Nearly all businesses in the health care industry — hospitals, practitioners, insurance agencies, pharmaceutical companies, among others — have been affected by the terms of the Affordable Care Act. While this particular law has brought about widespread changes and instability for health care, other industries aren't immune to the effects of government decisions.
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"Any industry can be affected by legislation at any time," said Mike Stahl, senior vice president of HealthMarkets Insurance Agency. "The takeaway for companies is to remain focused during times of change, and provide protection and assurance to their customers and employees."
Regardless of their industry, small business owners should be prepared to handle legislative changes that could shake up their field. Stahl offered six tips for surviving in the face of uncertainty. [10 Things Every Small Business Should Know About the Affordable Care Act]
- Educate employees and other individuals affected by the changes. Take the time and resources to educate employees during times of change. Keep them informed and confident in your company's efforts to remain successful and strong. Understanding what is causing the changes in an industry will allow for better preparation and adaptation
- Maintain consistent branding and service. Just because the industry is changing doesn't mean your brand should; consistent branding implies a sense of stability during a tumultuous time. The quality of the services a company provides should also never diminish, no matter what obstacles are encountered.
- Uphold your company's mission. A company's mission should never deviate from its original goal. When adapting to any changes, refer to your mission, and let that guide your decisions.
- Stay true to your business plan. While you may need to make a few adjustments on the path to your ultimate goal, a solid but flexible business plan should help your company withstand any industry changes.
- Focus on what you can control. Understand how the legislation will affect your company, and then try to control what you can. Focusing on impacts that are out of your hands is a waste of time. By narrowing in on what you can control, including your business proposition and high-quality customer service, you allow yourself the opportunity to succeed.
- Budget accordingly. Plan for the worst, and hope for the best. It is better to be prepared for unforeseen expenses than to scramble to cover them.
Originally published on Business News Daily.