How To Adapt To Change To Save Your Business
As a copywriter and digital marketer I’m often called upon for my services when a company hits a bit of a brick wall. I’ve worked with many brands from the beginning and it’s always a pleasure to successfully launch a new business but most of my projects are with established brands that are not sure what’s going wrong.
Of course the problems are bespoke to the business, stalemate can occur for a number of reasons from outdated web design to a negative online presence, from expensive prices to fierce competition, but one of the most popular reasons is a resistance for change.
Even when a company has seen the slow decline, experienced the drop in orders and realised the decrease in conversions, still they believe that what worked before will work again. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
The internet has not only spawned a lot of competition, it has become one of the greatest facilitators for change. Businesses don’t only have to worry about the Budget, they now have to keep up with the Jones’ to give their customers what they want. If they don’t, the customers will go elsewhere, in a heartbeat. It’s no longer a drive to the other side of town to find a new supplier, it’s a single click and we’re all doing it.
Accept the Change
The first step to adapting to change is accepting it. Many bury their head in the sand and refuse to really look at how the world is changing. They have a misplaced belief that if they do they’ll be overwhelmed with the task ahead and the money that needs to be spent. In reality, as long as you stay on the ball, adapting to change costs little and takes little effort. You just have to give the customer what they want.
Consider the Change
HMV slowly sunk as they believed their products would always be popular. They missed out on a whole revelation. They knew people were buying music online, downloading and ordering for next day delivery yet they refused to do anything about it, why? What advice would you give to HMV 12 months before their closure? What changes would you suggest so they remained a market leader?
Myself, I would have advised them to let go of the bricks and mortar a little. To come online and to embrace all that customers loved about them. For instance, Amazon is great for ordering products but they can’t deliver the expert music and film advice that was synonymous with HMV. ITunes is excellent for music but not everyone has an apple device. HMV could have blended their knowledge with their products and become an internet sensation. They could have taken it a step further and offered their DVDs the way Tesco do with Blinkbox, the opportunities were endless, they just needed to accept change.
Adapt to Change – Start Small
There’s no need to have a huge overhaul to embrace change. You don’t need a shiny new website or a rebrand. If you’re considering change you probably have some loyal customers that could become your mini ambassadors. For example, you introduce one change such as Next Day Delivery, your current customers will be thrilled and they will tell your friends about you. You also open up new marketing and SEO opportunities with this as your products are now available within 24 hours, allowing you to target a whole new market.
Those that are scared of change inevitably want the good times back and hang on in the hope that this will happen. Such as those who still believe that the internet caused the recession whereas this article shows that it could in fact be opening up a whole new world of manufacturing.
Change is good and once you’ve adapted you can then think about leading the way, not following.
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Martina Mercer is a copywriter and digital marketer working extensively in the eCommerce sector. She won the award for "Working Mum of the Year 2014" and has given eCommerce advice on the BBC and in many magazines. She is the editor of eSeller News and the founder of The Consumer Voice, while still offering business copywriting services to brands across the globe. Working with clients such as Shell, Wilko, Calpol and more, she brings her expertise in eCommerce, sales, marketing and copywriting to her articlesRead Full Bio