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When you own your own business, you’ve got to be focused. You have to keep your goals in mind, work your business plan and keep your employees on task. Right?

It is true that running your own business means keeping yourself focused, especially on the big picture. But a rigid, unwavering focus can be a bad thing. When it comes to running a successful business, you also have to adopt a degree of flexibility. That flexibility ultimately will keep your employees and your customers happy, and help your business to grow.

Flexibility With Your Employees

Being flexible when dealing with your employees has a host of benefits. When you’re flexible with your employees — by giving them a say in what projects they work on, what hours they work and who they team up with — employees are happier. They feel more invested and valued at work and less stressed. Employees who work in a flexible environment can try new things and advance their skills. You might find strengths in your employees that you hadn’t seen before.

In short, a flexible environment allows employees to flourish. And when you lower employees’ stress level and increase employee satisfaction, you decrease turnover and increase your business’s chances for success.

Flexibility with Customers

Being flexible with your customers also can help your business to thrive. While there are some basic customer service principles that your customers expect but appreciate, being flexible in how you deal with your customers and show your appreciation for your customers is what will set your business apart.

Start by listening to your customers: Are you seeing a lot of requests for services at times that fall out of your usual hours of operation? Are customers requesting different products and services? Think about how you could adapt your business to better serve your customers and better meet their needs. You also could add some flexibility in customer rewards: Offer customer appreciation specials, a gift with purchase or host a customer appreciation day.

Flexibility with Your Business

When your business is doing well, it seems to be common sense to continue to do business as usual. To really grow your business, however, you have to approach your business plan with flexibility. Obviously, you don’t want to throw your business plan or your business goals out the window, but it’s important to periodically assess your business and make adjustments. The market changes. Customer needs change. Services or products that were popular five years ago might not be selling as well today, and customers might be looking for new products and services you’re not offering. You have to be willing to make the adjustments needed to stay current, meet demands and keep your business growing.

Your laser-sharp focus on growing your business will help you succeed. That laser-sharp focus has to be paired with flexibility, however, so that you can continue to mold your business to reach your overall business goals.