It can be easy to get attached to your company’s original concept and mission, especially when you're a founder. Can this prevent you from doing what’s best for your company’s future? Are you really listening to what your customers and employees have to say? Here are 3 ways your startup can embrace change right now:
1. Start small.
When founding my startup, it all started with a concept which was tested, tweaked and re-tested a handful of times. Even now, 5 months in, the company is still undergoing changes – many of which were not included in the startup's original mission. The changes experienced have been greatly beneficial, producing the highest rate of conversions, repeat visitors and engagement. If you find yourself fearing that a particular change may not be worth the time, effort or risk – try starting out small. Implement the new plan on a small-scale with a limited number of testers, or ignite just a few small pieces until you’re comfortable fully integrating the new feature.
2. When planning a company's future, listen to the customers.
How does your company find its true direction? Your customers will guide the way. Even if they’re not directly telling you what they want to see from your business, they may let you know indirectly. All you have to do is listen. For example, say you’re a web startup: while 60% of visitors go to your website looking to solve one particular problem, you might find that the other 40% are looking for a solution to an entirely different issue, and it’s something that could easily be provided on your platform. These users may not come out and say, “Hey, I want this new feature!”, but they might very well ask you to point them in the right direction. These opportunities are great for your business, and such inquiries should not be ignored. If enough people come to your platform looking for an additional service, it may be time to consider ways you can integrate this service into your platform – and you already know there’s a market.
3. Accept your mistakes and stay open to outside ideas.
Have you ever taken business advice from a coworker or friend after months of disregarding, only to realize that you should have listened to their suggestion much sooner? Sometimes we get caught up in our own concept of what works and what doesn’t, which can be toxic. Challenge yourself to have the confidence to be open to new ideas, and the courage to admit when you’ve made mistakes. Next time someone makes a suggestion, don’t just thank them and move on to the next item on the agenda – really listen to them. Envision their idea and how your business would operate if it were put into action. The more you listen, the more you grow as a startup.
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