Wednesday, October 04, 2006

10 Signs that its time to adapt or die in your business

Many small business owners are so engaged in the day to day running of their own businesses that you totally loose track of reality, positioning, clients needs, and most importantly the well being of your business.

Many of you may have heard of the experiment done with a frog placed in a bowl with boiling water. If you place a frog in an empty bowl with cold water and gradually heat up the water until boiling, the frog will survive for a while, even after the water is boiling. If you simply pour boiling water over the frog, it will die instantly because of shock. Make sure that your business is not the frog who dies a slow and painful death.

Note: Please dont try the experiment at home, and I'm not advocating the killing of frogs in any way or form.

Here are a few clear signs that should act as flashing red lights that says: change immediately.

1. You find more and more competitors in your market.

An indication that it's a good market, but being fractioned. Unless what you offer is both different and better, look for another niche.

2. Your market disappears.

OK, you make the world's best buggy whips! Wake up.

3. Your interests and values are out of sync with your business.

A formula for business disaster and personal misery. Revisit your vision and mission--and align them with your values. Now start again.

4. Your customers are leaving for your competition.

Either figure out why and fix it or find another business.

5. You dread going to work in the morning.

Figure out why. If it can't be changed, do something else.

6. You notice your competitors changing.

Have you noticed that, like it or not, it's a race? Do what it takes to win or join another race.

7. Working on the business is taking more time than working in the business.

If your revenue can't support more help, find a way to simplify and streamline your business (your competitors probably are).

8. You're losing key employees to your competitors.

A sure sign of "trouble in River City!" Conduct "exit interviews" with departing employees--figure out what the competition's got that you don't.

9. Your business no longer supports your lifestyle.

Well, change either one or the other until they're in sync.

10. You're neither learning nor having fun any more.


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