Crunch time: how small firms manage big change
The most exciting and scary thing to deal with when running a small business is handling unexpected change beyond our control.
Change means opportunity but it can also mean danger. How do you keep your head about you, as Rudyard Kipling might have said, when all about you is change?
Small firms at the coalface
As small business owners, we may be more vulnerable to the twists and turns of fate than big firms, but we are closer to the action. That means that we have the advantage - we can stay really close to our customers, understand what is going on for them and what they might want. We can ask them for their feedback and respond straight away. We can see what they buy and what they don't, what works and what needs work.
Play and experiment
When big businesses want to make big changes, it can be hugely expensive and risky for them. Small businesses can be much more fleet of foot, we can try things out without making huge commitments and see the results quickly. If, for example, you are seeing customers cutting back on expenditure, you can experiment with new markets using inexpensive tools like social media or going along to trade fairs and events to see how prospects respond to your offer.
Take care of our people
If you are running a huge business, it doesn't matter too much if there are a few low-performing disaffected people. But each individual involved in a small business can have a huge impact on the resilience of that enterprise. A highly motivated team can cope with twenty times more pressure than a miserable group can handle.
That means we need to be really careful about who we hire and who we involve in our businesses. Let's make sure they have necessary energy, ability and loyalty. Then we need to treat them like gold when we do bring them in, make sure they understand the change and listen to them. If we attend to that, we will get their support all the way.
Small business, big changes
Keeping our heads when faced with change is vital - when we face up to what is happening, experiment to get results and bring our people with us, success will be ours.
Source: Start Up Donut