The Danger of “The Way You’ve Always Done It”

Just because something worked twenty years ago doesn’t mean it still work now. The same can be said for a year, a month or even a week. It’s crazy to think about, but in the digital age when things are changing so rapidly, it’s important to be a forward thinking entrepreneur.

If something worked for your business before, however, you don’t have to totally throw it away. Is there a way to incorporate your method with new tech? Do consumers still relate to your way of doing things? If so, how? If not, how can you change it to make it more relevant?

Customers are interested in businesses that are focused on the future, not ones that are hyper focused on the past. From sales to advertising, public relations and outreach, everything is evolving thanks to modern technologies. Social media, for example, has revolutionized the way we interact with customers. Are you making the most of that connecting opportunity?

All of that said, be sure you don’t do a complete 360 from your current plan. Even if your plan is outdated it’s better to change in small increments, see how it’s affecting your business, and go from there. If you jump the shark and do too many changes at once it could confuse your customers and the last thing you want to do is drive them away. Advancing your business model is all about cultivating new business, not cutting ties with longtime clients.

Don’t think of changing your strategies as “reinventing the wheel” either. That kind of thinking is negative and unresponsive. You don’t need to “reinvent the wheel” to reinvigorate your company! Small increments here and there cannot only liven things up, but show your customers that you are “with the times.” You aren’t resistant to making things better or different for the sake of your clients, that’s the most important tool in your toolbox.

With so many polls, interaction options and other means on social media, you can even ask your customers directly what they’d be most interested in. If you are a bakery, perhaps ask about new delicious treats. If you are a bank, ask if bonus options really keep new checking accounts open long term. There is no harm in asking the public. As a matter of fact, asking for questions or anecdotes is a great way to promote engagement on your social media platforms!

Even if no one responds or gives you answers you can’t solve in the short term, think around what answers you were given. Is there anything remotely like what your customers requested that you can implement? You could even encourage customers with great ideas to reach out to you directly to give you more insight.

I suppose it comes down to whether you see yourself in business in five, ten or even twenty years. If you stay exactly where you are right at this moment will your business survive? If it will, you’re lucky. If you’re like the majority of business owners that isn’t the case. So, take a moment today to think about what you could change today or a month from now—what’s different?

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