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Adapt or die, the choice is yours

Written by Ray Moore.

In today’s rapidly changing environment, businesses need to proactively adapt and ‘keep up’ with the pace of change. Any business that resists changing to market and industry developments faces loosing their competitive edge and ending up in an ‘evolutionary cul-de-sac.’ Here are the top two ever-changing areas that SMEs should focus on:

Technological advancements

Without change, we would still be using cash as our main method of payment. In the podcast (Episode 090), Andy and I chat about a high-street retailer that resisted the change from cash to using credit cards, which had a detrimental effect on the business. Technology advancements are often the catalyst for change and although it can be seen as a disruptor at first, in the long run it is likely to make for smoother and more convenient processes.

Customer expectations

Using the example of payment methods again; we know that card payment is the norm in almost all shops and restaurants. Customers expect to be able make card payments and don’t carry much cash around with them. Any business not accepting card payments is going to inconvenience customers and fail to meet their expectations.

The expectations your customers have are constantly changing. Today, many customers expect to be able to make contactless payment and in the near future your customers may expect something else. Being in touch with trends, your competition and industry developments is essential to meeting your customers’ needs.

As I mentioned in the Podcast, small businesses are not just competing locally, regionally or even nationally anymore, we are all competing in a much more globalised world, therefore we need to embrace the changes and not fall behind the curve.

Read more about this topic on my blog.

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FBP 090: Your business has two options: Adapt or die

Ray Moore and Andy Sleet discuss the pace of change and why businesses should be aware of industry trends. Business owners have two options: to proactively adapt and change with market and environmental changes, or to resist change and fall behind the curve.

Read more on The Levels Blog, or read Ray's article on why businesses need to adapt.

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.

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FBP 088: Is your business ready for sale?

Join Andy Sleet, expert in readying businesses for sale, as he talks through the process of selling a business to help you understand and overcome the challenges that business owners often encounter.

Is your business ready for sale and will it survive without you? Read more here: fluidbusiness.co.uk/preparing-business-sale/

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.

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Three reasons why we should never stop learning

We begin our formal education at the age of four or five years old and continue until we finish senior school or college/university. Then, once we achieve our qualifications, we tend to believe that the “learning” part of our life is over and we begin our working life – of course we learn at work but it’s reactive learning that takes place, not proactive learning. Proactive learning is about exploration, development and expanding the breadth and depth of your knowledge.

There is a one particular excuse we hear time and time again: “I don’t have time.” But take a closer look at your time; your commute to work could be 10 or 20 minutes of ‘dead time.’ This time could be used to learn by listening to podcasts or audiobooks, or using apps like Blinkist which provides 10-15 minute book summaries.

Get into the habit of investing in learning and improving yourself during dead time. Here are the top three benefits of continued learning:

Opens up new opportunities

Taking the time to proactively learn will give you a better understanding of the events around you. By progressively deepening your understanding and knowledge of subjects that matter to you, you will be able to see the bigger picture. Those moments of clarity where something finally becomes clear or makes sense will become more frequent.

The more you learn, the more you’ll be able to make connections between pieces of knowledge. Look at each new learning and apply it to your own experiences, you will then begin to see and take advantage of new opportunities that you didn’t see before.

Fast track to success

Listening, learning and developing is what successful people do. But why do they do it? Well, if you believe that you know everything you need to know about a subject matter or running a business or managing your team, then you will be missing out on new ideas and different ways of thinking.

Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur and author, once said: “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” By this he means that learning and developing will increase your personal value and give you the right mindset for success.

Improves creativity

It’s a well-known fact that learning and staying mentally active keeps your brain healthy and functioning at a high level. Scientists believe that creativity is essentially the ability to apply skills or learning from one situation and apply them to another. If you’re always learning you will be able to transfer your knowledge and understanding to new challenges and ‘come up with’ creative solutions.

Let us know what's on your ‘to read' list.

 

For more on this topic, listen to Episode 085 of the Fluid Business Podcast.

Read more on The Levels Blog: How do you change the way you think?

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FBP 084: Set and achieve your business goals

Setting goals in your business is a great contributor to success. Goals provide direction and will help to align the business owner with the team. This week on the Fluid Business Podcast, Andy Sleet and Hugo Heij explain how to achieve your ideal life by setting and achieving business goals.

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.

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FBP 080: Banish negativity in three simple steps

In life we often meet negative people. But negativity amongst employees in the workplace can spread and often leads to a demotivated team. On this episode of the Fluid Business Podcast, Ray Moore and Hugo Heij discuss the three steps to banishing negativity from the workplace.

Read more on this week's blog.

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.

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Banish negativity in three simple steps

“It will never work… I’ll give it three months… What’s the point? I don’t want to moan, but…”

We all come across people that make these statements. In the book Polar Bear Pirates, Adrian Webster describes negative people as ‘Neg Ferrets.’ People that always seem to find a problem or a reason why an idea won’t work. And if they can’t find it, they will keep moaning until all your energy is drained.

In life we often meet people like this; it can be in our families or amongst friends. But of course we also come across these Neg Ferrets in our workplace and teams. Negativity amongst employees in the workplace can spread and often leads to a demotivated team.

Dealing with these negative characters is not always straightforward, because although firing an employee could be a possibility, there are ways to engage and inspire Neg Ferrets too. Let’s look at the three stages to managing workplace negativity:

Stage 1: Identify

First of all you need to identify them, which is the easy bit. Neg Ferrets will always make sure they are being heard. They like to sow the seeds of doom and gloom in as many ears as possible, so they make it their art to do so. It could happen around the coffee machine, during meetings, wherever they see an opportunity to share their negativity.

Stage 2: Ring-fence

After identifying them, you need to ring-fence them. Remove the stage they use to speak from. Avoid their speeches about problems, but if you hear them, ask them questions and challenge their ‘theory.’

The moaners and complainers only have a limited vocabulary and they don’t like to be challenged. They certainly don’t like to give a reason or explanation for their behaviour.

Stage 3: Blast them with positivity

Another very good cure against these people is positivity. Being happy about what is happening, positive about change, looking forward to developments is something they hate with a passion. They will therefore avoid speaking up when you are around. Your positive outlook will blind their dark sarcasm.

It is important to see how the group is divided. Some people will wait in the middle to see how an argument or conversation develops. They do not choose sides until it is clear who is winning. Making the negative people feel uncomfortable will help the undecided choose the proactive and positive group. This strategy reduces the group of moaners and can potentially close them down.

If you want to put a positive spin on the complainers, then listen to what they have to say. Determine if they have a valid point, which you need to address. It could be that this critical observation is useful.

 

For more on workplace negativity, tune in to Episode 080 of the Fluid Business Podcast.

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FBP 077: Are Your Systems Holding You Back?

In this episode of the Fluid Business Podcast Andy Sleet and Ray Moore discuss the internal and external influences on your business’s systems. The emergence of new technology accelerates the pace of change. But, have you considered how internal systems could be holding your business back?

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.

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FBP 075: Do what you say you’re going to do

In episode 075 of the Fluid Business Podcast Andy Sleet & Ray Moore discuss the importance of trust within teams and why you should always do what you say you're going to do.

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.

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FBP 074: How To Get The Most Out of 2017

In episode 074 of the Fluid Business Podcast Andy Sleet and Ray Moore discuss how to get the most value from your business this year.

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.