Change is tough for me. No sooner do I get comfortable with my surroundings – the version of Windows on my computer, the way my iPhone works, the channels on the tv – then there’s an update and suddenly I can’t find the Weather Channel! But as the saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
Tips for Adapting to Industry and Social Change
The world we live in is in constant flux. And I don’t just mean the weather. No, I’m referring to changes in social habits, the boom in technology, and changing expectations from clients. From observation and experience, here are a few suggestions on how to adapt to change.
Keep an eye on trends.
Whether it’s a style trend, a social one, or a technological one, you can adapt to change by adopting current trends. One big trend right now is being eco-conscious. Get in on the game by offering environmentally friendlier options. And if your company is already going the extra mile to limit harmful products and processes, let your customers know! It’s a great way to set yourself apart.
Go where the fish are.
People aren’t opening the phone book anymore to find a painter or handyman; they’re looking online. Adapt to this change by establishing an online presence. Most companies have websites now; many are communicating with customers and potential customers on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. It’s important that customers can find you in the places they’re choosing to look.
Accept technology instead of fighting it.
Think about the impact cell phones have had on our industry. You no longer have to be in the office to get messages and make phone calls. Returning a call on your cell phone while you’re eating lunch in the field is a huge convenience for you and allows you to provide better customer service to your clients. Sure, cell phones are a pain sometimes (like when they ring on Saturday evenings), but you are in control. Set some boundaries about when you’re going to answer and when you will return calls.
You don’t have to be completely tech-focused. You don’t have to make digital estimates on the spot or communicate solely via email and text message. In fact, that’s probably not the right move. But in order for your company to stay relevant, you have to adopt some technology. You can use an estimating tool like PEP to turn your old-school paper notes into high-end digital bids that can be emailed to clients or printed and presented in person. You can make yourself available via phone, email, or text.
Adjust your attitude.
If you have to go to an event and you think you’re going to have a terrible time, chances are you will. Our initial attitudes become self-fulfilling prophecies. Reality check: no amount of kicking and screaming is going to stop time. The best we can do is to take a deep breath and try our best to be open and positive about new possibilities.