If you own a business, people might rightly say you “run” it. In many ways, operating a business is like running. It takes endurance, strength, patience, mental energy and physical stamina. Some days will feel like a sprint while others will be a bit more marathon-like.
More specifically, running a business is like running on a treadmill. In order to move forward, you have to stay a step ahead. And if you stand still, you will actually go backward. Today, changing technologies influence most industries and new processes have redefined “business as usual.” Business owners who stay ahead in today’s economy are those who embrace change early and use it to their advantage. Here are a few ways you can embrace change in your own company and channel new advances to your company’s greatest advantage.
Keep up with what others are doing.
The worst thing you can do is run your business in a vacuum. Stay up-to-date on things that are happening in your industry, paying special attention to changes your competitors are making to get ahead. Notice how those changes influence their businesses and determine whether similar changes in your company would be beneficial. Subscribe to industry publications and be a front-runner in changing your industry. This will help you maintain a competitive edge.
Question the way things have always been done.
Especially if you’ve experienced changes in personnel, there may be some processes within your company that are no longer practical. While many procedures have likely been refined and perfected over time, encourage your employees to question the way things have always been done and ask them for their ideas on how things could be improved. Even if only small changes come from these ideas, employees will be more willing to make valuable suggestions if they know you value new ideas.
Many people-perhaps including you-are uncomfortable with change. It breaks up the status quo and takes people out of their comfort zones. If you don’t communicate openly about changes happening in your company, your employees might be hesitant to implement changes. Train them on how to use new technologies and communicate clearly whom different changes will affect. Follow up with employees to learn how changes in the company are affecting their work. If employees feel like they can communicate honestly with you about changes in the company, you will get better feedback and be able to implement more positive changes in the future.
Don’t get too set on things.
With so many new technologies and processes available, some are bound to be more helpful than others. After you have tried something for a while, take time to evaluate the advantages. Some might have a great effect on both your employees and your customers while others might add to your workload without producing results. Be open to the idea that not all changes are beneficial. Being discriminating with the changes you adopt will help your business stay ahead in difficult times.