Change is the only constant in the life of a small business. There is a saying that goes like this: “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten – or less!” Three great questions that I was asked are:
- Do you choose to innovate?
- Do you choose to imitate?
- Or do you choose to vegetate?
These three powerful questions and the saying above should be analyzed in relation to your own business. Which of these three questions best fits you operation?
Change is one of the most difficult things to implement. It requires another degree of risk and there is no assurance that you will be successful. But if your profits are declining or you are loosing market share, then its time to make that “radical” change.
In today’s uncertain economic climate, change is needed just to keep up with the perceptions of your customers.Every media reports a different story about our economic future and all politicians tell you what they think you want to hear in order to get your vote.
Change requires entering into the mind of the consumer.If you can be the first to enter the market place with a unique service or product, then you are the recognized leader. To know the direction of your change you need to first know what consumers need or want. The only sure way to determine the needs and wants of customers is to ask them. The following are several methods to determine those needs and wants.
- Ask existing clients what else they would like you to offer in your business.
- Ask these same clients how you can improve your services
- Conduct focus groups; invite a 15 to 20 potential clients and ask them questions pertaining to the type of service and products that they would like.
- Conduct surveys by mail or in person
- Hire a research firm to help you with your your quest.
It’s better to spend a few dollars to find out if your new product or service will appeal to the public, then to spend thousands bringing something new to the market and finding out there are no clients.
The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows.