The Only Thing Constant is Change
The Only Thing Constant is Change
Who said that? We did. Someone else said it first, but
that's not important. What is important is your recognition
that change is an integral part of life and if you don't
incorporate it into your business, sooner or later you will
be left behind.
Now for those conservative minded readers who still wear
bow ties and Brooks Brothers suits, we will gladly
acknowledge that exceptions abound. Unfortunately, however,
most of us do not have the luxury of waiting to see if the
public will stick with our products. He who waits and makes
a mistake gets left behind. Don't believe me? Ask IBM,
Sears, or the entire U.S. automobile industry. Change left
them all in the dust.
To compound matters, change is rapidly becoming a trend
force. By this expression, I mean that change is becoming
an expected mode of operation for your customers. Want some
examples? Ok, let's take the fast food industry. Does the
name itself tell you anything? Think about the successful
ones—McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's. What do they
have going that their copy-cat failure competition can't
latch on to? Change. Almost every week the big three have
something new going on. You will see new products, new
offers, new games. McDonald's is totally changing the
interior of every store in Europe to change its face
overseas and create a more upscale environment. In
addition, kid's meal offerings change constantly along with
local endorsements and sponsorships.
You have only to listen to the quote of Ray Kroc, the
McDonald's founder, in order to know their position. "We
can invent it faster than others can copy it."
Change is certainly not limited to fast foods either. I
think one of the best examples of change can be seen at
Apple. Now that Steve Jobs is back he is cranking out one
winning product after another. He embraces change and makes
it a part of the corporate culture.
WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN TO YOU?
It means that you should adopt change as part of your
business. Not as an accident which happens, but actually
part of your ongoing operation. Use change to let your
customers know that you are a viable company constantly
aware of the latest trends. How do you do it? Let's look at
1. New product or service. Borrowing from the fast-food
industry, always be on the look out for anything new which
can be added to your product line or service offering. Now
note, and this is important, don't worry whether or not
this product will make money by itself. Sometimes you will
do things simply to draw attention to your entire line of
products and your business in general.
2. Be on the look out for a different way to serve your
customer. Home delivery is an example. More and more
companies are turning to this strategy and shopping online
is so successful because the products come to you. No
traffic and less stress. Can you think of another way?
3. Center promotions on holidays, local news events and
fads. These events don't have to relate to your product
except that you tie it in that way. The more you can use
these events, the more your company and product seem
Change is a powerful business force. It can wipe you out or
it can make you an overnight success. This coming year, put
the word change on every day of your calendar. Constantly
be on the look out for the next promotion. If you do this,
you will energize yourself, your employees, and most
importantly, your customers.
Business Rule: Incorporate change as a part of your
business philosophy, but don't change what works.
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