Change happens. That’s especially true in the business world, where changes may be mandated by tax or regulatory requirements, increased competition, shifts in customer needs, or technological advances. Whatever your reason for making a change in your business, managing the process effectively is the best way to succeed. Here are suggestions for handling change.
Clarify your desired outcome. Determine what actions are needed to achieve your goal, then identify the employees, vendors, or other stakeholders who will be affected and anticipate their reactions. Depending on your business structure, you may want to bring one or more key managers and/or employees into this initial analysis. You also may want to consult with an outside expert, such as a financial and accounting professional, particularly if the changes relate to tax, regulatory, or accounting questions. An expert can clarify the issues involved, help you create a comprehensive plan, and assist in updating your systems and procedures to accommodate the changes.
Communicate your plan. Once you’ve established and outlined your course of action, make sure everyone who will be affected understands their role and what’s expected. Explain what changes are needed and why they’re necessary. Encourage feedback, and be open to suggestions for alternative procedures.
Establish a reasonable timetable for each expected action. Include allowances for the unforeseen complications and glitches that will inevitably arise.
Monitor, evaluate, and make adjustments. As the changes are being implemented, stay on top of the process. Otherwise, your employees may put change-related work on the back burner while focusing on more familiar day-to-day activities. Watch for unanticipated adverse effects on your business and act quickly to mitigate them.
Ask for help. If you’re considering a significant change in the way you run your business, contact us for assistance. We’ll help you address the issues, create a plan, and carry it forward.