A New Perspective on Change

Todd Washburn |

The hardest things are often the most rewarding: a new perspective on change.

Some of us are better at change than others. Human nature seems to nudge us towards predictability. We find comfort in routine and the feeling of control it provides.

For a business owner, routine can be a double-edged sword. It can be very good, or very harmful. It depends on whether the routine, habit or process is the most appropriate for the situation or not.  That can change over time and as the business changes. A process that worked well for 25 customers or clients might not work as well with 50, 100 or 150 customers. Early in a business, the owner often has more time than money. As a result, processes are geared towards using time rather than money. But growth can change that dynamic. Time becomes more precious and valuable. But does the owner recognize and adapt to that?

Some do, but I fear many don’t. Change can mean giving up some control or having to learn new skills or technologies.  It can mean having to take a look back at prior decisions and admitting they weren’t the best or that that decision is now outdated.  To initiate change in business may mean the owner needs to take on a different role, perhaps one she isn’t comfortable with. In The Emyth Revisited  they say there are three roles in most businesses: technician (likes to do the work), manager (oversees the day-to-day work), and entrepreneur (provides the vision).  Many people who start businesses go into it as technicians. They’ve basically created a job for themselves.  Perhaps that’s because they don’t want to work for someone else or no one else wants them to work for them.  Either way, the business owner is focused on providing the product. Having to confront the need for change in the business may mean having to take a managerial, or,  more likely an entrepreneurial perspective. That can be hard and uncomfortable, but ultimately necessary for growth and perhaps survival of the business.

How can you initiate changes in your business?  First, ask yourself: what is the product or experience you ultimately want to deliver to your customer/client/patient? Are you doing that, or do you come up short? What’s your competition offering? If you find you aren’t measuring up, either to your standards or to market expectations, you are a candidate for change. One of the hardest things—at least in my experience—is trying to figure out what the options are for change. Are there technology solutions out there that can help? Are there service solutions (i.e. virtual assistants) who can bring needed skills? Are you getting all the benefit you can from the tools and technologies you already own? This can take time, effort and, quite possibly, a misstep or two. But ultimately, raising the bar for your product or service while saving you time and money is bound to lead to a more successful, profitable and desirable  business.

As with many things in business, you don’t have to go it alone. Help is out there: sometimes from those you already work with and other times from people who work with and assist others like you.  So embrace change. Look for change. And see it for what it is: a chance to do things better and ultimately improve your life.Need help identifying the right time to change and evaluating your options? Give me a call and set up a consultation today.