If you have been in business for at least a few years, you have more than likely undergone some changes to adapt your business structure to the most current systems, and technologies. In order to gain a competitive edge and for your business to continue to succeed, adapting is necessary. Growth and adaption encompasses not just your business, the data, and the structure but also your personal growth. You, as a business owner must be willing, and even passionate about embracing change, as well as hungry for growth.
Working on yourself, and learning to change your own habits to better conduct your business and professional decisions is a huge step in advancing your business as a whole. This education, as well as trial and error, and experience, are crucial factors in growing your knowledge as an entrepreneur. Knowledge is success, and understanding mistakes is a huge part of making changes in the future that will positively impact your business. With increased knowledge comes the need for increased changes.
Here are some key areas of adaption to consider:
Knowledge: When you first began your business, chances are you did things that looking back on now would probably make you cringe, but at the time it felt like the best decision, right? This is a prime example of growth in knowledge that has forced you to make changes. Learning about your industry, as well as marketing and what works best in your local market is the reason for these changes. You are adapting, and because you have accepted making these changes, you are heading towards success. Ken and Ryan learned early on the importance of marketing and the importance of revising their practices when needed, “In the beginning we were addicted to the Yellow Pages,” said Ryan, “each time a new issue came out we were getting bigger ads. At this time the Yellow Pages were gold, and it was insane how much business came from those ads. Later on, when the Yellow Pages began to die out, we saw this long before our competition did. We were savvy enough to be able to monitor these results and head in the digital direction. We were the first gutter company to completely remove ourselves from the Yellow Pages.”
Finances: “I always felt there was a need for marketing, and I always believed that you needed to spend money to make money,” said Ken. As your business grows, so does your revenue, but with that, the costs involved to run and promote your business. Being willing to spend money on advertising, hiring, and equipment/technology to help your business run smoother can be the difference between growth and plateauing.
Technology/Marketing & Branding: Technology and marketing are arguably the most important areas of change to adapt to in order to see success. Creating a consistent brand image is so important, and this often takes a few phases as well as time and patience to undergo multiple changes along the way, before you are satisfied with the result. “I am not sure I always understood what Marketing was. It really hit me when we went through our name change and we saw the confusion that came from that. This made me realize the importance of having a consistent and professional brand and image,” said Ken. Technology is ALWAYS changing, and if you too are not willing to adapt and change with it, and incorporate the latest technology, your practices may become obsolete. Similar to the knowledge section, the understanding of this change can help you rise above the rest, as stated earlier in the Yellow Pages example Ryan gave. At this time Ryan was lucky enough to have a background in graphic and digital design allowing him the capability to be one of the earlier businesses to grow their digital presence and create a web page.
Client satisfaction: No business is perfect, and no business receives a perfect score from clients all the time, but we learned early on that taking client critiques to heart was largely important to the growth of our business and reputation. One of the most important developments made to our business was creating a contact center to answer all calls and handle all scheduling franchise wide. This creation stemmed from direct feedback from clients. One of the biggest issues clients had with “typical contractors” was their lack of ability to answer calls and conduct scheduling. Also important to note, is just as your business qualifications and systems change, so do your clients’ needs. As your clients’s needs change, your solutions will need to adapt.
Looking back on the early days of your business, you may realize that you have made a number of changes, and because of that you have remained relevant in the market and have grown. You may also realize that you could have embraced adaption further, which might have positively impacted your business. If you are just starting out as an entrepreneur it is important to remember that being open to adapting to change can help keep you relevant and contribute to advancing your success.