An alternative can refer to a second option to something or another choice instead of the initial one. It can also refer to an unorthodox way of doing something that challenges a traditional or existing way of doing something. Other words that refer to alternative include substitute, stand-in, and replacement.
In everything we do, it’s always advisable that we have other options to the original means in case things don’t turn out the way we had planned them. Our plans often don’t always take the course we expect them to, which is normal, especially if they weren’t a hundred percent guaranteed. In such instances, it is essential to have a plan B that backs the original plan, which didn’t work out as we had predicted. An alternative refers to this backup plan that you had prepared if the first one failed to fulfill its expectations.
Before you start a business or an establishment of some sort, you should have an entry and growth strategy if you want it to penetrate the market. The entry strategy shows the plan you have set out to boost your business and help it grow and expand to larger markets. However, the plan that we initially set out isn’t always a hundred percent guaranteed to work the way we anticipated them. Therefore, it is essential for you to have a backup plan for the initial strategy if it doesn’t work out to avoid any backlash later when you have already initiated the operations.
Alternatives also refer to a newly invented method of doing something that challenges a previous means of doing the same thing. Human beings are constantly inventing and innovating every day—especially in technology—and this brings new techniques for doing some things. These new techniques are the alternative ways to some of the outdated/old methods that were probably less efficient. This section sums up the point that an alternative is simply another option to something or even someone.
Example of Alternative
Imagine that you are the lead innovator in an industrial complex that comes up with better, renewable, and environmentally friendly sources of energy. Your main job is to find out ways of generating energy that produces fewer pollutants and easy to obtain for everyone. The old and existing sources like fuel produce a lot of pollution, which are harmful to the environment. Furthermore, fuel is costly, and it comes from oil which is a non-renewable earth mineral.
Therefore, your establishment’s primary role is to develop new energy sources that are less harmful to natural and artificial surroundings. The smoke that comes out of the fuel is a by-product of the combustion that it undergoes, and it destroys the ozone layer. It leads to the greenhouse effect on the earth’s atmosphere, which is one of the leading causes of global warming. You and your team are assigned the role of finding alternative sources of energy that reduce all these negative effects on the environment.
Companies like Tesla, owned by American billionaire Elon Musk have come up with electric cars which solely depend on electricity to operate rather than fuel. Apart from electric vehicles, there have also been efforts to maximize solar energy that is natural and less harmful to the environment. Wind energy has also been a major source of energy for a while now. All of these are alternatives to harmful sources of energy. Hence, alternatives, more often than not, provide better means of doing things.
Significance of Alternatives
An alternative is relevant when you are looking for another option for something or someone. It is supposed to play the same role that the original one used to play. Alternatives come in handy, especially when an initial plan you had doesn’t turn out to be effective. When some things have more pros than cons, then it’s a liability, and you should seek another option that has better results.
We shouldn’t be rigid with our plans but have other backup plans that should help us if the original plans don’t work out. It is the main purpose of alternatives; they offer another way of doing something instead of a barely effective way. The word alternative comes from the word alternate, which means stand-in or substitute. Just like in sports, when a player is tired or seems to have a bad day at the job, the coach can easily take them out of play and replace them with another player who plays the same part.