Some people fear change. It can feel daunting and unstable. It can be scary because it causes a trip into the unknown. So what? My mind is always searching for ways to get leaner and more efficient and it is a blessing and a curse.
Here is what I have learned. Change isn’t permanent. Once I realized that, it took a great deal of pressure off, to pull the trigger on decisions that I have sat on for years. About three years ago, we opened a second location. I bought two existing books of business one town over and it seemed like a logical step to open a physical location out there and we went big.
I was going to open this beautiful flagship office and fill it with staff and write tons of new business. We signed a five year lease and opened office number two. After about 18 months, the plan wasn’t working. Finding good, stable salespeople wasn’t economical for my business and at the end of the day, I had a 2500 square foot office for my office manager.
I felt I couldn’t do anything though. There was a 5 year lease. I started wishing I hadn’t taken on this new office but what was I supposed to do? There was this mental block I had that made it seem like moving wasn’t an option. A lease seemed so formal and unbreakable. My wife and business partner started the conversation on what should happen next. We decided it was time to try and get out of there. What’s the worst that could happen? This is a vital question to ask when attempting to make a change.
We moved forward and subleased the place to another business about 2 1/2 years into the lease. We had to figure out what would happen if the business that moved in failed and worked through all of the consequences. The bottom line was, if they failed in a year, we still would’ve saved over $30,000 in expenses and if we had to sublease again, we would. It looks like they are going to make it, and as a result of this change, it will be one of the best decisions we have made.
Start exploring smaller changes. I have staffed a very specific was for 4 years now and we are now considering a change. I have had two full time licensed people in my office and am now considering a change to 1 full and one part time. Is it the right move? I am not sure.
Why not try it though? It doesn’t have to be permanent. If it isn’t working after 90 days, we can adjust. Take control of your decisions, do your due diligence and make the change that feels right. If you were wrong, which you will be at times, then make the next adjustment. I like to put a timeline or a budget on changes. If the change doesn’t make a positive impact in 90 days, bag it. If we don’t see positive results from a $1000 marketing investment, we don’t do it again. Consequently, timelines and limits make change feel less daunting.
No one knows your business or your role in the company as well as you do. A large part of running your business or doing your job should be about finding the path of least resistance and that only happens through a progression of trying. So go ahead. Make a change.