Small business owners face several threats to their company’s survival, including tech and shifts in customers’ tastes. Change management can help a small business survive in a sea of competition.
What is Change Management?
In order to thrive and grow, a business needs to change and develop. That’s what change management is all about.
We all know that we need to change, but the majority of us put off making the changes or don’t do it altogether. Why is that?
Barry Moltz, Business Expert and Author of Change Masters sits down with Shawn Hessinger, the Executive Editor for Small Biz Trends and explains why that is and the methodology you can use to meet this challenge head on instead.
Just call Barry Moltz the Small Business Expert at www.barrymoltz.com if you need more information after watching this latest episode of Small Biz in :15.
Shawn: Starting from your book Change Masters’s subtitle: How to Make the Changes You Already Know You Need to Make. What I’m wondering is if small businesses know they need to make these changes what takes them so long to make the changes?
Barry: I wrote this book because a lot of people asked them to come to their company and help them with change.
So we get together, we sat down, and in very detailed conversations we say, Here is what’s wrong; here are the problems; here are the changes that we are going to make. A whole rollout program is created based on that.
And then almost nothing happens, Barry says.
These people get a lot of money to put together a plan and they don’t do anything. So the question is why?
Barry explains that the reason for this has to do with biology—your brain is a pattern-making machine, he explains.
If you are surviving, it would rather keep doing the thing you have already done to keep you alive, or prosperous, or whatever it is. I’m trying to help you make the change that you know that you need to make and here is the methodology on how to do it.
Shawn: We know changes are important in our business and our personal lives. What would you say are the main reasons that changes are so problematic?
Barry: As I said before, the brain is a pattern-making machine. As you get older, you get lazy. We’d rather go to work exactly the same way every day because our brain goes on autopilot, and we have to learn something new. It’s much more difficult.
Small business owners also go by the expression, “It’s better the devil that I know than the devil that I don’t know.”
Barry goes on to say that making a change brings a certain kind of unknown, or a certain amount of chaos, and people only change in my experience when they are in incredible amount of pain. Only in wanting to alleviate that Incredible amount of pain, they will make any kind of change.
How to Get Past Ineffective Change Management
Shawn: You talk about how you need to change the culture and the way your business operates, particularly if you have employees or others you’re having to explain, “Hey, we’re going to change the way we are doing something.” Could you talk a little about that and what’s involved in that process?
Barry: The first thing you have to be careful about is that you don’t make too many changes at one time because, for a lot of employees and small businesses, the owner makes “the change of the week.”
“This week we are doing it this way and next week we are doing it another way,” so they don’t get serious about any changes, saying “Ah, you know, Joe will make a different change next week. Why should I work on this type of thing.”
So, if you can effectively make changes yourself, you can help others in the organization make those changes.
Now, obviously one of the biggest changes that have to be made this year since people are so short of staff is that owners have to really start to care about their employees, Barry says.
And not only pretend to care about their employees—but really get down and figure out how does out business fit into their life and really understand the challenge they are going through.
And beyond that, make a change and you’ve got to pay them well. We have to remember that the 5% raise doesn’t cut it anymore when inflation is at 8%.
The Change Management Process
Shawn: Can you give us a fictitious example from your years of experience of what the change would be, first of all, and what steps you would take to make it?
Barry: What’s really great about the book Change Masters is that there is a change worksheet in the back that you can fill out, and it gives you 20 step by steps to go through it.
And one of the changes that a lot of companies need to make is that their prospect pipeline isn’t big enough. I talked about this in my previous book called Bounce.
Barry adds that they get stuck in what I call the double helix trap, where they are going out and they are selling things— they are not executing the business. But as soon as they start to execute the business, they stop going out and selling and marketing, so their prospect pipeline is pretty low. So that’s one of the problems.
He says that the first question you have to ask yourself is what change do I want to make? You’ve got to articulate that.
And the second thing is what do you currently do instead of doing that thing? For instance, if I want to have more prospects in my pipeline, what I’m probably currently doing now is nothing, I’m just waiting for referrals to get prospects.
Question #3 is really important: why do you want to make that change? Because if you don’t have a good internal motivation, or it’s not based on overcoming some kind of pain, you’re probably not going to do it.
Barry explains that the biggest reason why people want to have more prospects in their pipeline is because their sales are too low, and they aren’t able to generate enough cash to support themselves or the people in their business.
And then, the fourth question is: well, if you don’t do this, what’s going to happen? Well, maybe what’s going to happen in this example is, that I’m not going to have enough money to pay my staff.
And then it goes on to what inspired you to make the change? What makes you uncomfortable about the change? All those kinds of things.
So It takes very, very small steps; what is one of the first things you should do to make this change. A lot of us don’t make changes because they are too big—the leaps are just too large across the chasm.
In this case, I want to have more prospects for my pipeline. You don’t say, “OK, I am going to go out and contact these people.” The first very small step you make is, OK, who really are my target customers, what pain do I solve for them and do they have money to solve that pain, and where do they hang out?
That’s the very, very first small step instead of saying, “Let me get on the phone and make some calls.” That’s too big a leap for so many folks.
Find Out More about managing change
Be sure to check out the rest of the video where Barry Moltz further discusses the process that gets you to successfully make the changes you already know you need to. Also, if you plan to incorporate it into your small business after watching, be sure to let us know in the comments for Making Changes to Your Business.
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