Given the subject line, perhaps this post should have been saved for the month of October which will soon be upon us. Or I could just say that I am working ahead of schedule. Yes, how about I go with that!
As a small business owner, much of the change that we face can be scary, especially in a time where technology advancements and new opportunities are all around us. I wanted to briefly share our personal journey of change which at times was scary and even frightful. There is a reason I want to share this story. It is for all the business owners out there in various industries that are hearing and seeing signs of change and they just don’t know for sure if they can or want to embrace it. Whatever you do, at the very least see the change coming and have a discussion about it. Don’t look the other way and say, “that technology won’t affect us” or “that technology is too far away for us to worry about”. It’s called disruptive technology for a reason.
We saw it coming…..9 years ago….change….and it was headed right for us. We could either make the choice to stay business as usual or embrace what was headed our way and continue to provide a valuable service to our loyal clients. Our industry was about to face a huge turning point after 32 years in business. The type of work and the way that work was produced would never be the same.
First, we as business owners, myself and my two brothers/business partners thoroughly discussed our options and what would be required to change. What would be required of us and our staff. Then ultimately reviewing the pros and cons of not making the change. So after all the countless hours and late nights filled with meetings, strategies, charts and lists, a plan was devised of how we would step by step move toward this change. And no, we did not have every last detail worked out and many decisions had to be made along the way. That is just how it works sometimes. Fellow business owners know, there is no crystal ball in business. You make the best decision you can with the facts in front of you…and of course that feeling in your gut. By the way, I am greatly appreciative of how I have been able to rely on my gut over the years and honestly, I cannot say that it has ever failed me. Let’s hope that doesn’t change.
Fortunately we had positioned our company to be lean and nimble so we were able to turn the ship a new direction with minimal disruption and face change head on. With a staff that was also willing to navigate this change with us we pushed forward as a team. For this I am very grateful to all of them. It’s now been 9 years of change and as a result we are serving clients in new ways and staying on the cutting edge of what the latest technology can offer us and our clients. Every day we face new challenges and we push through. As much as it is scary and at times it was even frightful, it has been invigorating at the same time and stirred up some passion in all of us about what the future holds. We really do love to see our clients thrive as a result of our efforts.
So, my message in all of this is…be alert, know what is coming and how it would affect your industry, and more importantly your company. Do not turn the other way if your plan is to continue what your doing. I have seen countless industries and businesses that once thrived, exist no more. Change is scary absolutely, but not changing is downright frightful because it means your reacting to everything instead of proactively facing it.
We now have the luxury of looking in the rear view mirror and being thankful for taking the steps we did. What a shame if we didn’t share this experience to help others. I love small business. Everything it stands for and all that it does to provide opportunities for others. I wish all small business owners much success, but most importantly I hope that you’ll know it’s ok to fear change and keep going anyway.