What comes to mind when you think of the word “stale”? Probably old, moldy, gross, not fit for eating, the opposite of fresh, dry, etc.
No one likes a stale piece of bread, especially if you are craving a hearty, jam-packed, fresh sandwich. The same is true in business. Boring, tiresome, and stale ideas often lead to uninteresting results.
In both B2C and B2B business, keeping ideas new and fresh will keep the customers and businesses you handle coming back for more. This is why keeping up with trends, your competitors, keeping an open mind, and bringing in new employees with different backgrounds and experiences is important.
Stale is boring. Fresh is the way to go.
Here are 5 ways to avoid becoming stale in business:
Change What’s Not Working
The example that comes to mind is our automotive industry. For many years, cars were being “built in obsolescence,” meaning they seemed to last for 5-6 years and then things would go south. Around the 1970s, companies like Toyota and other foreign car manufacturers started to be imported into the USA on a more massive scale. Those cars were deemed more reliable, fuel efficient, and longer-lasting. Thus, the automotive industry began changing. Because they did not change fast enough with the growing imports, American automakers lost significant market share.
Don’t Change Your Core Values
If your company has a mission statement and core values that were established at the time of incorporation or that have been developed over the years, stay consistent with those values. Bring these positive values to the forefront and deliver your products, services, etc., with them in mind. Your values cannot become stale unless you no longer believe in them.
Children are given recess, which allows them to get away from a subject, refresh themselves, and come back ready to learn. This philosophy should be true when it comes to a business. You cannot expect your employees to thrive unless they have a time to disconnect from their desk or workplace. Kimberly Elsbach, Management Professor at UC-Davis, says, “Never taking a break from very careful thought actually reduces your ability to be creative. It sort of exhausts your cognitive capacity and you’re not able to make the creative connections you can if your brain is more rested.”
Let’s take a look at retail and shopping. Most retail purchases are done by impulse. This means you need to get your products noticed on the shelf. How are you going to get your products noticed? By exploring, that’s how! No matter what kind of business you are in, taking the time to research, observe, and study what your competitors and related businesses are doing will give you that competitive edge. If you are a company who is in the active wear business and you want to try to get people to buy your products, you are going to try to out-do Nike, Adidas, and other similar brands on the market. Being different and refreshing catches a customer’s eye and enhances your chances of getting noticed.
Hire People Who Are Different From You
Stability in the workplace is very important, but so is change. If no one ever changes, bad habits may continue. Age and diversity of employees is just as important. Taking it back to retail, the population you sell to is diversified with varying ethnic groups, male vs. female, and tastes. If you are the leader of an organization and don’t actively get out of your comfort zone and hire people that that are different from you, you’re destined to only make decisions that appeal to you, not other people.
Do you have any additional ideas on how to stay fresh in the business world?
Send Sharn Enterprises, Inc a tweet or comment on Facebook and Twitter!