The best laid plans of mice and men go oft awry, especially in new businesses. This is to be expected, no matter how detailed and researched your business plan. Some entrepreneurs remark that most business plans do not survive contact with the market.
As a consequence, entrepreneurs should adhere to the philosophy of ABT, always be testing. When plans don’t work out, entrepreneurs adapt by pivoting and changing their products and approach. The ability to change course based on market results is a hallmark of successful entrepreneurs.
One way you can adapt is to simply accept that the world is not perfect and to revise your expectations. Your organization can often adapt without managerial interference. Some problems cannot be solved, and some issues are beyond your ability to control them. When a recession throws your profits to the basement or a massive change in the entire industry leaves your marketing team scrambling to reposition your products successfully, you many not have an answer. Be confident, express this confidence in everything you say and do, and those who work under you will be inspired by your strength to continue fighting the good fight.
Another way you can adapt to the situation is to re-evaluate everything your business is doing and consider doing something entirely different. A great example of this was during Prohibition in the United States. When breweries were no longer allowed to sell alcohol, many of them turned to producing malted non-alcoholic beverages and soft drinks instead until that era ended. The breweries that steadfastly refused to cooperate with the ban were either shut down by federal mandate or shut down by the economic necessity of being unable to sell their product. If your business model cannot change, your business is doomed from the beginning. So sometimes you need to adapt and overcome by changing what you do.
The final way you can adapt to missed targets is to reevaluate how you are performing your business’s operations. There may be a flaw that you never even noticed in your methods, and that flaw might be negatively impacting everything. When your methods adapt, your entire business grows stronger for your humility and willingness to change. If you do not make changes, there is a good chance that missing your targets is merely the preamble of a tragedy that ends with your business in bankruptcy and your reputation seriously damaged.