Don’t Let Obstacles Kill Your Business - Evolve to Survive!

Picture of Gina Blitstein Gina Blitstein combines her insight as a fellow small business owner with her strong communication skills, exploring topics that enhance your business efforts. That first-hand knowledge, matched with an insatiable curiosity to know more about just about anything, makes her a well-rounded writer with a sincere desire to engage and inform.

Don’t Let Obstacles Kill Your Business - Evolve to Survive!

Insurance agent, H.M. from the midwest has been selling for a major company for nearly a decade. He is born to the job, able to convince clients of the importance of his products without utilizing traditional, “pushy salesman” tactics. He operates with a high degree of integrity and he backs up his policies with strong customer service. This approach has served him well, cultivating a loyal, trusting client base. H.M.’s staff is friendly and has a tight-knit relationship with customers, dedicated to ensuring their satisfaction.

It sounds like he’s living the professional dream; yet that is not exactly the case. In recent years, the insurance company he represents has made some significant changes to the way agents are compensated. This has resulted in an unacceptable reduction in H.M.’s income. Rather than surrender to this challenge to his livelihood, this go-getting businessman decided to evolve his business to ensure his earning potential continues to grow, despite this corporate hindrance.

What did H.M. do specifically? He looked into selling additional insurance products from an independent source to augment his income. The new insurance products are not sold by his current company, so there’s no conflict of interest. He’s moving into Medicare supplement sales. It’s a genius move; he’ll still be able to deploy his mad sales skills while expanding his offerings. There was a significant learning curve and some new certifications to acquire but his sales and people skills will transfer seamlessly to the resulting broader market.

This evolution will expand his operation and ensure greater business into the future. In his later fifties today, H.M. believes that he’s the perfect age to be moving into selling to a senior market. He’s mature enough as to be able to relate you his customers, and they to him. As an added bonus, he sees this as a market he can continue to serve even once he hits a traditional retirement age himself.

H.M.’s story is inspiring. No one who enjoys what they do fancies the monumental job of starting over in a completely different career - especially when they’re already well established. That’s why his decision to evolve was so prudent. He built upon the construct he’d already established. If faced with a similar hurdle in your career, would you be able to pivot, rather than break, like H.M. did? Let’s examine some of the things he did right that led to his successful business evolution:

  • Assess what you know and what you’re good at - Although it’s never too late to gain new knowledge and acquire new skills, look to the arrows already in your quiver first. Where to your strengths lie? Can you easily read people? Are you persuasive? Do you have a gift for good communication? Do you have a knack for technology? These sort of general skill descriptions are important to identify so that you can explore opportunities that utilize them.
  • Look in your own backyard for complementary work - Like our professional, H.M., it’s probably not necessary to look into a completely different profession when planning to evolve your business. Consider taking on other markets within the same - or a similar - industry. Being familiar with more aspects of your new gig will ease the stress upon you and your business as you go through this evolution.
  • Keep an eye toward your future - Your business evolution should carry you to a place that will sustain you for the long haul. There will certainly be initial growing pains and some effort necessary to market your expanding business but, as much as possible, try to create a business you can run with increasing ease as you increase in experience and age. The ability to leverage these things to your advantage - instead of them holding you back - is definitely a perk.

Don’t let a professional obstacle stop your business’ progress! You have skills and experience that can parlay into an evolved form of your current business. Let H.M.’s successful professional evolution inspire you to bravely seek out new ways to implement your talents and knowledge.

How could your business evolve to circumvent an obstacle?

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