Change May Be Your Ace in the Hole

Whether it has been thrust upon you by external market forces or it has simply bubbled up from the internal dynamics of your enterprise, change itself always presents opportunity for improvement. And in a knowledge based economy, change may be the only thing we can count on as small business people. So, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you must embrace change as a necessary strategy for commercial success.

Despite the inevitability of change, we spend a great deal of time and energy trying to stop it from happening or, at the very least, trying to slow its momentum, hoping to lessen its impact on our fragile yet cozy paradigms. However, small business owners should not overlook change management as a killer business strategy, for this is one arena where even the solo-preneur should have no problem outrunning the big guns.

Smaller operations can literally bend strategies and rewrite policy books overnight if the market is asking for it. The bloated budgets and cumbersome management structures of large corporations simply have no chance against the strategic agility of their smaller cohorts. Day to day responsibilities are reduced to administrative minutiae in hierarchical commercial settings. For the small business, these tasks can be dynamic and even interesting, but someone has to lead the way.

Small business entrepreneurs often forget why they began working in this "grass roots" playground in the first place. As their success builds, administrative hassles start to overwhelm them like weeds taking over a garden. While the corporate suits must spend day after day sifting through policy documents and snoozing through monotonous meetings, small business leaders are continuously presented with opportunities to tear down what is old and reinvent their operation, if that is what their markets desire. This kind of strategic fluidity is what moves the small business from the surviving to thriving.

So, next time your "success" is getting you down, deal with the weeds, clear the air, and be glad you have the opportunity to move a mountain or two.

Karri Flatla is a business graduate of the University of Lethbridge and principal of snap! virtual assistance inc., a business and project support service that specializes in business research, planning and communications. Karri also produces Outsmart, a small business newsletter full of practical tips and fresh insights for entrepreneurs. Visit http://www.snap-va.com for more information.

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