There are multiple points along the continuum of growing and developing your small business that signal the need for change. These are key points when your business crosses certain thresholds that allow you to pick up the pace and intensity to grow more quickly. How exciting -- especially if you're ready!
What's most exciting about these pivotal times is the opportunity to get out in front of them. Recognizing pivotal events early allows you to reinvent your business and move masterfully through them to the next level in your business.
Change is Coming to Your Small Business
Surprisingly, not all pivotal points are created equal. One would think that a key point would be big and readily apparent. Yet, studies show that most "inflection points" are perceived as insignificant and mundane. Consequently, they are often overlooked.
Common conditions that signal that a metamorphosis is afoot in your business include:
- Acquiring your first paid client
- Having enough cash flow to pay yourself
- Sudden, unexplained surge in new business
- A big "Ah-ha" moment -- an event or insight that changes the way we think or act
- Change in customers values and/or needs
- Advancements in technology
- Other circumstances deemed less positive that forewarn that change is needed include:
- Loss of visibility in your marketplace
- A new competitor taking your industry by storm
- Introduction of industry regulations
- Flat revenue or for an extended period of time and, my personal favorite,
- When you realize that the biggest bottleneck to business growth is "you"
Andrew Grove, author of Only the Paranoid Survive, noted, "change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights". Whether it's positive or not, each of these circumstances tip you off to the fact that what worked to get you where you are today, will no longer help you achieve success tomorrow.
Playing Through to Success
To move your business through the change (good or bad), you must reinvent your business. Here are 9 ways to flip the switch on your business growth immediately:
- Intentionally map out a clear plan with metrics to execute immediately
- Expand your skill set and capabilities beyond core competencies
- Devote a portion of your budget to fund expansion and growth
- Use technology to promote productivity and enhance performance
- Create repeatable business processes to scale your business quickly
- Be open to change your business model
- Strengthen your value proposition to make your business more compelling
- Rebrand your business, if necessary
- 9. Develop consistent customer experience through all touch points
Ray Kurzwell, inventor, entrepreneur and author noted, "Because of the explosive power of exponential growth, the 21st century will be equivalent to 20,000 years of progress at today's rate of progress; organizations have to be able to redefine themselves at a faster and faster pace."
The rapid fire pace at which change occurs is at the core of the need for speed in executing a change that allows your business to remain relevant and competitive. This is little time to ponder your options -- for long.
Don't wait for your business to be great!