wrong customers …or… that your product or service needs to be revamped from top to bottom …or… even discovering you are in the wrong business.

For example, you may have started your company to be in the software product business, but month after month your computer consulting service revenue far outpaces your software sales. This is a good clue that you should begin to rethink your business strategy.

You may not need to switch businesses, but, clearly, you should change your resource allocation and operations management in recognition that the company is now consulting-services driven. With this altered strategy, your software development efforts might better be redirected toward providing a stronger competitive edge for securing and maintaining your consulting-service customers.

The Chinese word for crisis is “wei ji”. When written, the calligraphic representation is the combination of two words: “peril” and “opportunity”. Management of the unexpected is to understand the perils of the current situation while, at the same time, having the vision to seize the opportunities presented.

Your acceptance that your marketplace is in constant flux is key to your understanding that the marketplace will unexpectedly push you to rethink your business strategy — hopefully before your competition rethinks their strategy!

This Marketing Contributed Content article was written by John Agno on 3/1/2005

TEN article by John Agno, 734-426-2000, Signature Inc., a marketing consulting firm in Ann Arbor, MI. Email:
Provided by: The Entrepreneur Network