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Innovate to Thrive

(Transcript) Is your business surviving or thriving? I’m Elise with Woodworth Enterprises and today I want to talk about something I discovered last week. A business that was obviously just surviving. To be clear, the issue was not that they were struggling to stay open, but that the focus was on sustaining not growing the business. It was a garden center; it was the end of February and Spring was beginning to show itself. I went in for seeds and soil to start my own vegetable garden. The employees had a ‘survival tone’ in their approach to me and really it permeated the atmosphere of the store. Seeds were leaned against a wall behind the register, and a small bag of seed starting soil was tossed on the counter in front of me. They were scrambling to display pots, plants had not yet arrived from the nursery’s, and things looked as bare as the winter itself. My visit seemed to disrupt their activities, and I was happy to make a quick exit. Now, in a week or two, this garden center will be bustling. But I find myself wondering, will it be thriving? How many other garden enthusiasts will have been put off by this atmosphere? Will they be growing their business and leading their customers, or will they just be meeting demands? What decisions had they made? What opportunities had they missed?

Friends, I don’t want your business to just survive these unique times. Open your eyes, use your innovative mindset, there are opportunities all around. Just like your business, your customers have experienced changes. Understanding those changes will allow you to adapt to them and help your customers see the value in the products or services you offer. One example I can think of off the top of my head is clothing retailers offering product lines just for “work-from-home”. Just addressing your business changes, would be reactive. People have problems that your product or service solve. Taking a proactive, innovative approach will attract people to your solution to their problem.

Try this little exercise. The next time you interact with a company, take a moment to observe the business. Try to observe any changes. Why are these changes being made? What renovations are being made? What is the mood of the employees? What is causing their disposition? What is the mood of the customer? Reflect a little deeper, put yourself in the business leaders’ shoes, and think of any opportunities you see for this company. How would you take advantage of them? What resources would you leverage? What would you want the outcome to be? If you get comfortable with this practice, it will be easier to step back and take an objective look at your own company’s situation and opportunities.

As changes continue to come and problems arise continue to ask thoughtful questions. Try to avoid the simple “yes and no’s”. There is a lot of change, and there are a lot of questions. Sometimes that can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to find the answers yourself. If you’ve had enough questions and are ready for answers, drop me a message and let’s work together to find them.

Don’t just help your business survive, open your eyes, ask the thoughtful questions and innovative to thrive.

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