When the time is right to make a change (and 6 ways to do it).
Today is the best time for change and a fresh start. Here’s 6 practical “Do This Now” tips to get you started.
The business of change.
Sometimes business process change is not so much a matter of desire but one of necessity. Let’s face it, people are not the only things that change; the way people live and do business alters constantly. Who could have imagined 20 years ago the role cell phones, apps and advanced printers would play in basic communication and business? The truth is we all must evolve and adapt to meet new realities.
Create lists based on what elements need attention in both your business and personal life.
#1 Begin with identifying what needs change
If you aren’t sure what needs improving or want an objective opinion, engage an outside contact or consultant. Request feedback from others such as employees, co-workers, customers, or friends and family. Construct an outline of areas where change is indicated based on your findings of what requires attention.
Decide upon the large or small project(s) that you want to address.
#2 Weigh the options and opportunities
Rome wasn’t built in a day - nor were most successful businesses or relationships. When deciding what to transform or modify, weigh the relative benefits, dependencies, level of available support, degree of difficulty, and the estimated resources needed. Determine if the business process change you want should be centered upon one major issue or several small areas where there’s room for improvement.
What is the change – it is a process, a physical change, a habit? Be specific.
#3 Be realistic – what do you have the power to change?
Of course, we are only able to control and change the areas of our work and personal lives where we wield influence. To grow your business you can consider areas of improvement in your products, services, pricing or marketing. What you cannot control are the whims of the economy. If you say “I want to grow my business this year” that sounds like a plan. But the concrete, actionable response must include what you need to do to get you there – whether it’s a new invention/product, new sales platform or new equipment.
#4 Take action with a specific, measureable and time-based plan in place
Some people find it more effective to work backwards from their final goals when creating a change plan. If your goal is to improve your customer retention rate by automating regular outbound emails, create targeted metrics for those campaigns. Your goal is then measureable and can also be ascribed a timetable. “Increase sales” is not a plan; “Create 100 return shoppers by March 1, 2018” is.
#5 Integration – make it part of your life
Lasting change requires the creation of a habit, and that can take the shape of daily reminders, carrot-and-stick rewards for milestones achieved, regular contact with support systems and even random post-it notes reminding you of your daily commitment to make a transformation.
Write a summary of what the change looks like as if it has taken place. Keep it handy to motivate you through roadblocks.
#6 Face roadblocks head-on
There’s a reason change is hard and the path of least resistance is well-worn – change is challenging. Just imagine if you succeed, and your business grows or you get that new job, or you make that move to another state. Success can raise expectations and can alter things our current level of comfort is more than happy with. Overcoming roadblocks takes patience, persistence and a willingness to have new experiences. Remaining committed to moving forward despite setbacks and fears will almost guarantee success in the long run.
Does your office need a business process change?
It’s hard to determine what drives change in business. Regardless of the catalyst, if you’re not responding to the way your customers’, employees’ and peers’ needs are changing, it’s time you do. For example, how do you know if your office technology is performing at its best? Are you getting the most from your software and printers? Gone are the days of simple copiers; today’s printers and multifunction printers work smarter, saving you time and helping improve your office performance.
If it’s productivity that needs a kick in the pants, commit to evaluate your processes and workflows to see if you can implement new ways to maximize time. It may be a matter of automation that can be handled by upgrading your technology. Online tools and apps, cloud-based storage, file-sharing and video chat options also enable you and your team to do more with a relatively low investment.
Discover more small business tips to find about the best ways to work in your office.
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