Don’t change for change sake, innovation without a reason is a waste of time, money and energy. Focus on your customers, and avoid the noise.
If there is one thing that scares business owners today, it’s the future.
We live in an increasingly fast paced world with the globalisation of markets and light speed introductions of technology. Many business owners – especially of small to medium businesses – are worried they can’t keep up.
And preying on this fear, are a whole new generation of sharks. Expert consultants that seem to have just appeared out of the woodwork to sell their own particular brand of snake oil.
“You have to be online,” they say.
“You have to be on social media,” they say.
“Compete globally,” they say.
And to all of that, I say bulls#$t!
In this article, I want to talk about change for change sake. In other words, innovation that leads nowhere other than to increased business costs and more stress.
HERE’S THE THING
We’ve been surveying business owners for nearly two decades, and the things that keep business owners awake actually haven’t changed that much. And to be honest, neither has their behaviour and attitudes to these challenges.
THREE TIPS TO REFINE YOUR BUSINESS
I would like to share just a few tips that will hopefully save you some panic and help you refine and grow your business over time in sync with the only stakeholders that really matter.
If you’re wondering how things are changing in relation to the needs and wants of your customers, then I highly recommend surveying them regularly.
If you find that in fact, they are happy with your product and service, and indeed their method of deciding to buy or continue to buy your product or service isn’t changing, then you don’t necessarily need to change a lot either.
Keep a weather eye – this term is an old sailing terms, and it means keeping an eye on trends or changes so you can adapt to them with lots of warning. Like a ship might change course if there was a storm on the horizon.
Keeping a weather eye in business is watching trends in your own industry and market in order to give yourself a lot of time to adapt to those trends. Time to introduce new systems, time to introduce new products, and so forth.
Ignore the sky is falling warnings and listen to your stakeholders. There can be a lot of confusion in the economy and marketplace – but not all of it applies to you. Focus on your customers, your market, your competitors and your business. This will keep a lot of the noise at bay.
If your customers don’t use social media to research and/or buy your products – DON’T WASTE TIME POSTING and paying for ads on social media. In a recent survey, we found 80% of all small business were on social media. However, their overall confidence in marketing was 4 out of 10. Meaning they are probably using the wrong channel to promote to their audiences.
Having knowledge of your customers, your competitors, your market and your business is a path to sane, rational and frankly more relaxed decision making about your business.
DON’T CHANGE FOR CHANGE SAKE
If you’re selling buggy cart wheels and everyone is buying cars, then, of course, you need to change, but don’t assume you need to change your business because everyone else is changing theirs.
I hope these tips will help you find your path to continued success and prosperity free of worrying about what ‘they say.’
If you innovate without a reason, it’s just change for change sake, and that is no use to anyone and certainly an unprofitable way to run a business.
Originally published on Smallville.