If you are any sort of in tune with our social-economic world, than you know things are always changing. It has grown and developed, matured into what it is today by incorporating new discoveries and technologies. Thus, in order to respond to these new altercations and challenges the new business climate presents, one must alter and tailor their own companies to suit the new needs. In that way, a company is like a child that just about never grows old.
Just as everything began, your company started out as an idea. You talked it over with your wife, and decided to take the big leap into parenthood. Thus your business was born. Just like you, it was young fresh, full of life and potential. As time went on you steered it to fit the commercial climate of the time, and finally gained repute. And voila! Your child was successful. It learned its ABC’s and could count to ten. Well done indeed. But then things begin to change.
It is as if the business world is a never-ending school, with each passing year, each decade, each level, comes new and different challenges. Some are good, others not so much. The worst thing a small company owner can ever do is get comfortable. It’s the same as a person. As soon as you become satisfied with yourself, you will stop getting better, stop progressing. In the commercial world that means certain doom. All of a sudden counting and the alphabet really don’t mean much. Now you have to learn to multiply and spell too. And thus the adaptation begins. Take for instance the business I work with and am writing for now. I am very close with the part owner—namely he is my dad—and he once told me that just a short time ago, maybe 15 years, the big debate around the office was whether or not to invest in a new-fangled fax machine. (Spoiler alert they did, but that’s not the point) You can see how far we have come since that time, only a short while ago. And the evolution has only expedited since then. The trouble is, it’s not easy to keep up in school. As any average student will remember, getting A’s is a struggle and sometimes B’s just won’t cut it. As a result you end up slipping behind, the smarter students. Every year a new class is added behind you as well, just waiting to usurp the positions you try so hard to attain. This is an equal threat in our commercial universe. Younger, fresher people are starting new companies every day. These will surely have a leg up with new tech and advancements simply because the people who started them were raised with the technology. It is a natural advantage that you don’t have anymore. Never fear though, there are other ways to keep up with the new kids.
Firstly, think about taking on a few interns. Perhaps I am a little biased as I am one myself, but any young intern is a wealth of recent updated knowledge for you to abuse. Especially in social media and online marketing, adding a few teens may make a world of difference. Let me give you an example. When I arrived at Mid-State, the amount of twitter followers weren’t all that impressive. In fact, we as a company had fewer followers than my 13 year old sister. But this really isn’t the anyones fault! Twitter is weird and strange to those who aren’t used to its customs, which is where a young mind comes in. Let them handle the tedious and annoying tweets and posts because they do it everyday for themselves. They’ll probably enjoy it as well, which is good for you and your company's popularity. If hiring isn’t something for you, simply champion change for yourself. Learn about these new frontiers yourself. It isn’t difficult to figure out these cites for instance if you spend an hour every day exploring them. Before you know it you’ll be a natural.
Moving on, maybe you’d like to find some knowledge in the form of an un-hired body? Someone you don’t have to pay or keep under constant surveillance at work? (I.E. most interns) Well why not ask your kids. If you have teenagers of your own, just watch what they do online or what tech they are into. Lets face it, as a parent you probably do this anyway, why not have it benefit you at work. You’ll be surprised what they have to know. Even subscribing to an online blog about innovation and advancements can put you ahead of the rest. There are plenty of bloggers out there that will do the research for you.
What is more, it isn’t just new inventions or cool social media sites that you should pay attention to! You can join any social media you want, blog your heart out, and get the coolest tech, but if you don’t know how to advertise or use it for the right things, it’s useless. That is to say, don’t just get a Facebook page, see what’s popular ON Facebook. What’s trending on twitter? What’s the newest fad? What new app is getting huge attention? If you can figure out why a fad is popular, you can cater to that fad’s following. Better yet, you might even be able to see the next movement or innovation before it happens. Now, its not so easy to do, and you wont be able to all the time, but once or twice a year can be enough t give your company a boost.
Nothing new is easy, especially if it comes fast—but in order to keep your doors open, you have to be willing to change. Be fluid, not stagnant—because it will always lead to failure. Just look at fashion. After all, parachute pants were great in the 80s, but nowadays they seldom make an appearance—except maybe at Wal-Mart. Remember, nothing fails like success.
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