There’s a saying, which I’m sure you’ve heard of, that there are two certainties in life, death and taxes. Well there’s also a third certainty that you can’t afford to overlook if you want your business to survive. That certainty is change and no matter how much you try to avoid it, there’s no escaping the fact that business and technology are now evolving at a faster rate than ever before.
We’ve seen a lot of changes in the last five years and technology experts are constantly telling us we can expect more, with the rate of change increasing and the number of changes we’ve seen up until now likely to accelerate in the future.
What’s behind all this change?
The fast pace of change has a lot to do with the generation that is now coming of age and entering the workforce, the generation born after 1980. This generation is known in Australia as Generation Y and they make up around 20% of the population, with an average age of 25.
By the time they have hit their mid 20s, the typical Gen Y person has gone to school and university, bummed around a bit and is ready to start thinking seriously about their career. Many Gen Y people choose to go into their own business right off the bat so they can have more control over their work.
This is significant for business owners of any generation because Generation Y are the first generation to have grown up with computers in their homes which means their brains are wired differently. Unlike the rest of us, they have an ingrained understanding of technology, social media and software. New technology doesn’t intimidate them, they can figure it out with ease and just know how to use it.
If you thought you had a lot of competition now you’re about to get a lot more and these competitors are different to your existing ones, and much more tech savvy.
As a business owner, no matter what age you are, you need to embrace the future and technology or you will get left behind and find yourself unable to compete. There are plenty of examples I can think of where companies who are not changing or growing are slowly going broke. If you don’t want your business to become a statistic, staying current is essential.
One of my mentors once told me. “You can make money or you can make excuses, but you can’t make both,” and every day I come across people who make excuses for avoiding technology and I can see them start to lose money because of it.
One of the biggest challenges for business owners today, especially those who aren’t from Generation Y, is the need to step up and to embrace technology instead of being resentful of it. It’s easy to think that you can’t do it, but you can, whatever age you are. You may need to work at it like any other skill in your life but it’s important that you don’t let a fear of technology or change stifle your business.
Staying ahead of change doesn’t just mean jumping on board with technology, it’s also about keeping your business adaptable as a whole. One of my favourite quotes about change is from former CEO of General Electric Jack Welch, “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” His advice was to get savvy, to learn and to keep learning constantly.
Luckily, technology also enables you to access a whole bunch of tools to help you learn, including online courses as well as great websites and seminars offered by different business coaches and mentors including us. As well as online resources, you can check out our free New Rules of Business event where we will show you how to use these tools to run a smarter, streamlined and more successful business.
If you are in business you have to keep growing if you want to survive in a constantly changing world. Spending at least 30 minutes a week keeping yourself updated and learning new skills can help you stay relevant and current so you don’t get left behind.