It is estimated that around 70 percent of attempted change implementations within companies fail. There are numerous reasons why this is the case, but what it shows is the importance of carefully planning for any changes before they are implemented. With that in mind, below, you will find some top tips to help you successfully implement changes to your small business no matter what they might be.
1. Ensure changes are workable
It’s obvious, but before you try to implement any changes to your business, you should ensure they are viable for your company and that it is possible for them to be implemented by your staff. For example, if you want to start shipping to the EU, it would be smart to first research supply chain issues and points like the shipping UK to Switzerland or Germany or wherever before you start making the necessary changes, Not every change is desirable or even practically possible, so you should do a whole lot of research before you even think about implementing anything new.
2. Get your staff onboard
It’s hard to implement changes in your small business if your employees are not fully onboard with the changes. So, it is really important that you take the time to fully brief the staff on what you plan to do and why you plan to do it.
Once you have done that it is vital that you let the staff present any concerns they may have to you, and that you listen to them and feedback so that they can feel as comfortable and confident that any changes will be positive, as possible.
When you are all on the same page, working towards the same goal, it is far more likely that the changes you implement will be a success.
3. Create a project management team across the company
Implementing any changes to your small business usually means implementing lots of smaller changes across the organization. That is why it is always a good idea to bring together a group of people from across the team, made up of representatives from every department involved, to manage the change implementation project.
Doing this not only means that you get the expertise of individuals from every department, but also that every department is kept in the loop. This is vital because you need everyone to be on the same page, working towards the same goals in the same timeframe if you want to implement changes as simp[ly and successfully as possible.
4. Have a plan
This is another obvious point but if you want to roll out changes successfully, you need to have a detailed roadmap of how to get there. So, as soon as you are confident you want to make a change, create a plan that includes things like:
- Projected costs
- Projected start and end dates
- Project scope
- Implementation processes
The more detailed your plans are, then the more effectively, and ultimately successfully, you will be able to implement business-wide changes.
5. Launch a pilot
This is not always viable, but when it is, launching a smaller-scale pilot of the changes you wish to implement on a wider scale can be valuable. It can show you if your plan really is viable across the business, but most importantly, it can help you to iron out any kinks in your plan by exposing the pitfalls and successes of your current plan before you spend a lot of time and money implementing it on a larger scale.
It can also get your employees engaged in the process, and work on building their technical expertise so that when the full changes are implemented, you will have lots of capable employees to help you make it a big success.
6. Document the process
If you want things to go as smoothly as possible, then you should make sure that you document every step of the process so you can see what you have done and where you are heading, but also so you can document best practices for future change implementations and ensure that you have a roadmap for employees down the lone to follow when they get involved.
As you can see, it is actually pretty simple to ensure that change implementation is a success in your small business, but you need to be willing to put in the time and effort to make that happen instead of simply forging ahead with any changes you desire. Slow and steady wins the race.