Say YES To Change

Many of us loathe this word. And the very idea of change can send chills up our spines. But, ask it really that bad? Especially this year? Because if we've learned nothing else in 2020 we should know a thing or two about change. The truth is that it never seems to come when it's needed. In fact, it's usually unsolicited and completely random. Basically, you better be on guard because you just never know when it's coming. But let's be honest, is that a bad thing? Instead of putting the boxing gloves on, perhaps it's time to accept that change is needed. Hell, it's mandatory, especially if we're talking about your business.

Since I love examples, let's look at one of my favorites of all time...Blockbuster. For those of you that have no idea what I'm referring to...a long long time ago (the 90's) there was a faraway place (your local movie store) called Blockbuster. You'd go there, pick out a movie for the weekend and voila THAT was how you spent your Friday or Saturday night! It was kind-of a big deal then. I'm actually feeling nostalgic writing this. The thing that made Blockbuster so amazing was that it became an American ritual before any of us even realized it had. It was a great business model with multiple city locations, stores all over the US, everything was great. Well, until you know who hit the scene. (Whisper Netflix). Now here is where it gets a little sad. Blockbuster thought it was ridiculous that people would "order" movies instead of going to the local video store. They never considered Netflix a threat, well not until it was too late.

What does this have to do with anything? CHANGE. Had Blockbuster adjusted to change in enough time they may have stood a chance. Had they been paying attention to the decline in sales, they may have stood a chance. Had they just paid attention to the experience theory, they may have stood a chance. The moral of this story is if you resist change, insist on putting your boxing gloves on to fight change, you could find yourself on the wrong side of the fight. The facts of that case were simple: the needs of people were changing. At some point it became more about convenience than experience. Netflix saw that. Blockbuster didn't.

Netflix: 1. Blockbuster: 0

In the late 90's Blockbuster had over 9,000 stores and an estimated worth of $5 Billion. In 2019, Netflix was estimated to be worth $194 Billion with zero brick and mortars. If an American brand that was as loved as Blockbuster can plunge to its death due to a lack of change. What chance does a small business have? Remember when no one thought debit cards would take the place of cash? Or self-driving cars were only for the Jetsons? Yup. Change. It happens whether we want it to or not.

My advice is to face it head on and determine whether change is for the best or not. If it's for the best, then put your big girl or boy pants on and put in the work. If not, dust it off and stay prepared because we will all face change one time or another. Keep your mind flexible, know your customer, stay on top of their needs and when that day comes you'll be prepared.

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