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When a small business grows, the owner needs to grow too. What worked to get the business started may no longer be a best practice. Meanwhile, it may have become an entrenched habit. 

Fear of Change.

Most people fear change. Especially if things are going well, they hesitate to do things differently because they worry they will mess everything up and not be able to fix it again. 

This fear is not entirely irrational. The fact that it’s reasonable is why we have sayings like “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

But being too risk-averse leaves money on the table and artificially limits growth. Here are some ways to embrace change sanely so small business owner can change their mindset.

Ask Why.

During good times when things are humming along nicely, instead of resting on one’s laurels, small business owners should review the policies and practices. They should think about company history and ask themselves why those policies and practices were implemented. 

The goal of this exercise is to simply understand the business, not necessarily to make changes yet. Asking why things are done a certain way can help the boss recognize when things have changed in an important way. 

Find Alternatives.

When a small business owner is too conservative, they wait until something bad happens before making changes. This guarantees that decisions will be crisis-driven.

A better method is to make it a habit to look for alternatives. Staying aware of other ways to get it done means there is a backup plan. Having a list of alternatives means that a business hiccup doesn’t turn into a crisis. Instead, the business just uses one of the alternatives on the list.

The alternatives will be options that serve the need in question but maybe aren’t quite as good as the preferred method. Maybe they cost a little more or take a little longer. Those details are why they are not the top method. But knowing what else will work prevents business processes from breaking down should something change.

The success or failure of a small business often hinges on the mindset of the owner. The single best way to ensure success is for the owner to make sure their mindset is not the limiting factor to success.