In my last article we looked at the 8 Signs Your Company Can’t Change Direction. Now that you know what they are, let’s look at the opposite view on how to change direction.
Changes of business direction can happen as a reaction to economic conditions or a decision to change your business goals. Change is difficult and we all react to change with varying degrees of resistance. So, if change is something you want to do, or have to do, here’s how you can make the process easier.
- Stop selling products and services. That’s what most of your competitors are doing. Start selling desired results or solutions to problems. No one pays a fee to a copy writer to write copy–they pay a fee for the results of the copy he/she writes.
- Stop thinking your customers, clients or patients are different. Dan Kennedy says, “there are no Yogi’s in the forest. There’s no such thing as being smarter than the average bear.” Unless you sell to aliens or different life forms, you sell to people.
- Listen to your clients, customers and patients. If you don’t have the time, survey the top 30 to 35% of your customers. Find out what they think and why they do business with you. You might end up being very surprised.
- Get out more. As a minimum join your local association and one group of multiple business owners. Maybe it’s the local Chamber or Service Club, a venture forum or some networking group.
- Start an idea and swipe file. Great ideas are all around us. The best ones are impossible to hide and someone else as already paid to test they work! Great marketing arrives in you mailbox and in the publications you read every day. Start becoming a collector of the ideas and ads. Write them down but don’t file them away-start using those ideas.
- Fire up Google. Find other great companies in your field outside of your market and see what they’re doing. Pick up the phone call the owner, introduce yourself and start a dialog. Try it with a non-competing company in your own town!
- Read. Read the trades in your own field or industry, read the trades in any target market and read to expand your overall knowledge. Hint–throw a novel of two into the mix, there are ideas in them too. Caution–don’t start reading all day and think you’re getting something done. Just one hour a day. One dose, 2 thirty min. sessions, or 3 twenty min. sessions. It goes directly to investing in yourself.
- Get Accountability. Family, friends and associates are not good advisers. They have their own agendas and opinions on what’s right for you–and how what you do may affect them. Get a business coach, not to advise but to hold you accountable to your plans to do things differently and set new goals.
- Keep–or get–the habit of taking action. Without action, deliberate action, nothing happens. Of course you know this so keep up the good work.
The ability to change directions comes directly from your determination to remain flexible. When something’s not working you have to make changes to get the results you want. When you find yourself resisting change remember: