Manage Change in your Home Improvement Business

Change Management for Home Improvement Business OwnersConsider there have only been 57 companies that stayed on the Fortune 500 list every year since 1955. That’s an 89% attrition rate for businesses that were once wildly successful! What happened? Most experts concluded that their failures were due to stale business models.

In other words – they didn’t change.

Every home improvement company must change to keep up with competitors and the ever-evolving needs of homeowners. From time to time you’re forced to change the way you market, the way you sell, how you communicate, the products you use, and many more. Those who haven’t made adjustments to their business models are most likely the ones who have closed their doors.

You understand you’ve got to make changes – like adding new technology, new personnel or even growing your business – but you’re worried about getting your team to accept them.

But, as we all know… people hate change. So let’s first try to understand why they hate it so much:

  • Fear – We’re afraid of what will happen. Will this be more work? Will we have to learn something that’s too hard? Will we be replaced?
  • Selfishness – What is in this for me? Why should I have to bend over backwards? 
  • Blindness – This new idea wouldn’t work for us! 
  • Ego – We’ve already done our best and our best is good enough! 
  • Sleepwalking – I just don’t understand this… I give up.
  • Lack of Confidence – They’ll figure out I have no idea what I’m doing! 
  • Timing – It might work but now is not the right time…
  • Inertia – We’re already headed in this direction so why bother?
  • Complacency – I’m perfectly happy with the way things are…
  • Cynicism – Oh, great! Here we go again… another harebrained scheme.
  • Above it All – This might work in large B2B companies, but not here.
  • Worry for the Future – No matter how we handle this, it won’t end well.

Contractor Busienss Change Management StrategiesAny of those sound familiar? Even your most enthusiastic and optimistic employee will have thoughts like these creeping in their minds.

So what is the most effective way to introduce change into your home improvement organization?

Here are a few brief tips – to give you some inspiration – on how to help your people to accept change:

  • Good communication – First, you must communicate what you want to change and why. Don’t just tell them here’s how it’s going to be done and walk away.
  • Selling the benefits – Give them the benefits. Show them that changing for the better will save them time and make their job easier.
  • Training, training, training – You’ve got to train your people. If you introduce a new process or new technology, make sure they know how to do it – or they’ll give up.
  • Clearly defined processes – Make sure you’ve got the steps clearly outlined with milestones and expected timelines.
  • Time – Give them time to get adjusted. Don’t expect change, or even acceptance, to happen overnight. 
  • Starting small – Start with 1 or 2 people – put someone in charge to help you and then introduce it slowly to the rest of your people in small stages.
  • Mandatory – With any new change, it must be known that this is the new way of doing business. Don’t be afraid to hold back a benefit or even terminate someone who doesn’t play ball. But only after you’ve tried the rest of these tips – don’t start with this tactic.
  • It must be easy – If the change you bring is simply too hard for anyone… it won’t work. The point is to make their jobs easier… not harder.
  • Find the champion – Remember that overly enthusiastic employee? Maybe he or she could be your “change leader”, your champion, to help maintain morale and motivation.
  • Meet regularly – Don’t set it and forget. Meet regularly to keep people talking about it. Ask for reports, updates, and results.
  • Share the results – When you make big changes, you’re more than likely to see new and better results. Share them with your people to let them know it’s working.
  • Start at the top – Any change you make must start with you. If you don’t accept the change, follow it and apply it yourself, your people will eventually give up.

Start by thinking about your people operate and think. They’ll have their reasons why they won’t accept your new ideas, processes, or systems. But there are ways for you to manage the change and get everyone “on board”.

However, many of these tips seems like a lot of work. So keep those Fortune 500 companies in mind – those who didn’t change were quickly and easily forgotten. Change is a risk, too, but many times change is necessary for your business to thrive in this modern era.

 

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