How a setback can turn into a positive for your business

How we react to adversity plays a large role in defining us as individuals. That adage also applies in the business world. There comes a time when every business faces a significant challenge, and the most successful companies are able navigate those obstacles and emerge with a stronger product and identity.

If you run a business, there is no shortage of examples to learn from where companies have faced setbacks, only to turn them into an impetus for positive-change success. If you're in a tough spot and looking for inspiration, here are a few examples of how companies have battled through adversity to keep their businesses going strong.

* During 2010, Phusion Projects, makers of Four Loko drinks, faced increasing governmental scrutiny concerning their products, which simply provided consumers a premixed version of popular mixed drinks. In November 2010, the company announced it would voluntarily reformulate its Four Loko drink. The company was able to recycle what remained of existing versions of Four Loko to produce ethanol.

At the beginning of the year, the company launched a responsible drinking website to educate consumers on the dangers of underage and binge drinking and launched a line of new products, including Four Loko in bottles and 12-packs. Phusion Projects profits for first quarter of 2011 are already surpassing the previous year number and all signs point to the company enjoying a very successful comeback.

* More than a century before, another beverage came under fire for its contents - Coca-Cola. The original Coke formula actually contained a certain amount of cocaine, which its makers removed in 1903. Needless to say, the new formula ended up being pretty successful with consumers.

* After exploding on to the scene in the late 1970s and continuing prosperity into the 1980s, Apple Inc. began to lose market share to Windows-driven PCs in the 1990s. By looking beyond traditional computers and investing in innovations such as the iPod, iTunes and the iPhone, Apple returned to profitability in a big way throughout the 2000s.

Many times, adversity and competition can act as an engine for innovation. So if your business or the company you work is facing challenges, it's important to remember that difficult situations can also lead to future success.