Is it time to embrace the change?

We all know that the only constant in life is change, however when it comes to our businesses we tend to avoid it. Doing things the way they have always been done may seem reliable, however, being stuck in a certain frame of thinking can often be a bigger risk than moving with the times.

Hand in hand with change comes growth. Not necessarily to say that the business or organisation becomes bigger in terms of number of employees and turnover; but in terms of what it offers new and existing customers.

The following five points are indicators that your business is getting growing pains and that it might be time for some change.

1 Are you achieving the desired results?
According to Einstein doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the very definition of insanity. Every business and organisation has objectives and goals, which are derived from their mission and vision. Those objectives and goals are most often related to the market share, financials, people, profitability, productivity and social responsibility. When these objectives and goals are not met, it’s time to ask: What do we need to do differently, in order to achieve a different result?

2 Is your business reactive or proactive?
Proactive businesses tend to anticipate challenges and opportunities and prepare for them. Reactive businesses react to challenges, tend to be unprepared for them and that unfortunately leads to unexpected consequences, which some businesses never recover from. Stephen Covey, in his book on 7 habits of effective people, states that in order to be effective we need to be proactive and not reactive. Therefore, if the entity is in reactive mode where there are constantly a number of unexpected crises, it might be time for a change.

3 Are you using the newest technology available?
Most businesses or industries have life cycles. Some cycles last decades, some years and some months. There is normally an introductory phase, a growth phase, a maturity phase and a declining phase. When new entrants enter the market with the latest technology, that becomes their competitive advantage. In most cases, eventually all the major players in that market will adopt a similar or improved version of that new technology, but for some it might be too late. Remembering that not every idea is a good one, an important question to ask is: Could this new technology ultimately create a better experience for my customers by reducing costs, improving quality or providing greater levels of service?

4 Are your people happy?
Productivity drops when motivation does. If your staff are not happy your customers won’t be either. Establish the root of the issues and if their unhappiness stems from the organisation’s environment, which includes the physical environment, as well as the systems within that organisation. By using your people as a resource you can determine if it’s time to shake things up.

5 Are there new horizontal or vertical growth opportunities?
Horizontal opportunities relate to expanding the existing products and/or services you are supplying to the market. Vertical opportunities relate to adding new products and/or services you are supplying to the market, and may even include starting new entities and brands. Deciding whether or not to pursue new opportunities will create a change both for the entrepreneur and the businesses they are currently involved in.

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