Innovation and progress are typically known as positives in the business world. But some people assume that trying a new practice, promoting a new product or introducing anything new to their business will be a sure win, because they assume newer is always better.
Sometimes, new may be great for your business. But unless you know exactly what you’re doing, it is important to tread lightly in the world of new ideas. New ideas should ultimately help the overall success of your business, and if they don’t then new doesn’t necessarily mean good.
It May Only Be a Temporary Trend
Because you can never predict whether a new trend will have passing glory or be the next cell phone, it’s important to do your research.
Just because it’s popular now, doesn’t mean it will be popular by the time you implement it into your business.
Companies that haven’t already gotten on the fidget spinner wagon should probably invest in whatever is the next up and coming craze before they go the way of the Tamagotchi.
This doesn’t apply to products only, it can be new programs, working with a brand new distributor, trying new business practices. It’s important to make sure when you try something new it is something that has lasting power, and won’t just be a passing phase. Trends are great, as long as they aren’t temporary and can grow with your business.
When You Change for the Sake of Change
Many politicians are of the mindset that change must mean good, and unfortunately the same mindset can be prevalent in the business world. When change isn’t needed, it may not be good to invest in it.
Recognizing when improvement is needed and thus change is implemented, is a good time to try an upgrade, explore new ideas and expand upon your business. If you have something that is working well, and change things up because you’ve heard change is good, you run the risk of changing things for the worse.
If you’re running a bustling diner where your typical demographic pays primarily by cash, does it make sense to invest in tableside tablets to allow people to pay their bill? On the other hand, if you have a cash only policy and are losing guests who pay via plastic to the trendy new place down the street, is it time to upgrade?
Knowing your customer base, and anticipating their needs are important factors to consider before making any changes that could impact their relationship with your business. Recognizing when change is necessary versus when change is happening just because it is available will set your course in the right direction.
If It Is Unfamiliar and Undeveloped
Investing in new can be foolish if it is a concept or idea so new that it hasn’t fully developed. Unless you intend on being part of that development process, in many cases it makes the most business sense for bugs to be worked out before you try to incorporate it into your business.
A good idea that is executed poorly can be detrimental to how well the concept is received by your employees and clients. If you’re going to do it, make sure you do it the right way. Prepare and educate to make the transition as easy as possible for all those involved.
On the other hand, if you encounter an idea that will benefit your business and still needs work, then it might be worth a shot. If you have to find resources to work out the bugs and have your name known as a contributor to the success of a new idea, then it is a smart idea to become involved.
When you Don’t Have Appropriate Manpower
Implementing new programs, processes, and products sounds good on paper, but often require a lot of time and hands on deck to make sure all goes well. Make sure you can spare key parts of your employee base before deciding to undergo a major change.
Staff will need to be trained on new practices or routines, and during the transition phase, the team must be prepared to tackle any hiccups along the way. This is part of business, but the timing is key. If you have recently done another upgrade, your team could get burnt out from the transitions, and your business may look like you’re not sure what you’re doing from the outside.
If It Takes Away From What You Already Do Great
You business likely has a specialty, a product or a service you do really well. This is the heart of your business and should be protected as such. Any new introduction that could potentially negatively interfere with what you already do well is not going to be an asset.
When deciding what new changes you want to introduce, make sure they are something that will complement or enhance your existing business. Given the opportunity to take something you already do well and make it better, sure go for it. But if you are exerting effort onto a new endeavor that could cause your best products or services to struggle, then that is an endeavor to think twice about.
The biggest factor to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to chase a new concept or idea, is how it will impact each part of your business as it is currently run. Will it make people’s lives easier and inspire new clients to turn to your business? Or will it be inconvenient to incorporate while providing little return on investment? These are important questions to ask before deciding to unroll a new product or service at your business.
Above all else, if you do something well and you’re known for doing it well, protect it and don’t let any new kids on the block interfere with what you do best. Do your research, prepare, and give it your all without letting other areas slip. New ideas aren’t all bad — just know when they are appropriate.
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