Running a business is no cake walk and anyone who has taken the entrepreneurship route would definitely agree with me on this. Tolerance for uncertainty, dealing with ambiguity and finding a way around contingencies are part and parcel of the package called “entrepreneurship”. Here are 4 tips to help you deal with ambiguity in business and work…
Think of All Possible Scenarios
While we all know that it is best to “hope for the best” we should also know that too much optimism or over confidence is the reason why many projects fail. This is precisely why Plan A is important but Plan B also needs to be in place.
You need to think of all possible scenarios even the worst case scenario. Even an event such as a presentation before clients can turn out to be difficult if the projector doesn’t work. In that case you need to consider all the possible situations, such as power outage, projector failure, and non-working presentation videos.
This will help you put things in proper perspective.
Have Back Up Plans
Let us take the example of the presentation before clients going wrong further…
You should have a backup plan for each of these situations:
- Power failure
- Projector malfunctioning
- Videos in your presentation not running
Your backup plans should be something like this:
Preparing to present without a PowerPoint presentation, having a handout ready so people understand what you’re talking about, preparing for your speech even without a PowerPoint running in the background, providing details of links to the video or circulating a VCD with the videos on it among the audience or emailing the videos later.
Invest in the Best
Settle for nothing but the best and you will never go wrong. Whether it’s stationary, furniture, equipment or people hire the best and you will at least be sure of having the best resources at your disposal.
That way there are fewer chances of things going wrong in the first place and even if they do go wrong you have better chances of coming out of the situation with minimum damage or loss.
Look for Similarities
Look for similarities in situations or problem areas and try and find a way to list down what you did about this very same thing in the past. Then consider whether you can do the same about it right now or will a different line of action work? These are things that you will have to consider yourself.
Supposing you had saved your business from major losses by selling goods at a discount in the past is that the right thing to do now? Would it be prudent to slash prices or hold your own and let quality speak for itself? May be discounts were good when you were new but being well established now they might not be the best solution.
Ambiguity and uncertainty are part of life and business is no stranger to them. There is no one way of dealing with ambiguity and there is no quick fix formula that will always work. Only a calm, focused and diligent approach to ambiguity will produce results and the first step is accepting the fact that ambiguity will always be there and you just have to learn to deal with it.