I think it was about 1975 when I was given my first Polaroid camera. As a kid, I was fascinated when, right before my eyes, a full color picture developed as it came into focus. A few of my friends at school had this cool mechanical wonder at home already, so I was not the trendsetter at Wellwood Elementary School, but I was still excited to at least be a part of the "in" crowd. The model I owned came with a rainbow strip down the middle and when I loaded the film into its rectangular front door it whizzed and whirled into action, spitting out pics as quickly as I could say, "Select, focus, shoot." It was incredible, and in the mid 70's it was more than just a novelty to have pictures develop so quickly, it was cutting edge and current.
"Some of the principles that you apply to your business have you stuck in policies that were create years, if not decades ago. "
Fast forward to today, iPhones and digital cameras take photos so life-like you feel like you are actually in the picture when you view them. Digital cameras that shoot fifty megapixel images create quality that never could have been created using Polaroid's technology from the 1970's. Just like the evolution of photography, business changes rapidly, drastically and ceaselessly. It may not be as obvious to you as the advances in photography, but some of the principles that you apply to your business might have you stuck in policies that were create years, if not decades ago. Inability to change, make adjustments and forecast are slowing you down, and what's worse, if you prolong this approach, you could also go the way of the Polaroid picture.
It's time to shay shay shake your outdated policies, procedures and practices like a Polaroid picture. Here are a handful of ways to keep your business on track and focused on a future with positive results:
- Learn to embrace changes in technology, instead of running from it. Technology can deliver a powerful punch to any marketing and customer service plans that you have in place today. Failing to take advantage of social media, email marketing, on-line customer service and other trends in technology will greatly reduce your opportunity to market to the those with an eye on the future. Millennials (and many other markets) investigate, research and purchase online. Don't lose site of what is working for your business now, but certainly, do not ignore the shifting market you work with.
"If you don't listen to your customers or provide a less than stellar service, they will make sure all of their friends know exactly what your company is all about."
As your business grows and evolves, stay focused on the things that are working right, but never lose sight of the future. Similar to Polaroid which focused too much on its past success rather than on the advances technology was making in photography, they soon became a thing of the past. Polaroid was too slow to react to the changing market conditions. Keep your head in the game, never let your present successes blind you. Continually grow, evolve and change and you will have a much better chance of developing into the picture perfect business.