Did you know that 80% of small businesses end in failure?
Now, in some cases the businesses in that percentage never got off the ground in the first place, but for those that did they found themselves failing in later years because they didn’t know how to adapt and change. The most recent Covid-19 pandemic is a perfect example of this with companies all over the globe needing to make changes to their existing systems and processes in order to continue thriving through a difficult situation.
This adapt or die sentiment can be traced back to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. However, adaptability seems to have become an underrated quality, with protecting what you have being seen more important than making changes.
Don’t get me wrong, change can be a scary thought, especially for a company that you’ve invested years of blood, sweat and tears into. But in order to continue and thrive in an ever changing world, sometimes you have to take that leap into something new or unknown.
When implementing any kind of change, it’s essential to have a plan in place. And knowing that a well laid out plan is the difference between success and failure it can put a lot of pressure on you as a business owner.
So if you’re a small business owner wanting to change things for the better, but don’t know where to start make sure you focus on our four main areas for success.
Create A Plan
Before you write out your plan or make any changes you need to first evaluate how prepared your company is for change. From your team members receptiveness, financial concerns, time restraints and everything else in between. Simply knowing how much time, money and support you have to put forward to these changes can prevent you from draining your resources. And you know what happens when a company runs out of money…
Now at this point whilst you might be tempted to completely change every aspect, it’s important to focus on the areas that need the most changes first. Because regardless of what changes are needed and where, there will always be areas with a higher priority. Doing each area bit by bit will also help you to make these changes more smoothly, effectively and allow you to easily identify the areas of change which have been most successful.
And finally, decide on a deadline and stick to it! We all know how busy our lives can get sometimes and it’s easy to push back those tasks you’re nervous or unsure about. But the longer you leave it, the harder it will become and the less likely it will happen before disaster strikes.
Regardless of how much planning you do, just like within all areas of your business, if you don’t communicate with your staff, your plan won’t work.
You’ll need to communicate with your team leaders often to make sure they have everything they require to get the job done. But don’t forget about the rest of your team. It’s important to have open discussions with everyone, to make sure the whole team understands what needs to be done, they are 100% comfortable and have no concerns with the plan. Afterall your team is one of the most valuable assets within your business and without their commitment and support it could easily break your plan.
Celebrate The Wins
No matter how small it may seem, celebrating all the wins along the way is a great way to boost morale and remove any underlying concerns about the changes being made. You should never be afraid to show your staff your appreciation and letting them know you’ve acknowledged their hard work and help to make things change smoothly and efficiently will not go unnoticed.
Once you’ve implemented the changes within your business, you might think it’s time to sit back and reap the rewards….
WRONG. How many times in life do we make something perfect the first time round?
Now's the time to review and look back on the changes, look at the areas where you’re still seeing issues and look for further ways to improve them. What about any bumps or issues that you encountered on the journey? This would be the perfect time to create a control plan and system to ensure that next time things run even smoother.
Remember... The world we’re in never stands still and never should your business. Adapt, make changes and move forward in a journey of growth and success.