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Why get better?

Opportunities often hide behind change that you may not be willing to make or even able to comprehend at this point nor see needing change as the current methods achieve the bare minimum goals. This resistance to change can also be thanks to fear that replacing the old may not work, take too long to learn or make it harder for you. This fear is shared by new and old business’s alike, but a little risk can reap rewards as explained by the concept ‘The better you get, the better you’d better get’. It suggests that alongside improving, you should also become efficient and effective in your improvement otherwise the business faces failure.

The evolution of the telephone

Is resistance to change holding your business back?

So why can’t you just keep all the old attributes of the business that works and add on the new aspects? The answer is that you can keep the old but keeping everything from the original business. Keeping everything would be akin to a store that has old computers that work but not very well. The store then decides to just buy two more new computers instead of replacing all the old ones. They then still have the problems of the old computers to deal with and so have not solved their problem. Their reasoning? The old computers had familiar programs and all staff know how to use them. This means there is no pressure on the employees to learn to use the new laptops and when the old computers inevitably stop working, not many employees can use them. In the long term, without innovation and change, the business will suffer.

Bringing in an ‘Outsider’ to get better

The first step to this change is to figure out how your business needs to change and if that change is possible. However, finding the faults in your own creation can often be difficult or impossible, especially if everything has stayed the same for a long time. It’s a concept as difficult as accepting responsibility for your own actions and according to studies performed by Stanford university, it’s extremely difficult to do. The study shows that many people will only admit to it if they believe they can change. So, what do you do when you can’t change without changing? The solution to this ‘catch 22’ is an outsider’s perspective.

Many hands make light work.

Get Better through Tough Love

An outsider can be a friend or a close business partner, as long as they are able to give you a fresh outlook, are trustworthy and can be blunt with you. Their involvement with the business means they will be able to find faults and be able to give suggestions that you can consider. These suggestions may be a little too much for now as the changes are drastic and could possibly go terribly wrong in your opinion. That leads us to the next point you need to remember when you change things, in personal or work life. Change needs to occur slowly in order for it to work.

Take prudent risks

People will usually respond badly to change that occurs too quickly with too much being changed at once. The business is working and growing so not everything needs to be changed straight way to get better. Just some small things first, then progress into more risky things. In the words of Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Kraft Foods inc. till 2017, “I talk a lot about taking risks, and then I follow that up very quickly by saying, ‘Take prudent risks.’” Understand the repercussions of the changes you are going to make and make sure you have plans against things that may go wrong.

Gradual or incremental change is recommended

This safe guarding will insure that everyone involved in the changes will be more comfortable and be able to communicate to customers what is happening. You need to make sure everyone is made aware of changes in case of something going wrong. Slow change helps with keeping others in the loop as sometimes information can move slowly in the groups involved. A gradual change also allows for people to become used to the small changes and prepare for large changes. This makes a business better at changing.

Your time to thrive is now

A business that changes and moves to get better and reflect the consumers is a business that succeeds. You need to be able to be flexible and move with the wants and needs of consumers otherwise you risk losing them. You need to understand ‘the better you get, the better you’d better get’ to make sure your business continues to thrive like it has.

References

Questia.com. (2019). “The
Art of Prudent Risk Taking” by Kindler, Herbert S. – Training &
Development, Vol. 52, Issue 4, April 1998 | Online Research Library: Questia
.

Available at:
https://www.questia.com/magazine/1G1-20860369/the-art-of-prudent-risk-taking
[Accessed 20 Feb. 2019].

Business.gov.au. (2019). Innovation.

Available at: https://www.business.gov.au/change-and-growth/innovation
[Accessed 20 Feb. 2019].

Encyclopedia Britannica.
(2019). Irene Rosenfeld | Biography & Facts. [online] Available
at: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Irene-Rosenfeld [Accessed 20 Feb.
2019].

Journals.sagepub.com.
(2019). SAGE Journals: Your gateway to world-class journal research.

Available at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167214552789?journalCode=pspc [Accessed 20 Feb. 2019].

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2016 Regional Online Heroes

Regional Online Heroes

Regional Online Heroes is a business competition managed by the Regional Australia Institute and Google.  They look for regional businesses that make use of the internet to grow. Introducing AGDATA Australia, a small software company that grew through word of mouth for over 30 years.  There is a large amount of political and media attention on the start-up community. AGDATA Australia had longevity against them and weren’t confident they would be considered.

A little about AGDATA Australia

AGDATA Australia has social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Instagram, and has also trialled many others. The company attempts to be everywhere their customers are.  AGDATA surveyed their customers which pointed to the four platforms most utilised. That is where AGDATA then put the majority of their efforts.  The company has regular monthly eNewsletters to keep their customers informed.

The support team uses Teamviewer to accomplish over the shoulder client assistance. Online video tutorials are available for customers to self-help using a customer portal. AGDATA runs both paid and free webinars for their clients using ClickMeeting.  They use many other online tools to achieve various functions within the business. AGDATA provides both cloud and locally installed (desktop) packages for their customers. They recognise very well that not all internet services are created equally (especially in the bush).  All Phoenix training workshops, desktop and cloud solutions are purchased online using e-commerce technology.  All of this is monitored and analysed using Google Analytics.

Without this technology, the company would need to employ more staff and increase prices. The team of approximately 18 work from the Toowoomba office. Some staff occasionally tele-commute to allow for flexible work opportunities.

What are the benefits of entering Regional Online Heroes?

Firstly, it gave AGDATA an opportunity to review the business and look hard at the current digital footprint.  Most businesses are so busy working in the business that the review process is neglected.  Many businesses don’t enter competitions such as Regional Online Heroes. They don’t think they have enough online activity.  However, as AGDATA Australia found, it didn’t take long to see how big their digital footprint is.

Secondly, when AGDATA Australia was selected as a finalist, Stephen enjoyed an experience of a lifetime. He attended the Google Masterclass meeting with the Minister for Small Business. One-on-one expert tuition from one of the Google web marketing gurus was a highlight. All finalists enjoyed a tour of the Google Headquarters in Sydney.

A most positive outcome was learning how the other finalists are implementing their online solutions within their businesses and to what effect.

What are the benefits to winning Regional Online Heroes?

The Federal Minister for Small Business, The Hon Michael McCormack MP, announced AGDATA Australia as the National Winner.  Apart from the enormous media coverage that the win provided, there was a valuable prize pack.  The win provided the company with renewed brand recognition in what has become a very noisy #AgTech marketplace.  Google produced a case study of AGDATA, along with a series of videos (below) to promote Regional Online Heroes featuring the AGDATA leadership team.  AGDATA Australia is now on the radar of most state and federal government departments with the company leadership being involved in advisory surveys, case studies and promotions.

Should you enter the Regional Online Heroes?

Most definitely, whether you are a small family business or a small/medium enterprise (less than 200 employees).  The benefits begin the moment you start reviewing your online presence.  Regional Australia Institute starts calling for nominations later in the year.  You’ve got time now to conduct your review, implement changes, monitor and correct before submitting your entry for ROH 2019.  Take the first step now and join the Regional Australia Institute mailing list so that you receive notification as soon as the call for nominations goes out.  If you would like to discuss your entry, drop us an email or give us a call 0426 244278.

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