Questions that can Drive Change: What Every Small Business Should Consider
November 28, 2017
By: Cathie Ericson
Today’s business buzzwords focus almost exclusively on one overarching business need: Drive change to stay in the game.
If you haven’t done a recent deep dive into your business, consider doing it now. The business world changes fast so you have to, too. But the majority of what should drive your change has to be based on thinking, not just doing.
Here are three questions every small business should consider when checking their progress on the road to success in today’s business environment.
1. Where are we today and where do we need to go?
A good way to calibrate your business is to do a SWOT analysis; that is, determining your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Once you have identified and prioritized each of these areas, you’ll have a wealth of information from which to create a blueprint for moving forward.
2. What’s working, and what should be improved?
While your SWOT analysis may have turned up some of this information, resist the urge to consider this question in the vacuum of your own observations. Instead, turn to the two audiences that can best help you identify what changes you should make: your employees and your customers. The truth is that these two factions that will make or break your success going forward.
Who knows better than your users about how well your product or service performs? Asking for regular customer feedback, whether through surveys or conversations, can help illuminate places where you could make small tweaks for better outcomes.
3. Who is part of the team moving forward, and who has stopped growing and cannot keep up?
In most small businesses, many of your employees may have been with you from the start. They might be loyal; they might be comfortable; but are they still the right fit for your current needs? Sometimes it can take a tough, but honest assessment to figure out who belongs on your team going forward.
And, as you implement change, consider identifying some “change champions” at multiple levels of your organization. Yes, you’re driving the change, but having a cadre of employees who are equally invested in the ideas can help the necessary actions and attitudes permeate the organization so that everyone is on board.
Part of your role as a leader is to clearly communicate the benefits of any change, says human resources expert Susan Heathfield. “A good portion of the normal resistance to change disappears when employees are clear about the benefits the change brings to them as individuals,” she says.
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer covering business and consumer topics. She creates branded content for Fortune 500 companies, and her work has appeared in LearnVest, Costco Magazine, Forbes, TheGlassHammer.com and IDEA Fitness. Follow her @cathieericson.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
/account/v2/editBillingDisplay,/orderhistory/subsManager,/orderhistory/submitReturn,/account/accountSummaryDisplay,/account/loginAccountDisplay,/account/myfiles,/csl/listAllhttps://request.eprotect.vantivcnp.com/eProtect/js/payframe-client3.min.js?d=20200812 Join Now