When a business owner is busy just trying to keep a company afloat during challenging times, it’s difficult to take the time to make changes to the company.

The problem with that strategy is that the rest of the world is likely changing, and those changes could affect the success of your company. If you’re not aware of those broader changes, your current business practices might just put you out of business — even though you’re working as hard as you can and putting in long hours. Today, more than ever, keeping up with and making business changes can mean the difference between success and eventual failure.

Take your company’s marketing plan, for example. Many of the marketing tactics that used to be effective no longer work due to new customer profiles and shifts in the marketplace. If you’re concentrating on getting projects done to bring in money, but you haven’t revised your marketing strategy, when you’re looking for new jobs, you may not have the quality leads you need to sell the next project.

The Need to Adapt

Being smart and hardworking are great qualities for a business owner, and most of the remodeling company owners I know are both. On the other hand, though most of these remodelers are up to speed on building methods and code changes, they miss the mark when it comes to identifying and adapting to changes.

We should recognize that there are plenty of owners out there who don’t want to change — some for good reasons, others for the wrong reasons. However, there are also plenty of owners who I’m sure would happily embrace change if they only knew they needed to change. Here are some low- or no-cost suggestions for those interested in adapting to change:

  • Join a trade association: Commit to regularly attending meetings and take advantage of the networking opportunities provided by your membership. Association meeting topics often address changes in the marketplace. Sharing your challenges to these changes with other owners allows you to consider solutions to adapt to those changes.
  • Subscribe to industry email newsletters: These newsletters are often organized by subsections on specific topics or themes. Subscribe to several of them until you find a few that offer what you need. Then you can unsubscribe to the others to reduce your email inbox clutter.
  • Subscribe to a news app or read the newspaper: Many of these organize articles by subject and often cite links within their articles.
  • Seek out the change seekers: There are people who are good at taking advantage of changes and finding opportunities where others might see challenges. Become one of them, or at least keep an eye on what they say and do. You can often find them offering their wisdom in online discussion groups and blogs. —Shawn McCadden founded, operated and sold a successful design/build company. A co-founder of the Residential Design/Build Institute, he speaks at industry events and consults with remodelers. shawn@shawnmccadden.com

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