The world is changing at a rapid pace and as business owners and entrepreneurs we have to change with them. Without constantly modernizing processes and offerings you could easily find yourself out of business. Just look at Hollywood Video and Blockbuster. Opportunities are easily lost if we don’t stay on top of changes and aren’t willing to make the changes that will help us and our business grow.
Here are five ways to encourage progressive change in your business.
Keep trying new things
As entrepreneurs, we have to constantly think about what is next. Regular experimentation is one way to reduce risk as well as keep what we offer fresh and relevant to our customers.
Education is another way to upgrade your business and your life. Besides going back to school, you can attend conferences and workshops or take online courses in your chosen field. It’s important to implement what you learn to advance your business to the next level. It’s not always easy to make changes, but if you want to survive in today’s business world, it’s something you must get used to.
Plan for the future
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is not just a popular saying, it’s true. A plan can help you put some guidelines and benchmarks in place so you can reach your goals. As an entrepreneur, there is no one else to hold you accountable to your tasks unless you hire a coach. A plan will provide you with accountability along with inspiration as it reminds you of your vision and mission. Even though you have a plan it is imperative to tweak it occasionally. Every effective business frequently reviews its business plan and continues to meet its needs.
Make course corrections
Don’t let fear of being wrong stop you from making decisions. No one is right all of the time and course correction is just a part of the job. Make it a point to review current performance on a regular basis and recognize the most likely strategies for growth. When you see change in your industry or the economy at large, just course correct. In the 21st century everything changes fast and as an entrepreneur you have to be flexible.
Experts will tell you that networking is the difference between success and failure. You can’t assume that if you build it, they will come. You have to get out there and relentlessly promote. Regardless of what you might think, people “buy” you before they buy your product or service. People do business with people they like, know and respect. You have to show up and get out there. If you don’t feel comfortable in large network settings, take someone with you who can talk about you and introduce you to prospective clients. Eventually, you will find a comfort zone in the midst of like-minded people.
You can also add networking to your daily routine. Make it a point to talk to at least three to five people a day. Offer your help, share a link or just say hello. When you reach out and add value to the lives of others, people remember you and begin to like and respect you. When change happens, you’ll have built a network that can support you and your business.
That’s it in a nutshell. Think as though time and money were not an option. Have a big vision and plan you progressive change from that stand point.
Teresa Saxton-McCurry is the CIO (chief inspirational officer) of Inspire Me Inc. She is an entrepreneur coach and author of the recently released Runnin’ Things – The Resilient Spirit of an Entrepreneur, 10th Anniversary Revised & Expanded Edition. She speaks nationally on entrepreneurship and has been featured on Kaleidoscope and Fox News. She donates her time as a Sickle Cell Advocate and is vice president of Kincaid’s Kindred Spirits, Citizens for Healthy Living.