It's important for family businesses to adapt quickly and take advantage of new opportunities as they arise. That could involve making changes to operations, implementing a new business model, or even investing in a completely different business.
There are a few different ways to pivot successfully. First, family businesses should look towards the future and consider emerging trends using tools like “strategic foresight”. That’s when business leaders consistently and methodically keep up to date on any trends or changes that could impact their businesses. This can be achieved by attending industry conferences, actively meeting with customers, and hiring external experts for a third-party perspective, among other things. The information gathered through strategic foresight helps leaders better anticipate and prepare for change and disruption, which is key to growing with the times.
Second, it’s important for companies to keep trying out new ideas, business models, and ways of creating value. This type of experimental approach can make a business much more nimble. Plus, if done at a small scale, it can be a quick, low-risk way to explore new opportunities and speed up innovation. Family businesses – especially smaller ones – could also work with outside partners to experiment in new areas. That might look like a small-scale acquisition, or a new product launch in partnership with a private equity firm..
Third, family businesses need to be agile in both their portfolio and organization. This means being able to quickly and easily adjust holdings and activities to fit changing market needs and the family's capabilities. The entire organization and ownership group should be aligned in their approach to change.