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Changing the way your business is going in a big way can be risky and stressful for you and your staff. But it can also make your company more profitable or even save it if things aren’t going well. Here are some things you should do before making a change to your business to make sure that it will help it do better and to make the change an easier one when it comes. 

Evaluate The Business (And Yourself)

Before making a big change in your business, you should take stock of what’s going on in your life and in your business. If you’re not happy with your business or you’re no longer interested in it, your customers and employees won’t be either. This is obviously the kind of thing that hurts your business.

If you want to change your business because your personal life in the business isn’t healthy, you might be better off changing yourself instead, or it might be time to let someone else run the business so you can concentrate on more fulfilling things.

If you’re doing well but your business isn’t, it’s time to talk about changing some or maybe a lot of things about your business. In the end, this activity is meant to help you figure out why you need to make a change. Once you know why a change is needed, it will be easier to determine what has to be changed. 

Separate The Good From The Bad 

Even if your business is having a hard time, there are probably still some things that are going well. If you don’t want to start over from the beginning, it’s important to figure out what needs to stay the same.

Most of this process will be about collecting data, analyzing how customers act, and keeping the books. If you don’t try to figure out exactly where the leaks are, you may end up going too far back when you try to fix your business.

Putting time into this process may also show you that you don’t need to do as much to make things better. When you do your business makeover, make sure you don’t miss any chances to do more with less.

Make A Plan

You’ve decided that you need to change something about your business. What do you do now? Make a good plan, just like you did when you started the business. The good news is that you now know a lot more than when you first started out.

Use the information you’ve gathered and the things you’ve learned over time to keep from falling into the same traps again and again. Use your data to figure out if each stage of your plan is possible.

As an entrepreneur with more experience, trust your gut when figuring out how hard or risky the things you need to do to make your pivot are. Then, make a plan to lessen those risks. This could mean utilizing a digital twin plant simulation to show how small changes could affect your manufacturing process, for example, or having a contingency plan – or budget – in place in case something goes wrong. 

Photo by Alexas Fotos

Keep Your Employees Updated

You hired smart people because you knew they would do a good job. Don’t think that you can fool them if you keep something from them. Transparency is important for any business, but it’s even more important when you’re trying to turn the business around.

Your team will be the most important part of making your business change, so tell them everything. Whether you tell them or not, your employees will know something is up. They are much more likely to leave if they aren’t getting any information from you and they feel uncomfortable.

It costs more to hire new team members than to keep the ones you already have, so it’s important to take steps to stop a mass exodus. Often, all it takes is being honest. If they know what’s going on, they might be concerned, but at least they’ll know that you have a plan to keep the business growing and moving forward and that they can help you carry out that plan. 

It can also be a good idea not just to tell people what’s happening but to get their opinions and ideas too. Not only will this give you some insight into the business that you might not have had before, but it will also ensure that your team feels heard and appreciated. You don’t have to take every idea on board, of course, but listening is crucial. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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