Signs it’s Time for Your Business to Change and How to Keep Your Customers Informed
This is a guest post from Jori Hamilton (see her bio at the end) – thanks Jori.
The longer you stay in business, the more change you will encounter. Change comes when your company grows, and as wonderful as that growth is, being unprepared for the changes that come with it can quickly shut down your excitement and operational progress.
Knowing when your business needs to pivot or make changes is crucial to your longevity. So is informing your customers of the changes that affect them most. Let’s look at the former first in more detail.
There are many reasons why you should consider making a change in your business. Here are five of the most pertinent:
You’d be naïve to think that your customer base will stay the same throughout the life of your business. Your customers’ needs will change over time, and your customer base might change entirely.
For example, let’s say you have a brick-and-mortar store or restaurant. At first, your customers may have mainly been older locals who visited regularly. However, as time passed, the kids at the college campus in a neighboring city caught wind of your restaurant or store, and now they’re your primary customers.
In that case, moving your business’s location closer to the college campus may serve your operation and current customer base better. Or maybe updating what you sell to more directly address the new demand…
When your customer base changes, it’s best to evolve with them to stay relevant.
It’s also a sign it’s time for your business to change when you aren’t growing. Growth happens when you’re making the right moves at the right times. But there will come a time when your business, employees, and leadership are stagnant.
Consider pivoting when you notice your business isn’t growing how it used to or how you thought it would after making certain moves.
Another sign it’s time to change something in your business is when you’ve grown past your current capabilities.
For example, when the demand for your products and services grows, you may find that your current processes and systems don’t allow you to meet that demand. Upgrading your processes and systems with better technology and leaders behind them can help you begin to meet this new demand and help you plan for future growth.
When you’ve grown beyond your current capabilities, make changes that support new abilities.
A high employee turnover rate is never a good thing in business and is a clear sign that you need to do something different. They’re likely leaving because of a lack of support from leadership, they don’t feel valued, or the company culture is so toxic they just can’t stick around.
Improving your leadership style, how you appreciate your employees, and how you construct your company culture can help you better support your employees and keep them long-term.
One of the most significant signs it’s time for change is when you’re no longer aligned with your business. As the owner, you’re the glue holding this whole thing together. If you check out, your business doesn’t have a chance.
So, when you find yourself no longer motivated, enthusiastic, and engaged with all that comes with your business, it’s a good time to step back and reflect on why. Doing so will lead to you developing solutions that reignite your love for your business.
To ensure your customers don’t end up ceasing their business relationship with you because you weren’t open about your plans for change, do the following:
You don’t have to disclose your plans to your customers the moment you think about change. However, it is good to let them know when you’re sure you are moving forward with specific changes.
You could start the conversation on your social media platforms. For example, crafting a professional Facebook announcement to let your customers know about the changes you plan to make in your business can work wonders. Every customer who follows your business page can see the announcement, share it, and engage in a conversation with you.
Creating an email marketing campaign and blog posts on your website about your changes are also excellent ways to communicate your business is about to shift.
Keep your customers updated throughout the process as you proceed with your changes.
Talk about your progress with them at various checkpoints. Send out email updates. Ask for their feedback when appropriate. Share behind-the-scenes footage on your social media accounts that give your customers an inside look at how you’re piecing it together.
Your customers will appreciate your willingness to keep them involved in the process and may trust your business even more because you were so open about your changes.
It’s best to roll out changes at different intervals so that your customers aren’t overwhelmed by a complete rehaul of your business or brand all at once. When your changes go live, pay attention to the feedback you get from your customers.
They will tell you what they love about the changes and what could be better. If you get their feedback early enough, you can adjust your plans for change to better your business and how you serve them.
Ultimately, transparency and honesty in your communication with your customers about your changes is key. Without openness and honesty, your attempts to connect with your customers about your changes won’t be as successful as you want them to be.
So, when things don’t go according to plan, you’re behind on your timeline, or you are not going to move forward with something, let your customers know so that they aren’t in the dark.
There are plenty of changes your business can make throughout its lifetime. It’s essential to ensure those changes are necessary for the better support of your customers, company, or employees before making them permanent. Then, use the tips above to ensure your customers are fully aware of the changes so that you don’t lose them in the process.
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of subjects but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity, marketing strategies, and HR solutions. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.