Since the economic downturn, many of us have been forced to accept major changes both professionally and personally. As an entrepreneur, you should be willing to embrace it. Effectively handling change can be sometime difficult, especially if you weren’t expecting it. How well do you handle change? Are you responding expeditiously to the social, environmental and technological changes that can affect your bottom line? The most successful entrepreneurs not only embrace change, they actively seek it out knowing that greater fulfillment, success and growth is obtained when you can adapt to an ever changing market.
So, what do you do if you experience change in your business or personal life?
Perhaps you’ve grown from a one-person office to managing a staff of five or maybe one of your largest clients just announced that they no longer need your services. Whether large or small, sudden or planned, change is change!
I remember running my first company, a successful commercial cleaning service, and having to deal with a few situations where I needed to make quick and fast decisions. Though frustrating, I was able to look at each situation and make sound business decisions based on my evaluations. By doing this, I made a positive change in my operations which benefited my company and employees.
Some business owners find it difficult to adjust to change, often reluctant to adapt to new technology or even new internal changes that could help increase sales and growth. As a project director and business consultant for a non-profit organization that help women achieve self employment, I often suggest ways to improve their business processes which involves adjustments. Though some are reluctant at first, they eventually see the benefits. For example, over the past twenty years, Client A has written his invoices by hand, which takes many hours of staff time. Client B mails over 300 monthly newsletters to clients via snail mail costing several thousand dollars yearly.
Do you think Client A could benefit from investing in a computer and software accounting system such as QuickBooks or Quicken to manage his business? By adapting a new bookkeeping system, could increase his efficiency, thus, saving him time and money. Each month, Client B must create a new template, print, fold, and label and stamp each newsletter. Once she mails, it may take 3-5 days before her clients get it. On the other hand, think how efficient she would as well as how much she would save on time and money by using an internet based program such as Constant Contact or I Contact to market to her clients. With the click of her send button, she could have those same e-newsletters reach her clients simultaneously.
Here are 4 quick tips to help you embrace change:
Quick Tip #1: Present your idea and encourage discussion from your employees. Once they buy in and commit to adapting to the change, a clear written and verbal message should be conveyed to everyone.
Quick Tip #2: When you are considering change in your overall operations, develop a clear focused vision of the outcome(s) you are striving to reach, and then proceed cautiously to reach your vision and goals.
Quick Tip #3: Embrace positive change and free yourself from processes that don’t work. You are only hurting yourself and your business.
Quick Tip #4: Avoid Stagnation! Change does not mean that the world is going to collapse around you. Just go with the flow and see where change will take you. Remember that you control your life so do not let change control you.
While change can be painful, it is necessary if you want your business to survive in an ever changing world. In today’s tech savvy business climate, the ability to be flexible is key!
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Sylvia Browder is CEO of Browder Consulting Group, a virtual small business consulting firm. In her role, she helps women achieve success through entrepreneurship. She is employed as Project Director and business consultant for the Women’s Business Center Inc, a non-profit economic development organization with a mission of empowering women to start and grow successful businesses. She has served as an online volunteer SCORE counselor since 2004. She also serves as a Technical Assistant Provider for SBA’s Community Express Loan Program. For FREE weekly articles go to Sylvia Browder’s Blog for Women Entrepreneur’s, www.sylviabrowder.com. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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