The Importance of Change for Every Business
If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. While that principle might apply in some areas of life, it doesn’t belong in business. Whether you work for a budding startup or you’re taking on the challenges of management at an established firm, you recognize that the drive to become better is the force behind success. Sometimes, realizing your business’s potential requires significant changes. Why is change so important? What if a change doesn’t work out for the best?
Image via Flickr by CannedTuna
Whenever you make the switch to a new technology, there is some warmup time. You have to learn to navigate the ins and outs of a new system, and sometimes it can take months before you master the nuances.
However, keeping up with the latest tech can benefit you by:
- Cutting costs. VoIP is an example of an inexpensive technology that is constantly becoming more viable for businesses.
- Simplifying process. You can put the time you save toward innovating for your business.
- Improving security. Always stay on the lookout for computer programs and other gadgets that will keep your data safe from prying eyes.
Your Business’s Structure
Every business has its own unique management structure, and oftentimes this structure settles into a comfortable routine. However, it may become clear that some positions simply are not necessary, or perhaps you need to add some team members to take care of necessary tasks.
Changes in a business’s structure can scare employees. Indeed, you may have to let a few people go. This poses a significant challenge, and you aren’t insensitive to your team members’ feelings, but remember that your ultimate goal is to run a successful business. You don’t want to lug any dead weight around.
Sometimes, saving money is the primary reason for changes. Such changes might be as simple as finding new suppliers or as big as eliminating a few of your locations. Before you commit to anything, crunch the numbers. It is impossible to predict exact outcomes, but you want a ballpark idea of what you can expect.
When Change Hurts
In late 2011, JC Penney hired Ron Johnson as the new CEO. Johnson had experienced success when he worked for Apple, but his time at JC Penney was nothing short of disastrous. He changed the pricing structure of the company so the prices were roughly equivalent to the company’s former sale prices. He took away the gimmicks and promotions that defined the retailer.
Consumers hated it, even though they weren’t paying more for products. JC Penney went back to its former CEO.
The lesson? If you don’t pay attention to what consumers in your market want, you’ll suffer. Sometimes this requires significant changes, but sometimes it means you can’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board.
Embracing the Inevitability of Change
Change is a constant, and true business leaders recognize that. Sometimes the changes take you forward or backward, and in other cases the changes are merely horizontal. Accept the inevitability of change, and strap yourself in for an exciting ride.