As a business owner or decision maker, have you been stuck in the status quo? Have you been working in your business the same way you have for years? The market is changing, and so are your customers. The time has come to step out of your comfort zone and experiment with some new strategies for growth in the next decade. But for some, fear of change keeps holding us back. What is it about fear that keeps us from moving forward and trying something new? Let’s explore the psychology of our fears and how we can overcome them to implement lasting change in our businesses.
Why do we fear change?
- We like to be in control: Because we’re comfortable where we are, a lack of change may simply mean we feel more control over our environment and our business processes and practices. For example, in the past, everything has been organized and filed in the same place. We follow the same paper trail or filing system for new clients. We use the same method of selling to customers and following up with them promptly. What could change in this scenario to improve our outcome? For starters, a new data entry or CRM system could better capture data and make sales and customer service staff more organized. It could help identify upsell opportunities or help your business send more targeted marketing campaigns. This could result in increased sales, better satisfied customers and improved loyalty. An electronic system could store customer data where it is easier to access and keep confidential information safe from attack. Instead of fearing change in favor of control, try making small changes that allow you to maintain control over your overall business operation, slowly modifying it to achieve the results you want.
- We fear failure: Another reason we may shy away from making change in our organization could be a fear of disappointment if things don’t work the way we planned. Perhaps we invest in new technology that becomes challenging to implement. We worry it won’t work properly or that we don’t have the tech savvy skills needed to make it a success. Or let’s say you decide to send out a new advertising campaign to a new audience. What if you spend hard-earned dollars on the campaign and it produces lack-luster results? Is the lesson never to try? No, because sometimes change requires trial and error. We may not achieve perfect results the first time we attempt something, but the process of working through the challenges that come along with change will help us adapt and arrive at the best result. Even if you have failed in the past does not mean that you will fail the second or third time. Remember: You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. Positive change is worth the risk. Learn from others who have implemented the same change successfully.
- We lack the time to focus on change. In today’s ever-busy world, this excuse is an important one to note. Many insurance professionals are overworked and overstressed. Therefore, tackling a new trend or implementing a new procedure simply gets pushed to the back burner. This can be okay for a while, until competitors start invading our territory and our numbers slip. Those businesses who focus on implementing change will move ahead much quicker if they are paying attention to trends in the marketplace and looking for new technologies to make their business nimbler. It’s worth the effort to stay on top of opportunities for change or growth, and to take the time to implement the ones that will give your business enhanced market share, or offer your customers needed value such as convenience or customer support.