Change is all around us...attitudes, economy, desires, needs, politics, and world security just as starters. Name something, and it has probably undergone some type of change over the past several years or decade.
Businesses Must Change
With changes taking place all the time, businesses must also change or risk losing customers, momentum, and their place in today's competitive market environment. What might have once been a stellar business with superior products or services can easily lose traction if it is not modernizing and listening to customers. Some changes can be easy and quite inexpensive (cosmetic or website changes) while other changes might be more complex and expensive (software updates or new equipment). Perhaps, it is hiring or contracting with skilled individuals who have required expertise in new areas. Obviously, there can be tens or hundreds of potential changes in any one business.
What To Change
The amount of change is dependent on many factors:
• What must be changed for the business to effectively compete in its market (local, national, global)?
• What is the cost of the planned changes?
• What realistically can be changed based on available resources of financial capital and human talent?
• What is the timeline of when changes must be made?
• If multiple locations are involved, what will be changed at each location?
• What is the current and expected future competition and how will the proposed changes impact the competitive environment?
• Are the changes simple or complex to implement?
Back in 1955 when McDonald’s was founded, think how they understood change at that time. Undoubtedly, their entrepreneurial thinking basically revolutionized an industry that has totally changed the global face of that particular industry. Although it has had ups and downs at times, there is no question about its success. McDonald's basic model might be essentially the same as it was when it first got started; however, business ideas are not stagnant. McDonald’s continues to make changes to its menu, pricing, and store appearances. They understand that they must change with the times, modernize operations, and expand offering to customers.
Understand the Customer
Businesses of any size and location must understand how customers change. They must adapt to these changes if they are to remain a viable force in the market. Small, local businesses must adapt to a changing environment and customer demands the same as a global entity must change.
And Your Business?
Is your business operating in yesterday's business climate or keeping current with today's trends and customer demands? What was successful in the past does not necessarily mean success will continue into the future by doing the same things over and over again. Businesses should always be reviewing current operations, products and services, marketing efforts, customer service policies, etc. Everything about a business should be periodically reviewed. Determine what changes can be made that will have the most impact on profit with the least amount of money and effort. Plan for the future by making plans today!