There's No Omelette without Breaking Some Eggs; There's No Business Growth without Change!
Business Growth = Change. If you want your small business to grow, you have to change continually.
Sometimes it's pricing. Sometimes it's packaging. Sometimes it's process...or delivery. Sometimes it's staffing. Or, at times, it's just customers' minds! But little or no growth will happen without some level of change.
"And if you're in the technology business, that change may have to happen on a monthly, or even weekly basis."What you did yesterday may not work today. Or tomorrow. How you viewed the market...or how it viewed you may not be the same as it was when you started. If you're not moving forward, you're moving backward. "If ain't broke, don't fix it," is an old and tired axiom. Status quo is the enemy of all business growth. You have to be always questioning, moving, changing to grow.
But business growth can be painful. Think back to the "growing pains" of your teen or college years. Slowly, you grew up (well, most of you). And if you think further, you'll understand at the foundation of that growth was change.
You changed. Surely, in many ways...some good, some not so. But that's the story of growth. You have to break some eggs to make an omelette.
But, at the end of the day, because it's usually painful, nobody likes change!
So, here you are, having to cause a change to produce business growth. What do you do?
CREATE AN ATTITUDE OF "HOW CAN WE DO THIS BETTER?"Make this a mantra up and down the company. Everybody asks that question about the business or their job.
"Make it a point to fight "that's the way we've always done this" attitude."And celebrate change, especially when it's employee-driven, an idea from one of the teams that improve a process, or one that helps make a product better. Celebrate the egg-breaking!
DON'T BE AFRAID TO PERIODICALLY "RE-INVENT YOURSELF"Take the "how can we do this better" attitude to a deeper level. More than re-organizing the desks or a fresh coat of paint, this means re-thinking the essence of your business, especially, when growth has stalled.
Maybe it means a new way of pricing (a subscription model vs. a one-time fee) or packaging (putting multiple services or products into a single offering, not offering them a la carte, any longer), or selling (moving from a distribution-agent model to a direct sales one).
Or, maybe it means a total re-organization and re-focus of direction (which could mean re-assigning people - a significant change, major egg breaking, big omelette).
Whatever you do, get multiple inputs from customers, suppliers and employees, before you implement.
ANTICIPATE THE MARKET, DON'T JUST REACTListen to what your industry experts say about where market trends are heading, not where they are. Be attentive to what competitors are doing. Are there any "new arrivals" out there in your space that are making big noises? Watch and listen and never stop picking up new ways to do old things. And never stop learning about how you can get an edge.
"STAY HUNGRY, STAY FOOLISH"The above is a quote, made famous by Steve Jobs at a Stanford University graduation ceremony, but it originated from a fellow named Stewart Brand, author of "The Whole Earth Catalog, " who used this phrase on their last issue.
It says so much about growth, both personal and corporate. You can never take growth or success for granted, you have to keep changing, keep working at it. That's the "stay hungry" part.
At the same time, you can't ever take it so seriously that you forget to have fun. That's the "stay foolish" part of it. Always be able to laugh at yourself.
Some of the greats that I've quoted were the ones who knew how to do that, while they were changing and growing, and are my heroes - folks like Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines; Tony Hsieh of Zappo's and Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin Group.
There is no growth without change. You can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs. Go, break some eggs!
"The Entrepreneur's Yoda" knows these things. He's been there. May success be with you!
How have you changed to grow? Give us an example in your comments. It will help other entrepreneurs!
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