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Tunnel Vision Will Kill Your Business

Years back, I worked for a national training company. The local franchise owner I worked for lived by the saying “If it aint broke don’t fix it.” Our clients kept asking for different types of training and consulting services, but the owner would get angry and threatened to fire anyone who violated his method of delivering training programs. He would not acknowledge that his franchise was falling out of favor with the business world. 

The world headquarters of this organization realized that the market was changing and began creating and making different types of courses that could be delivered in a variety of timeframes. But even that wasn't enough. The franchise owner refused to listen.

As a result, salespeople and trainers left in droves and, within five years, the company was reduced to a fraction of its size. This could have been avoided had the owner of this franchise kept an open mind to changing his business philosophy.

Related: 5 Ways to Avoid Miscommunication With Your Employees

This scenario is repeated time and time again as business owners fail to see the writing on the wall and dig in their heels against a changing business climate. In doing so, they are creating a plan to fail.

The business owner who plans on succeeding over the next 25 years would be wise to create a different plan. A better approach would be to first start asking some questions and listening to your employees. Some of the questions you could ask your employees include:

  • What are they seeing and hearing in the marketplace?
  • What do they see your competitors doing that your organization is not?
  • What are some things your company could do that your competitors are not doing?
  • What are your customers asking for?
  • What are some products or services they think would be of value to your customers?

Related: 3 Surefire Ways to Drive Your Finest Employees to a Competitor

Regarding your customers, some actions you could take are:

  • Closely observe their buying patterns.
  • Ask them what kind of services or products they wished you would offer. 
  • Start shopping your competitors' websites.
  • Ask yourself, if you were starting your business from scratch, what would you do differently?

For any business to grow, it must change with the times. It must be open to anticipating what customers need and want. One of the best ways to do that is to open up your mind and your ears.

Once you gather enough information, hold a strategic planning session and implement the changes one step at a time. You will become a believer in the axiom that even the things that aren't broke can be made better.

Related: How the 10-Foot Rule Can Help You Win Customers