Updated: Mar 30, 2020
Being able to predict customer trends, market trends, etc. is vital to a changing economic climate, but not every CEO has Warren Buffett-like predictive powers. However, the one thing you can always count on is change. Without change and growth a company can not and will not succeed. The world around us is changing and all businesses must adjust.
You have two choices: let change happen to you, or make change happen.
The first is how most people operate. They won’t change anything until and unless they feel forced to. Now sometimes, you can’t help it. Something happens, new competition, legal restrictions, patent infringement, the list is endless. But even when the catalyst for change is outside your control, you still get to decide how to deal with it.
Do you avoid the inevitable as long as possible hoping a way out will miraculously appear? Or do you make a plan and take action as quickly as possible?
Successful people, and businesses, recognize the need for change early. They embrace it, and they go looking for it. Because of this, they are also usually quick to see when something is not working and not afraid to change it. Bad employees are let go, products or marketing campaigns that are not performing are changed, improved or replaced. Life goes on. And almost always, they end up better for it in the long run. You shouldn’t go crazy making changes either (though sometimes a bit of a business-ectomy is perfectly in order). But you do need to be open to it, prepared for it, and always on the lookout for ways you can change for the better.
How do you know when you need to make a change?
Sometimes it is just gut instinct. But here are three useful rues of thumb:
If I have a number of months of data showing me that I am not on track to reach my goals, I know something needs to change.
If I find myself complaining about the same problem three or more times, I know it is time to make a change.
If I am presented with a better idea or system for my business, I always at least consider making the change.
Let’s go through some instances of growth and change a business can expect to go through.
Customers are changing how they want to interact with business. They do lots of research before making purchasing decisions, so they are armed with more knowledge than ever before. This may or may not be good knowledge. After all, if it is on the internet it has to be true, right? They interact via face to face meetings, phone calls, emails, text, chat sessions, and social media. Businesses need to change their customer facing methods and be able to react to each type of interaction. If a business doesn’t and their competitor does, off goes a customer. Companies are held to high standards and customer loyalty only comes about because of great customer service.
As markets and technologies shift, so do rules and regulations. Depending on your industry, it can make much more sense to bring in a consultant to help with these areas rather than trying to understand the complexities yourself — and risk fines or worse for non-compliance. For example a law recently passed that has big ramifications to all businesses. It is known as Kari’s Law.
Effective February 16, 2020, Kari’s Law requires, that organizations using multi-line telephone system (MLTS) or private branch exchange (PBX) be configured in a way that allows people to call 911 without dialing any additional number, code, prefix or post-fix, regardless of location or device. Kari’s Law also requires multi-line telephone systems to provide notification, such as to a front desk or security office, when a 911 call is made in order to facilitate building entry by first responders.
To be in compliance you need to be able to dial 9-1-1 directly to get an emergency responder. If you have to dial a prefix (example “9” or “1”) to get an outside line, you are not in compliance.
Any business or agency who does not comply with Kari’s Law could face a fine of up to $10,000 in addition to other penalties, including a daily fine of up to $500 each day they are found not in compliance. This is just one example of how regulations change how businesses operate, there are countless examples for all businesses each and every year.
As technology gets more and more integrated into business changes happen. Do you have a plan for digital transformation and how your company can benefit from the internet of things. Are you comfortable your data network is super reliable, and secure? Check out our digital transformation and IoT (Internet of Things) brochure to learn how companies are shifting the way they do business.
If you’re really uncomfortable with change, or have a hard time letting go of things or ideas, start small. Drive a different way to work. Try a new restaurant. Order something other than your norm at the usual haunt. Wear a new color. Rearrange your office. Whatever you do, your business and life will be growing and changing for the better.
To receive guidance and expertise from a Technology Advisor that has relationships with best-of-breed companies (including over 175 suppliers) with no consultation fee, please contact Simplify My Communications at 713.910.1401.