Change: 5 Steps to Making It Work for You

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As business owners, experiencing change is the one thing we can count on to never change. We're bombarded with articles, blog posts, think pieces, and podcasts about the importance of change in the business environment. You might say “I’m a small business. All we do is change!” And you would probably be right. But the reality of the marketplace is upheaval, re-invention and rebirth, with business models that come and go. How effective are we at dealing with changes that occur at such a rapid pace?

 
When the rate of change inside the company is exceeded by the rate of change outside the company, the end is near.
— Jack Welch, former Chairman of GE
 

Change is more than just inevitable. Consumers and business customers alike practically demand it. Get better, get faster, get more relevant, increase your service levels, grow your product families, integrate with other services…the list goes on.

 
The most successful businessman is the man who holds onto the old just as long as it is good, and grabs the new just as soon as it is better.
— Robert P. Vanderpoel
 

So how do you deal with change? Here are 5 steps to dealing with change and converting it into a positive benefit:

  • Accept that change is not only unavoidable, it is necessary.
  • Recognize that your ability to adapt to changing markets, technology, buying habits, and natural lifecycles of products will decide your long term success.
  • Build change into your business culture to take advantage of what change can bring.
  • Encourage your team to question the status quo, to find new and better ways to conduct business, serve your customers, and create new market opportunities.
  • Don’t get comfortable. You can’t afford to.

As business people, we have the opportunity reinvent ourselves and our businesses on a constant basis. It’s what keeps us top of mind and valuable to our customers.