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Monthly Business e-Tips Vol 7
Issue 3

Change: Risk or Opportunity?

"There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction." John F. Kennedy

Recently, I have had the privilege of working with several businesses using the Rock Solid Assessment, mentioned in previous newsletters. While all of these business owners have enjoyed the process and learned what actions are needed to grow their businesses, I am finding there is resistance in moving forward.

When wondering why, I realized the answer had to be - fear of change. It is always easier to execute things in a familiar fashion rather than trying something new, even if the existing process isn't working. If you, the boss, are hesitant to do things differently, how can you motivate and expect others to try other options?

There are two common problems for business owners I observe repeatedly:

  1. Hiring the wrong sales people. Owners haven't figured out what they need to do differently to attract a better quality employee.
  2. Key staff and owners spend their days putting out fires rather than devising effective systems to reduce daily crisis. As difficult as it is dealing with these issues, it is easier to let it be.
How can you resolve these issues?

Take action!

Change is hard. It takes you out of your comfort zone and into the unknown, even when you talk about something relatively small, such as hiring a sales representative. There is also risk. What if I pay a higher salary and get the same results? If I use a recruiter, costs increase. If they do not perform, I will be more frustrated and further behind in revenue goals. Risks from change increase in your mind while thoughts of opportunity diminish.

What if we reverse our mindset? Yes, there is always some risk, but the opportunity is enormous! If I hire a great sales person, it would reduce pressure on me and allow me to focus on more pressing issues. We could extend our reach and growth potential with a talented sales person. Revenues would increase and lessen financial pressures. We could then work on developing new services. Opportunities far out weigh the risk.

If you are resisting change, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I need to let go? Sometimes, what holds us back is the threat of not managing every aspect of our business. Explore to see how you may be stopping progress out of a need to control.
  • Am I open to new ideas? No one person has all the answers. Get input from others. Listen and evaluate suggestions from employees and advisors.
  • Do I blame everything and everyone else? Take responsibility. You can make your business great if you don't pass the buck. Be proactive instead of reactive and take action.
  • Have I been honest? In dealing with difficult issues, honesty is always the best policy. We live in a "cover up" culture. Honesty is refreshing and will likely increase the chance of retaining customers and getting employees back on track after a serious problem.
  • Does fear rule my actions? Fear is a very strong emotion. We use it to protect ourselves from threatening situations. Measure fear against opportunity and use your best judgment as you move forward.

Change can be exciting! Successful businesses cannot survive without it. If you are hesitant to change, recognize your resistance and work on adjusting your mindset. Opportunity is knocking – now open the door!

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