Businesses are like sharks: They have to keep moving or they will die. Sorry to have to deliver this bad news, but each day your business is becoming obsolete. Your competitors aren’t sitting idle letting you encroach on their market share. Customers are demanding new and more innovative products and services. And if your business concept is both popular and unique, a bunch of copycats will ride on your coattails. If you just sit back and rest on your existing business model merits, be prepared to face lost market share, shrinking profit margins and the possibility of a total lose.
The rule is simple: Businesses must progress, and progress requires change. Change is an essential risk all business leaders must embrace to survive. The prospect of change is frightening. It is a difficult concept for most people to accept. In the business world, fear of change probably is the single, biggest obstacle companies need to overcome to meet the evolving marketplace challenges. What makes embracing change even more difficult is that a business must be willing to simultaneously change internally and externally, to keep progressing and remain competitive. How a business deals with change is reflective of organizational leadership and its ability to minimize the level of fear.
Internal change happens within the business walls, and it is not necessarily customer facing. Internal change can be organizational; there are changes in personnel, management, department, and staff reorganizations. It also refers to processes or systems, changes in attitude, and the business personality. While these three aspects can and do change independently, they also can be linked, thus resulting in dramatic transformation.
External change is always customer facing; it’s most noticeable to your customers and competition. Innovation, an external change, brings a new competitive edge to your business by introducing products or services that increase the value of a customer’s experience with your organization.
When an entire organization embraces the risk of change, a dynamic transformation occurs: There is a continuous culture of improvement both internally and externally, and the business dynamically evolves to meet competitive challenges. As internal processes are enhanced, the change will ultimately affect the customer-facing components thus improving the customer experience. And with the proper feedback, this in turn helps to further improve the internal process. Embracing the risk of change creates an environment of perpetual motion FORWARD!
About the Author:
Tom has enjoyed a 30-year entrepreneurial career as cofounder of two successful direct marketing companies. As a result, he can give a true perspective on starting and running a small business. His practical approach to business concepts and leadership is grounded in the belief that success is the result of a commitment to embracing risk as a way to ensure opportunity.
In 1983 he co-founded Direct Mail Express (DME) in Daytona Beach, Florida, with his siblings Mike and Kathy. DME has always been on the leading edge of marketing technology and is still recognized as an industry leader in personalized digital marketing.
As CEO of spin-off RME in Tampa, Florida, Tom headed a company that created the most effective lead-generation program in the financial services industry. RME revolutionized financial services marketing with its Seminar Success program, a marketing system that has created billions in sales for their clients.