Embrace Change, Embrace Success

Change can make you feel vulnerable and uncertain of your future, but it is an unavoidable part of life. In business, you never know when a competitor is going to spin in a new direction and create a product that steals a customer or two. You never know when the economy is going to affect your bottom line or when an employee you trust is going to quit without notice. The only way to combat the stress that comes with this type of forced change is to remain as fluid as possible at all times. Do not allow yourself to sink into the comfort of routine and blind yourself to what is happening around you. You must always be alert. You must always analyze your business for inefficiencies and opportunities to make changes. Rather than falling victim to change, you must learn to use change to your advantage.

Champion Small Wins

When you are faced with a big change, think small. Rather than stressing out over a complete overhaul for the entire company, focus on one department or one team. Your stress level will be more manageable, and you will be more productive over the long haul.

Continuous Improvement Log

Display your continual improvement log with pride. Hang it somewhere public, where even your customers can see. If someone else contributed to the ideas on the log, make sure they are given credit on the log.

Utilize the Suggestion Box

Put out a suggestion box and actively implement as many customer and employee suggestions as possible. Your competitors may not be doing this, but that is even more reason to do it in your business. Your customers will feel they are a part of the business, and your employees will feel respected and appreciated.  Also, customers will see how delivering customer value is a priority of everyone on your staff.

Stay Positive

It is your job to remain positive, no matter what change brings your way. Your team may have their doubts and their spirits may be dampened when a new plan doesn’t go off as expected. It is your job to nurture positive thinking, pick their chins up, pat them on the back, and tell them it is okay, you are going to try again or try something new. If you are positive and show confidence in their ability to succeed, they will feel more positive and confident in themselves. You may have your own doubts and may spend your own time worrying, but your team must never see that side of you. Acceptance of change must be a core value for everyone on your team. Let new employees know right from day one that your business makes proactive change and is always on the lookout for ways to improve. If you have problems with someone resisting necessary change in the future, you can discuss that problem with them knowing they understand the core value of your business.

About Janet Johnson

© Quail Run Ventures, LLC | FocusedBusinessPlan.com – All Rights Reserved. FocusedBusinessPlan.com is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, BNI, and Better Business Bureau (BBB).

This article is written by Janet Johnson, MBA. Want to use this article for your website, blog or newsletter? No problem. Here’s what you must include: Janet Johnson, MBA, Focused Business Plan Mentor, is the creator of the Focused Business Plan System, a 7-step process that helps small business owners and new entrepreneurs improve time management in their business. Janet's private clients learn how to redesign their business to focus on delivering customer value while increasing revenue and growing their business. To learn more about Janet’s Focused Business Plan System and to download her free ebook, "Seize Control Now: 7 Steps to Reinvent Your Business," visit www.focusedbusinessplan.com.

Comments

  1. Change comes no matter what, but it feels better when you prepare yourself for it. I agree with you that you have to celebrate the wins!

  2. Nicole Cavanaugh says:

    Janet, I love these ideas, particularly the Improvement Log and Championing Small Wins. It’s so important for us to acknowledge our accomplishments and ourselves and you’ve outlined that beautifully here! As well, you are 110% correct when you say it’s our job to remain positive. The company is only as good as the leader!

    • Thanks Nicole! I find that visitors (vendors/prospects/customers) especially LOVE the improvement log. They enjoy you so they get excited over your accomplishments too. It’s a nice way to show pride in your work :-) Janet

  3. It is such a nice way to take off the stress by taking these small, practical, very clear and very future oriented steps, and with positivity in mind…. very nice….

  4. Thank you for this article. Great reminder for ourselves as to what we need to do to remain focused on what is important to achieve success.

  5. Janet! I haven’t used my suggestion box in my other business for awhile ~ can’t remember why I got away from it but will be putting it back out there now! Do you have any thoughts for a ‘virtual’ suggestion box??!! hmmmmm you’ve got me thinking!! Luv it!

    • Ooh, virtual suggestion box :-) Right now I’m just grappling at ideas but here are just a few:
      1) Designate a space on your website for suggestions.
      2) Be sure to mention this suggestion box on your blog, website, weekly ezine, etc. at least 1x per month.
      3) Make sure to reward people for contributing. They don’t necessarily need to have the *best* idea because just the fact that they’re contributing is awesome enough.
      4) Track your metrics. Meaning, track how many suggestions you collect per month and how many you implement per month. Then, report this figure to your list. This shows them that you care and that their ideas are absolutely valued and honored.
      Thanks for your question Laura!
      Janet

  6. Celebrating small wins and the continuous improvement log – genius ways to create a culture of striving! Both help you to recognize and be motivated by how much progress your business has made, rather than focusing on the gap between your current stats and your goals.

    • Thanks Lori! There’s always going to be a gap :-) As long as we’re working toward closing that gap, then we’re doing exactly what we’re supposed to be doing. Always love celebrating! Even if small wins are worth making a big deal over. Janet

  7. Great ideas Janet. We would utilize a board in the hallway of the unit I worked on… It gave everyone an idea of what we striving for as a unit… Including the pts and families!

  8. Embracing change is hard for many of us. You really have to dig deep and be willing to put yourself out there and face your fears! As Fabienne says, if it doesn’t scare the pants off of you, it is not big enough. thank you so much for your post.

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