Managing change in your small business

Don't resist change, embrace it photo

Managing change in your small business

It can be confusing to be a small business owner. On one hand, you are told to hold onto your ‘why’, the reason you wanted to go into business in the first place. On the other hand, you are encouraged to respond to the market. So it’s not surprising the easiest thing to do is nothing!

At Beyond Business Groups we are all about assessing and reassessing – continually evolving, working on your business so you remain relevant to your target market. We understand the need to be flexible to be able to grow your business.

There are many reasons some small businesses grow and others stay the same. Some are external factors like competition and demand, as well as internal factors such as operations and resourcing. Sometimes it’s just the personal resistance to change, a throwback to the adage, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

But, if it gets broken it might be too late to fix.

Reasons small businesses resist change

Here are some of the reasons you may be resistant to change.

  1. Complacency. You could be complacent because you are scared to change, or you could be complacent because you are comfortable with your current rate of success.
  2. Blindsided. New competitors are constantly entering the market and you need to be open to evolving your marketing mix or product offering. But just because it has worked doesn’t mean it will continue to in the future.
  3. People. At some stage, you are going to have to get out of your own way! You cannot grow a business without the right people in the right place at the right time. You will need different people with different skills at different stages of your business.
  4. Systems and processes. Without effective systems and processes, managing change can be cumbersome. Business efficiencies come from being able to automate and systemise everyday activities. Those areas that do not require creativity should be done at the same time, in the same way, every time.
  5. Customer loyalty. When the bank account is empty, or when you are starting out in business you tend to do anything to get a sale. This can erode your brand and diminish the potential to reach your ideal customer. Serving your ideal customers is a fast track to success.
  6. Technology resistance. Technology is your friend in business. While it can seem overwhelming, there are many productivity and marketing gains you could realise by using the most appropriate technology for your business.
  7. Ad-hoc promotion. Promotion is not something that should ebb and flow – if it does, so will your sales. If you lack consistency with promotion you might not be able to realise the potential of your efforts. With an abundance of messaging hitting your ideal customer, promotion is a long-term commitment.
  8. Cash flow management. Money goes out before it comes in and you have to manage what happens in between. You need to have cash reserves to grow – for more stock, new technology, a bigger facility, people and equipment.
  9. Commitment to learn. Markets are changing. And business is evolving faster than ever before. What you know today might be different tomorrow. Therefore having a thirst for learning and an acceptance of change is a requirement of any business leader.
  10. Leadership. Your vision, courage, resilience, attitude and hard work is paramount. While passion for what you do it important, passion doesn’t pay the bills or always make up for deficiencies in other areas.

Which of these issues is stopping you from growing your small business?