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Change is constant. So embrace it, or get left behind.

· growth,small business,entrepreneur,experience,management

By Heidi Wilcox

Change is a big part of being successful. Most organizations today are in a constant state of flux as they respond to the fast-moving business world and technological advancement. This means that workplace processes, systems, and strategies must continuously change and evolve for an organization to remain competitive.

But, if you don’t learn to embrace change and if you don’t move forward, you will be left behind. Whether it’s changing the focus of your business, learning a new technology or replacing a prized employee, you need to know how to deal with change in order to be successful.

Most of us have an area in our day to day business that needs a boost. For example, a new sales process or marketing initiative, or even something as simple as social media posts.

 

Yet sometimes we need someone or something NEW to make that happen. However, when we look at the areas that need change, many people hesitate because it interferes with their routine and exposes them to the unfamiliar.

If you know that you need to change in one area of your business, but you do not execute on it, you are essentially choosing to fail in that area. It is far better to try something until you find what works vs. sticking with something that is not working.

Below are a few steps for choosing something new:

  1. Do your research.
    You are not the first to deal with this issue. Do your research and see how others in your situation or industry dealt with the change. Small business owners are particularly awesome at telling their stories and helping others in a similar position. If you find a company that had success, reach out to them and ask their advice or guidance.
     
  2. Define your goals.
    It might seem obvious, but many organizations skip this important step. You need to clearly define the change and ensure that it will carry your business in the right direction strategically, financially, and ethically. This step can also assist you to determine the value of the change, which will quantify the effort and inputs you should invest.
     
  3. Have a plan.
    Before rolling out the new idea make sure you have a plan. Who on your team needs to be in the loop, who needs to execute what, what communications need to be in place. Encourage input about the proposed changes, including how managers feel it will impact their specific departments. Make adjustments to the plan based on manager and executive input.
     
  4. Go all in.
    In most cases, if you try to change halfway it will be worse than not changing at all. Your staff will lose faith and be less receptive to change in the future. Once you make the decision to implement the change, be ready to show confidence in the change and do it whole-heartedly. Once the message is out, it’s important that your people know they will be taught the skills and knowledge required to operate efficiently as the change is rolled out. 
     
  5. Measure your progress.
    Throughout the process, make sure you have a system in place to measure the impact of the new idea. You need to evaluate your plans and goals to determine its effectiveness and document any lessons learned.
     

So be BOLD this week and take a chance. Mix it up and have fun freeing yourself from failure.

Heidi Wilcox is a Director of Market Development for Excelerate America, the ultimate one-stop shop for entrepreneurs. She'd love to hear about how you've embraced change for the better. Just shoot her an email at heidi.wilcox@excelerateamerica.com.

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