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How your Small Business can quickly respond to change

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

The past 3 months of pandemic have imposed pressure to adapt to change on Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses. Adapting to change is the ability to react quickly to a change which can come from an external event such as the environment or technology. The pandemic has pushed businesses to work remotely and to use new channels to provide their products and services. Some passed the test and were able to adapt quickly while others weren't agile.

In this post, I will give you some tips on how you can become agile and responsive to change. First, I would like test your ability to react to change. Please answer the following questions:

a- Are you open to new ideas and innovations?

b- Are you passionate about learning?

c- Do you invest in your people (in their development)?

d- Are you able to define and communicate your vision?

How to adapt quickly to change?
How to adapt quickly to change?

If you have negatively answered the above questions, please use the tips below:

1- Be open to innovation

Brainstorming sessions are excellent for innovative ideas

Employee's suggestions or brainstorming sessions are crucial to develop new ideas and innovations. But if you are not open to listen and accept new ideas coming from others, you will not be able to adapt to change. It is crucial to be open minded and explore new ways of doing things. This can be done by conducting a SWOT analysis, it will also prepare you to plan for new opportunities and to mitigate risks.

2- Involve your employees

Your employees are in direct contact with your customers, your vendors, your suppliers and they know the internal issues to be fixed. Instead of brainstorming alone, you should involve your people, and encourage them to share their ideas. Don't forget to also invest in their development, you will be rewarded.

3- Watch your competitors

Competitive Analysis is a powerful tool for competitive advantage

To stay ahead, you have to watch your competitors. Competitive analysis is a powerful tool that you can use to evaluate their strategies, industry news can also give you an idea of the trends, or a new merger. You have to watch the release of new products, new services or new technologies used by your competitors. This will allow you stay on top of your game.

4- Listen to your customers

Your customer feedback and complaints are a golden mine, you should exploit it! Collect all the information and analyze them to see a trend, a new behavior, or to develop a new product /service. Your clients are using your product and your channels, they have a lot to say that can be useful to trigger change in the right direction.

5- Streamline & Improve your processes

Business Process Mapping

Collecting information about your external and internal environment is essential for your survival in times of change. But you also need to improve your business in order to adapt quickly to change and to prosper. Streamlining and improving your processes is one way to achieve that. When you start documenting, analyzing, streamlining and improving your processes, you should keep your objective in mind.

6- Stay updated

Learning, acquiring new information should be your daily activity. You should research and analyse, and collect data to get new insights in order to take new decisions, to be prepared for change...

7- Experiment

Searching for new ways of doing business that help you respond quickly to the changes, or developing a new product that will respond to a new customer behavior, will force you to conduct tests and assess the results. You will be able to bring adjustments and then experiment again until you are satisfied with the results.

8- Communicate

Communication is very important to create a culture of innovation, to collect feedback and to inform about changes. There should be a clear internal communication strategy to encourage new ideas and to improve the flow of information. When employees are armed with the right information, it will be easier to remain agile and innovative, and it will improve the interactions with your customers and your suppliers.

9- Work with an expert

Hiring an external business process improvement consultant can allow to focus on important tasks.

With so many fronts to manage, many small businesses prefer to get the help of experts to introduce changes in their businesses. Usually it takes time and efforts as it affects processes and people.

We, as human beings, are reluctant to change. For us, we found that the best way to introduce changes in our clients' business, is to start introducing small changes. Because we understand that change means the unknown and that can be scary.

If you require further clarification or if you have questions please don't hesitate to contact us.

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