Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
ENTREPRENEURSHIP / JUN. 20, 2014
version 2, draft 2

How to Be Reactive as an Entrepreneur

Once you enter the world of entrepreneurship, there will be a lot of scenarios that you'll need to adapt to. Being proactive as an entrepreneur is high beneficial, yet a lot of people are reactive. A proactive individual will create situations, while a reactive individual will respond to situations.

Although being reactive can create higher levels of stress, there are effective ways to deal with a problem or situation. If you do not react appropriately, you can hinder your success.

Issues With Being Reactive

The following are some of the main reasons why being reactive is not always the best approach:

  • As an entrepreneur, you need to stay ahead of your competition. If you're constantly reacting, you could fall behind.
  • Sometimes being reactive is too late in terms of customer satisfaction. Instead of doing the research and planning ahead, a reactive person will wait until there's an issue at hand. If you wait around for customer complaints, you may forever lose their business.
  • Instead of planning, you may adjust your prices based on competition. If your competition lowers their prices, the reactive solution is to lower prices as well. You should be taking control of your own personal business instead of reacting to the competition around you.
  • Being reactive creates higher levels of stress. Stress affects your health, as well as your overall quality of life. If more effective planning is put into place, you will not feel as much pressure, stress, and anxiety.
  • If you're under pressure, you're more likely to make poor decisions.

How to Be Reactive as an Entrepreneur

If you run your business reacting instead of planning ahead, you may need to make slight changes. However, there are some definite tips regarding reactive behaviour and decision making. The following are some scenarios and tips for entrepreneurs who are continuously reactive.

  • Having to Make a Decision Under Pressure: If something unexpected comes up (e.g. a valuable employee leaves), you need to make a fast, reactive decision. Your decision should be based on possible risks and consequences. A great move would be rounding up your remaining team, re-assigning tasks. This will allow you to find someone as quickly as possible to replace them without falling behind. You need to think well under pressure. Making a decision under pressure can be challenging. Use your prior knowledge and experience to adapt accordingly.
  • Plan for Reactive Decisions: It is beneficial to incorporate a little bit of proactive behaviour into your reactive mindset. Pay attention to your current risks, assessing the probability that they'll occur. This will allow you to see where your priorities should lie. You may still be required to think fast, making a decision. If a problem arises that you have assessed, it will not be foreign to you. This will aid in your decision making.

Everyone is different, and every business is unique. If you're a reactive entrepreneur it may be working for you. Assess your business, are you doing well? For some individuals they prefer to be reactive. A proactive person may plan ahead, worrying about fifty scenarios. Out of those fifty scenarios, only ten may come true. Technically a proactive person would have wasted time regarding those forty scenarios that weren't an issue. Although this is the mentality behind reactive entrepreneurs, those forty aren't really a waste. Those scenarios may come up in the future; there will already be possible solutions laid out.

The best thing you can do for your business is to incorporate both reactive and proactive solutions. It is great if you can think on your feet, being highly successful each time. However, it is important that you stay focused, planning for the future. Being reactive forces you to make a decision, while being proactive allows you to have more control over outcomes.

If you're a reactive entrepreneur, make sure that your choices are not hurting your business. You would be surprised what will change by incorporating some more thoughtful planning. Make smart decisions under pressure, and plan for your reactive decisions. Do not wait for a disaster to make changes. Your business is in your control, so take advantage of this.

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