I just returned from Andrea Lee's Wealthy Thought Leader Conference, and if there was one theme running throughout the 3 days it was that the business world is changing every single day. Often, it's changing in ways that we as small business owners don't yet understand.
Lately, I've personally had the feeling that I can spend a good portion of each day trying to keep up with all the newness or I can work on my business, but I can't do both. I talked to a bunch of entrepreneurs at the WTL conference who also have “change fatigue.” I came home thinking about how we can all keep ourselves prepared for change.
- Don't try to embrace everything at once. When too many changes come at the same time, prioritize what you'll focus on, and do that from your best guess about return on investment of your time. As an example, let's look at the past few months, in which we went in Facebook to the “timeline” with cover page, to changes in how you could use your Facebook business page, to the “timeline” for business pages, to changes in cover photo rules, to the new size for the “profile picture.” Add in the sudden enormous interest in Pinterest and how to monetize that new social media, and the fact that Pinterest itself was changing policies and practices even as it gained in popularity almost overnight. Now throw in the continual changes in Google's search engine algorithms and the consequent rise of content marketing. Are you dizzy yet? None of the time you take to understand the implications for your business does a single thing toward servicing existing customers every day – you want to keep your normal high level of service there for sure. So…..give a good long look to what you hug first.
- Once you understand the implications of a change, systematize and delegate it. Otherwise you will totally be nothing but a secretary to your business, not the small business owner you set out to be.
- One of the main things that characterizes the future for small business owners is uncertainty. Sooo……if you aren't comfortable with uncertainly, think about how you can get down with it. A coach or mentor, maybe?
- As changes come, it's harder for you to stand out from others who offer similar products and services. What to do? Look for holes in the market – even tiny ones – and figure out a way to fill that hole with new offers.
- Want your brand to stick as the world changes at an increasingly frenzied pace? Make sure that your advertising is entertaining, engaging, and has a strong emotional pull. (Thanks to Patrick McCann, Creative Director of Brand Partnerships at Bell Media for that wisdom.)
I got lots of new ideas and information (and some help with how to handle it all) at the WTL conference. But if I let the water hose become a fire hose of new stuff, I'm flooded out and can't try anything new effectively. These are my best tips for now…..until, of course, they change. 🙂