I started this blog post as a follow up to a prior post on second chances. Funny how some posts end up having a life of their own somehow. As I sat down to share a recent personal experience in my business, it dawned on me that it was pretty certain that I wasn’t the only small business owner who deals with it.
Deals with what? [clickToTweet tweet=”Why are you hanging on to things that no longer work for your business?” quote=”Hanging on to things that are no longer working for us or our businesses.” theme=”style1″]
There have been several times over the past 8 ½ years where I’ve had to cut ties with things. Sometimes it’s been the services I’ve been providing, or services I’ve used. Other times it’s been more about the people I work with or the basics in my day to day running of my business. One thing has been consistent in all of these instances. They were things that had my business frozen in place, unable to move forward and grow in some way, shape or form.
If this all seems a bit cryptic, let me clarify it for you. We, as human beings, often tend to have an unhealthy way of hanging on to things that are familiar, even when they are bad for us. In our personal lives it can be things like smoking, unhealthy diet choices or even unhealthy relationships. As business people we aren’t immune to the same tendency.
For some, it’s refusing to see that they need to update their website using excuses like, “I paid $XXXXXX.XX in 2005, its fine as it is.” or “I don’t want to lose my pagerank.” or even, “My business isn’t the type that really needs a website, besides I have a Facebook page.” For others, it’s clinging to paper filing systems, trying to do everything themselves and refusing to adopt new technology in their businesses at all.
In reality, none of the excuses are the real reason for not making badly needed changes in our businesses. The real reason is we’ve gotten comfortable doing it the way we always have. Even though time marches on and changes to business and the way it gets done happen every day, we drag our heels because more than anything we don’t want to leave our comfort zone. By clinging to the comfortable, we endanger the growth and possibly even the lifespan of our businesses.
Making changes means learning a new way of doing things. It means venturing into unknown territory. Let’s face it, it means a certain amount of discomfort whether it comes in the form of doing things a new way, spending money or both. Clinging to your comfort zone and repeating the phrase, “Business is doing just fine” may work for a while. Keep repeating it and the higher the chances become that your business will reach a point where it is not doing just fine. Suddenly you’ll notice that your competitor’s are gaining ground while you’re standing still. Or worse, you’re floundering. Mark my words, just because you’re afraid of change doesn’t mean your competition is. What starts out as one or two customers or clients leaving eventually becomes a mass exodus.
The decision is yours. Cling to your comfort zone and risk business failure or let go of those things that aren’t working for you or holding you back and grow.
Oh and that personal story I started writing about? I’ve been in the process of changing my website host for Clerical Advantage. The host I’ve been with for years, started out as a stellar service but a buyout by a huge company resulted in a steady downward spiral as far as service reliability was concerned. After giving another host a second chance, I finally let go of what was comfortable and moved my site to managed WordPress hosting. And yes, during the moving process I gave the site a spiffy new redesign as well.
Now that it’s a done deal, I find myself wondering what took me so long and just what kind of an impact my fear of change may have had on my business. Now, like my website, I’m feeling invigorated by change and ready to grow again.
If there is something in your business you’re hanging onto even though deep down you know you need to change it, take my advice. Let it go, and prepare to grow.