Like many parents, I’ve spent the last several weeks packing my daughters up and sending them off to college. While this was not my first time sending a child to college, it was a very new experience for me. This time I was sending them BOTH off to college at the same time, which was monumental!
Exit one season and enter a new season.
This marked the beginning of a new season for my husband and I. The inevitable change we knew would one day arrive is now staring us in the face. We now have an empty nest and the need to step into a new normal.
For the past several days, I’ve had this tune ringing in my ears. I haven’t been able to shake it. “Everything must change. Nothing stays the same. Everyone will change. No one stays the same. That’s the way of time. Nothing and no one goes unchanged.”. If you’ve never heard the song, check it out, and as you listen to the lyrics you will realize the one real truth in life!
This is not just true in our personal lives. It’s also true in our businesses. No matter how hard we try to hold on to the comforts of where we are, everything changes. To be successful in business you have to plan ahead and prepare for changes which happen constantly or lose your relevance and fade away.
Be a trailblazer!
If you are going to run a successful business, you have to be fresh, innovative, and relevant. Being a trailblazer means you are keeping up with changes in your industry. You are inventing new ways to engage. You are constantly on the cutting edge. But the reality is, it’s difficult to run a business, maintain balance, and keep up with changes. How does one manage changes in business and keep it running simultaneously?
You keep your eyes on the pulse of your business.
Focus your attention on five key areas. This will help you manage change, remain relevant and often times beat the competition.
1. Keep your pulse on your customer. I work in an industry where there is constant change. Regulations and changes in the White House dictate the direction the industry is moving. Keeping your pulse on your customer means you must remain in tuned with the customer’s needs. This requires constant communication. Make it a standard to check in with your customers at least quarterly to find out what priorities may have changed for them. Identify their current pain points and determine how you can best assist them. Bringing a solution to the table to help them with their new problems versus doing the same things you’ve been doing will better position you for future opportunities.
2. Keep your pulse on your team. Just as everything must change, I also believe everything has an expiration date. That includes individuals working in certain positions. If your employees are not developing professionally or reaching for the next level, they are complacent. Nothing kills business faster than complacency. Make it a standard to rotate positions every three to four years at a minimum. Anyone staying in the same position longer than that is holding your business back. They have become comfortable with the way things are and will fight efficiencies you attempt to incorporate. Work with your team to move up or move out.
3. Keep your pulse on the outside workforce. This requires outside of the box thinking. The workforce is changing every day. New skill sets are being introduced. Salary demands are changing. Employer expectations are constantly evolving. Make it a standard to check the industry on a semi-annual basis. Conduct salary surveys. Collaborate with human resources associations. Monitor changes in candidate pools. Communicate with recruiters and other human capital experts to determine ways you and your business can remain interesting to the workforce.
4. Keep your pulse on your finances. One thing I know to be certain is numbers tell a story and they never lie. Pay attention to the changes that are occurring with your revenue, cashflow and profit margins. These are three of the many financial indicators that tell a story about changes that are happening in and around your business. Make it a standard to monitor key financial indicators on a monthly basis and following their trends.
5. Keep your pulse on productivity. Peter Drucker said, “what gets measured, gets managed.” He was absolutely correct. Make it a standard to monitor productivity at least monthly. Like your key financial indicators, monitor the trends. Shifts in productivity help you to determine where efficiency and innovation are necessary.
EVERYTHING MUST CHANGE. THE KEY IS FOR YOU TO GET AHEAD OF THE CHANGE AND REMAIN RELEVANT.
All businesses are faced with changes. Your objective is to stay ahead of the change. Be flexible. Constantly reinvent yourself. Always look for your new normal.
Do you want to work with a leader who has a track record of running highly successful businesses and has already helped hundreds of other small businesses launch and grow? Or do you want to stay where you are forever? The choice is yours.
If you are an entrepreneur who is ready to take your business to the next level or if you are ready to get out of the weeds and take control of your business, apply for a 30 Complimentary Strategy Session today.
Applying for a strategy session is your first step toward getting out of the weeds of your business and focused on growth, opportunity and success. Stop running on the proverbial treadmill that leads to no where and step into forward motion.