As a business executive, you should prepare for risks by designing strategies that can be applied to a variety of potential outcomes, says Attorney Lyle Solomon. (Shutterstock image)

The Best Way to Proceed When Faced With Business Uncertainty

These 10 steps can help business leaders come out on top

Back Commentary Aug 25, 2022 By Lyle Solomon

There is no return without risk, as every business owner is aware. As a result, a key component of the prevalence of uncertainty. A business owner must understand uncertainty and deal with it as it arises.

Why do businesses face uncertainty?

Business uncertainty generally results from shifts in the political, economic, environmental and technological landscape, such as technological developments, data breaches, natural disasters or new business rules. For example, businesses found it particularly challenging to navigate the year 2020 due to COVID-19’s unanticipated changes to the economy and industry. Despite the rarity of pandemics, businesses have always had to deal with some degree of uncertainty.

How you should deal with business uncertainty

1. Be flexible

Making judgments in the face of uncertainty frequently necessitates using incomplete data. When this happens, you should be aware of the unknowns, include flexibility in your strategy, and then check your progress and make any necessary adjustments. If the captain has planned for the need to tack when the wind changes direction, it will be considerably simpler to adjust the course of the sailboat.

2. Be transparent

In addition to acting with openness and authenticity, a good leader unleashes the potential of others around them, including peers, advisers and other leaders, to develop well-considered approaches to unfamiliar and difficult situations. People seek reliable sources of information during unsettled times, and leaders can play this position. Leaders may foster trust by being open and honest in communication with stakeholders, showing compassion and vulnerability, and modeling the values. Transparent leaders foster trust and boost worker confidence during tumultuous times.

3. Focus on implementation and optimization

While your initial thoughts or actions are rarely the greatest, they pave the way for development and more choices. You must follow the course of your flawed concepts. You won’t berate yourself for what you didn’t know at first. You should optimize it next or make it better. Repeat the process often.

4. Embrace ambiguity

A mature leader can embrace ambiguity. It’s crucial to have reusable approaches for ambiguous tasks. Project management and lean six sigma methodologies offer statistical, data-driven methods. Elite leaders need this background.

5. Focus on changing yourself first

To cope with uncertainty, you must first realize that you are negatively assessing the situations you come across. Second, you must reframe them in a favorable light. The third phase is discovering what is being revealed and your new chances.

6. Consider what will yield the most reward

Jumping from one crisis to another in an unpredictable world may be simple, but it is rarely the most effective use of a leader’s time and resources. They will be more successful if they concentrate on what will benefit the organization the most. Everyone’s efforts are brought into line with the initiatives that will have the most impact when there is clear communication about what needs to be done.

7. Have a plan for risk management

List all the potential dangers that can affect your company. Based on at least these two criteria, likelihood and impact, rate each risk as low, medium, or high. On an x- and y-axis, these can be plotted. It is important to look into risks that seem pretty likely and potentially have more significant consequences. Then you develop mitigation plans to either stop them from happening or react if they do.

8. Prepare for the worst-case scenario

Don’t be paralyzed by worry about what might go wrong, and try not to spend too much time in analytical mode. Enter your fears directly and visualize them. Feel each potential result deeply. Use scenario planning to disarm your fear of the unknown and think through all the possibilities open to you.

9. Utilize the core values of leadership

Leadership core values are necessary for leading in unpredictable situations. The familiar parts of life and business might be stripped away by uncertainty or disaster, yet effective leadership is based on a leader’s principles or ethos. This attitude offers clarity to direct leadership judgment, decision-making, and communication. Additionally, it enables the leader to maintain composure under pressure in ways that instincts alone cannot.

10. Settle your business debt

Financial experts have long recommended paying down high-interest debt first with additional money. This makes sense because paying off high-interest debt will enable you to save more money in the long term by lowering the overall amount of interest you have to pay. Even in uncertain economic times, this advice remains sound.

A business’s operation might be extremely time-consuming. Business owners frequently have high expectations, but the reality is that many businesses face difficulties. To pay for running expenses, you might have been forced to take out high-interest debt such as credit cards, merchant cash advances, and unsecured loans.

Your creditors can start pursuing you if you’ve borrowed more money than you can afford to pay back. You could eventually consider business debt settlement to avoid even worse outcomes. If you fall far behind on your payments, your creditor could transfer your debt to a collection company. Even worse, if your firm fails and you cannot pay your creditors, you may experience problems. Debt settlement can be a way out in this case.

But how does debt settlement work? The procedure for settling business debt can take a while. You must hire a business debt settlement attorney or a debt settlement company. They’ll let the collection agency know that you want to pursue a settlement, and you can ask them to stop contacting you directly. The lawyer or business representing you can begin the negotiation process right away if you have cash on hand. If not, you usually deposit money into a firm account monthly until you have enough for them to represent you in negotiations. If the agency accepts the settlement, it will issue a written declaration stating that the debt has been paid in whole and the remaining sum has been forgiven.

All businesses encounter uncertainty due to adjustments to the market, the environment or the economy. As a business executive, you should prepare for risks by designing strategies that can be applied to a variety of potential outcomes, even when hazards cannot always be predicted. Maintaining meaningful business connections in unpredictable times also requires open communication, adaptability and openness.

Lyle Solomon has considerable litigation experience as well as substantial hands-on knowledge and expertise in legal analysis and writing. Since 2003, he has been a member of the State Bar of California. In 1998, he graduated from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California, and now serves as a principal attorney for the Oak View Law Group in California. He has contributed to publications such as Entrepreneur, All Business, US Chamber, Finance Magnates, Next Avenue and many more.

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