The thing about owning a small business is that you get to choose: 1.) how it functions 2.) how it runs 3.) what it looks like and feels like and 4.) who it serves.
The choice is yours.
Of course, the details of your business could be so overwhelming that you forget that you actually did have a choice in the beginning because you’re so busy doing. You forgot that in the beginning, you decided how to market (or not market) your business, how to train your team, the way to manage and track your money. You chose, right down to choosing not to choose.
I’ve done that before and ended up with some kind of make-shift, knee-jerk version of a system. It’s the kind of situation that can overwhelm you and drown your team.
Sometimes, it’s scary to change, to innovate the way you do things. Because we tend to cling to the familiar, even when it’s not all that comfortable. It’s like doing your company finances on a yellow note pad, because it’s familiar. When your 10 year old business would be better served by a simple accounting database. But that means you, and your team has to learn something new — and that takes effort.
If you’re willing to dive in, then innovation can show up in the simplest changes — they just have to be consistent and relevant.
Here’s my question: When does it cost you too much to stay the same?
- When the way you consistently do things doesn’t improve your bottom line or build you a better team, then it’s time for a change — or at least an evaluation.
- When your competition can do what you do in half the time, then you need to innovate.
- When there’s no room for down time — no vacations — not even a good lunch, then it’s time for a change.
For a business to be successful for the long term, it has to be sustainable. And to build something sustainable takes effort. You have to dig up the soil and develop the strategy to support the change. You have to build, and then support the team that will help you make that change.
Change  Photo via Shutterstock