I talk to business owners every day that want to take their businesses to the next level, but are puzzled as to why it’s so hard. They push and work and expand and contract only to find themselves right back where they found themselves last year.
Have you ever had that feeling? – “I’m doing okay, but I can’t seem to grow past a certain plateau.”
Growth is a tricky thing, business growth is a tricky thing, because growth always involves change. And for most, change seems hard.
But, change is the ultimate secret to business growth
Actually change isn’t that hard, but we seem wired to find ways to make it so. Change involves little more than letting go of past assumptions and trying new things, admitting that you don’t have, and don’t need to have, all of the answers, showing yourself and others different ways to approach the same challenges.
Letting go is particularly hard for small business owners, it’s often a bit like sending your child off to school. The unknown is too scary, so you just clutch to what you know and, well, there you have it.
It’s sort of a paradox in business too. To get to some level of growth, you’ve got to be consistent long enough to develop some positive brand awareness, to move past that level, you’ve got to change what got you there.
The first change that may be necessary for growth is to start looking at change as a positive element of your success. Start seeing change as a good thing, start looking for signs of change, practicing change on purpose, looking for change opportunities that roll right up to your feet in the simplest of things. (Change your coffee drink)
You know, however, I’m not simply talking about making change for change sake here, I’m actually talking about looking at change strategically and then implementing it tactically.
So maybe you need a prescription for change. Below I’ve proposed 5 ways you can intentionally get change in your business life and focus on new and empowering growth behaviors.
Get Uncomfortable on Purpose! – Your wealth, your success, will correspond directly with the size of your mindset. Get in front of an audience and speak, write for an industry publication, start blogging, network with prospects, write personal thank you notes. Let someone else be in charge or take the credit for success. You canâ€™t grow unless you are uncomfortable – embrace it!. Write a book. Start a radio show. Create a podcast. You are so much bigger than you are allowing yourself to be. Reach.
Get and Give New Skills – Read everything you put your hands on. (Perhaps starting with Duct Tape Marketing!) Read your direct mail, watch infomercials, read magazines that cover topics seemingly unrelated to your job and â€œthis is a big oneâ€ look for ways to teach others how to grow their businesses. Become known in your industry for some specific expertise and show others how to do it. Teaching something is the fastest way to get better at it yourself.
Get Bigger Ideas – Tear your products and services apart. Look for ways to approach an industry problem like no one else can or will. Your ideas donâ€™t have to really be that big as long as they are world altering. Come up with one idea this year that makes someone say you are nuts – and then go do it.
Get Value – No matter what you offer, it can be better. Heap more and more on your products and services, give stuff that no one expected you to give. Add services over and above what was agreed upon. Force people to talk about how incredible you are.
Get What Youâ€™re Worth – If you do any of the steps above, you will be more able to do this. Raise your prices. Choose to work with fewer clients at much higher rates. Sell based on value, not on time. And, refuse to work with clients that donâ€™t fully appreciate the value you have to offer. You can make more space in your head to serve your clients when you donâ€™t have clients that bring you down.
So, how do you systematically embrace change?