19 Tips for Curing “I Hate Change” (Plus a Healthy Dose of eCommerce)

“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”

~ W. Edwards Deming – 20th Century Global Quality Expert

 

That’s a powerful quote and also a scary thought as well. 

Do you hate change?

On the other hand, maybe you find yourself working within a business or organization that hates change. 

Either way, whether we like it or not change is inevitable. 

Here is another brilliant Demingism: 

 

“Two basic rules of life are: 1) Change is inevitable. 2) Everybody resists change.”

~ W. Edwards Deming 

 

19 Tips for Curing “I Hate Change”

Well, I certainly do not claim to be an expert or guru on change.

However, below includes a list of suggestions and remedies, accumulated over the years, that have worked in my world. 

So, let’s jump right in…….

  1. Identify weaknesses that need improvement immediately
  2. Expose bottlenecks and constraints
  3. Venture into the unknown – trust your instincts
  4. Align with experts that can hold your hand through positive change
  5. Create new systems and processes
  6. Explore new technologies
  7. Tackle challenges with confidence and positive energy
  8. GET BUY IN
  9. Dedicate yourself and your team to be in a constant state of continuous improvement
  10. Open your mind to new ideas
  11. Research
  12. Talk with vendors
  13. Stay in the know AND in the zone
  14. Align yourself with a tough mentor 
  15. Find an accountability partner who keeps you on track
  16. Take courses online or at local university
  17. Find companies that have accomplished goals that you seek and discover how they did it
  18. Conduct competitive intelligence: especially on competitors who are using new technology and techniques 
  19. Finally, tell yourself, “I embrace change, I embrace change…”

Just Keep Moving Forward

I Hate Change

Most importantly, when it comes to change, take manageable bites.

However, just keep moving forward.

Remember, over-analysis causes paralysis.

Just keep moving forward.

One day at a time. One step at a time.

Just keep moving forward.

For example, take note of 3-4 things that you absolutely hate about your business or organization.

Those heavy burdens or tasks that you deem as profit killers and time wasters.

Processes or systems that you know hurt your business. Yet, no one knows how to change them.

The thought of changing can be so overwhelming that nothing gets done.

Instead of creating a manageable plan, you keep doing things as they have always been done in the past.

Unfortunately, sometimes doing nothing sure beats doing something.

Sacred cows do not go away easily.

I once served on a successful team where our motto was “what are we doing today that we could make fun of six months or a year from now?”

Meaning, identify profit killers or time wasters that are currently eating up our energy, resources and most importantly the bottom line.

For example, a technology or process where down the road you look back and say “can you believe this is how we used to do it?”

In other words, to look back and say, “what a colossal waste of time it was when we did THAT”.

It’s much better to say, “Thank God we had the stamina and courage to take the leap and improve. Take on the new technology. Embrace a new system.”

Above all, Just Keep Moving Forward.

Curing  “I Hate Change” with eCommerce

I Hate Change

For those looking to take the plunge into eCommerce for the first time, many inexpensive options exist.

Especially if you hate change or find yourself working at a business that hates change. 

For example, you can tip your toe in the water with eBay.

Another option, team up with the eCommerce Goliath, Amazon.

Amazon offers virtually a no risk option with creating an eCommerce presence.

Amazon receives over 2 billion visits in a single month.

What are the odds that one of those 2 billion would purchase your product?

Additionally, you can take the plunge and create your own eCommerce store.

For example, if you currently use WordPress for your website, WooCommerce can be added to your site which is a FREE plugin.

Additional options include other eCommerce shopping carts that run as low as $19.99 per month.

The list includes dynamic eCommerce shopping cart solutions such as Shopify, Volusion, 3D Cart, and Big Commerce.

With creating your own website, now you just need a web designer.

Well, affordable and effective web designers are abundant.

Start with word of mouth. Ask around. Check with friends, family, and professional contacts.

Check locally. Do a Google search for local web designers.

Search around LinkedIn, which is loaded with eCommerce experts eager to help you.

Check out outsourcing websites like Fiveer, Guru, or Upwork.

Explore local universities or colleges. Post a job or internship.

The bottom line: Just keep moving forward. 

Just Get in the Game

hate change

In conclusion, put up a good fight against “I Hate Change”.

Especially when it comes to embracing new technology such as eCommerce. 

Do everything possible to avoid finding yourself in the eCommerce Graveyard.

Get off the sidelines and Just Get in the Game. 

Once you find yourself on the field, then the fun begins.

Take advantage of every resource available to put you and your company on the winning side.

Together we can conquer the dreaded disease of “I Hate Change”.

Let’s make “I Hate Change” a thing of the past so we look back with a good laugh.

So what steps do you and your team take to fight “I Hate Change”?

Top 13 Reasons Why Manufacturers Struggle with eCommerce

Why do some Manufacturers Struggle with eCommerce? 

Struggle in the sense of wondering where to even start.

Additionally, struggling with the question if eCommerce will actually provide a return for their business. 

As the saying goes, “you don’t know what you don’t know” certainly applies here. 

If you have never experienced the powerful results that eCommerce delivers, it makes perfect sense to be reluctant to embrace an eCommerce strategy.  

Especially when there are no guarantees with results. 

However, since you “don’t know what you don’t know”, consider these questions:

What if eCommerce took your business in an entirely new direction? 

What if eCommerce led you to new markets? 

Opened doors that you never knew existed? 

Well, here is one reason that may motivate you to take the plunge into the B2B eCommerce market: 

Forrester forecasts that US B2B eCommerce will reach $1.8 trillion and account for 17% of all B2B sales in the US by 2023.

$1.8 TRILLION!!!! 

So with that piece of interesting information, let’s take a look at a number of reasons why manufacturers struggle with eCommerce. 

(See post: “Dying to Enter the eCommerce Graveyard: Please Don’t Be Next”)

Top 13 Reasons Why Manufacturers Struggle with eCommerce

After consulting with dozens of manufacturers over the years, many reasons surface as to why manufacturers Struggle with eCommerce.

Here are 13 of the most common concerns that I encounter:

  1. Skepticism: Will eCommerce help achieve goals and offer ROI?
  2. Overwhelming: Entering the unknown
  3.  Do not fully understand how eCommerce works
  4. Too busy: Lack of time, energy, and resources 
  5. Who will manage? No key employee on hand to champion the cause 
  6. Financial risk: Too expensive 
  7. Not familiar with an eCommerce web design firm that they know or trust
  8. Who will create content for the eCommerce site?  Product descriptions, pictures, videos, etc…
  9. Who will execute marketing strategies?  SEO, Pay-Per-Click, Social Media, Video, Blog, etc…
  10. Do not accept credit cards: Don’t want to sacrifice the 2-3%
  11. Customer Service concerns: Who will deal with consumers? Phone calls? Emails? Bad leads? Spam?
  12. Current infrastructure does not fit shipping small quantities to businesses or even consumers 
  13. Unsure of 4 P’s: Product, Placement, Price and Promotion

This holds true especially for small manufacturers who deal with just a handful of customers. In many cases, the same customers that they have dealt with for years. 

Each reason holds as a legitimate concern which contributes to not moving forward. 

So let’s discuss how to become unstuck. 

What do you have to lose?

Struggle with eCommerce

What is the absolute worst thing that could happen if you tipped your toe into eCommerce? 

Would the investment of time and money severely damage the company? 

Is it just a matter of stepping out of a comfort zone?

A saying in my family goes, “You will never find your next favorite food or restaurant unless you try new something new.” Therefore, broaden and expand your horizons. 

“You will also never discover your next favorite city unless you travel.” So explore.  

The same could be said about eCommerce. 

Is it possible that the Struggle with eCommerce would not be a struggle at all? 

Actually, it is just a matter of getting in the game. 

Creating a strong eCommerce presence represents your 24 sales tool.

Opens new doors. 

Creates entirely new possibilities. 

 

25 Blog Topics for Manufacturers Eager to Start Blogging

Blogging plays a critical role with any B2B marketing strategy. One major challenge though: Where to start? Creating blog topics that readers find helpful and educational certainly is not an easy task.

Additionally, many small business owners question the value of blogging for their company.

Especially for those in manufacturing.

Common questions asked during discussions with manufacturers who are considering blogging:

  • Who has time to actually blog?
  • In particular, as a manufacturer or small business owner, what the heck do you blog about anyway?
  • Does a business truly benefit from blogging?
  • More importantly will blogging connect with new customers?
  • Bottom line, will blogging actually generate sales?

Blogging delivers powerful results for many reasons.

Several benefits of blogging include:

  • Tremendous SEO Value
  • Customer engagement
  • Educate customers
  • Inform potential prospects on your company, products, and services
  • Convert content from blogs into social media posts

So, let’s dig deeper on blog topics to consider for your business.

Where to Start?

Blog Topics

Actually there are tons of blog topics to consider for your customers.

Yet, taking the time and energy to actually sit at a computer and type these thoughts out sounds overwhelming. Daunting. Seems like a waste of time.

I get it. You are BUSY! Constant fires to put out. You have a steady list of issues that need addressing.

Stopping to type out a blog post typically does not make the priority list for most small business owners.

Especially those who lack the experience in creating content. Let alone the desire.

A common response to blogging, “if I wanted to be a blogger, I would have gone to journalism school”.

However, the great thing about blogging, anyone with a computer, laptop, cellphone or mobile device can now create a voice.

Stepping out of your comfort zone to put your thoughts out on the World Wide Web can be intimidating for many.

So, wondering where to start?

For example, find a topic that you are an expert in or where you share a deep passion. Then sit down and just start typing.

Still questioning what blog topics would create the most impact for your business?

The goal here is to help you achieve your goals.

Blog Topics: Just Start

Blog Topics

When it comes to blogging, just start with one blog a month.

However, just start.

Then consider every other week. Possibly graduate to once a week.

Just start.

It takes time though. Be patient.

Yet, give it everything you’ve got.

Just start.

For your first post, simply begin blogging about your business. Your product line. Your area of expertise.

No one knows your products better than you.

If someone was sitting across from you and you needed to describe what you do, type that.

Consider this analogy: pretend you are in front of a classroom of 6th graders and it is “Mom or Dad comes to school for career day”.

Well, you better be on your “A game” because 6th graders are a tough crowd. They can smell fear or weakness a mile away.

Also, you have the pressure that you MUST be the “cool” parent. You don’t want the other kids telling your child how boring you are.

Years from now these kids will say “I never wanted to become a _______, because this parent came in our classroom and did such a pathetic job explaining what they did for a living that I vowed to NEVER do what they do.”

How is that for pressure or incentive to share what you do with a passion?

Blog About What You Know Best

Another option when determining blog topics, pretend your dream customer is standing in front of you. It could be at a trade show. At a conference or event. The coffee shop. On the street.

What would you say? How would you describe your business? Can you paint a clear picture of how you can solve their problem?

Otherwise, another scenario, let’s pretend a customer is taking a tour of your facility.

During a tour, you will demonstrate why you are the BEST option to provide the solution that this particular customer is seeking? You will show off your amazing team, equipment, machinery, and resources. Well, there’s another potential blog post. Actually, an entire series of blog posts.

The internet makes everyone’s lives more efficient.

Especially since it is unrealistic to stand face to face with every prospect.

To turn it around, when you are the buyer seeking a new vendor, where do you turn?

In the past, you had to go to trade shows to find the best vendors.

Back in the 1990’s, I recall going to trade shows to find new vendors. In January. The dead middle of winter. It was expensive (plus very cold). It also meant time away from running my business. On another occasion many years ago, I traveled to Hong Kong searching for new vendors. It was an absolutely wonderful experience, just not efficient.

All of that just to find new products and vendors. Sure it is great meeting new people face to face.

However, conducting a Google search or connecting with new vendors on social media works so much more efficiently and affordably.

Blogging helps you make those valuable and profitable connections. Efficiently.

Blog Topics for Your Business

Finally, let’s dig into blog topics to launch your blogging journey.

Below includes a list of blog topics to consider when starting your blogging career:

  1. How you started the company
  2. Why you chose entrepreneurship
  3. Explain the benefits of outsourcing the products and services that you offer
  4. Information about your community
  5. Start a blog series on your proprietary products or processes
  6. Reviews on the equipment and tools that you use
  7. Meet the Team: Profile your amazing employees
  8. Case studies
  9. Customer Service Questions – FAQ’s are excellent blog topics
  10. Benefits of Made in USA
  11. Recycling
  12. Safety concerns in your industry
  13. New equipment purchases
  14. Updates or improvements on your website as well as progress with internet marketing
  15. Engineers in your industry
  16. Influencers in your industry
  17. Customer testimonials
  18. Historical figures in your industry
  19. What is (Blank)? — describe the parts that go into your products
  20. Explain how your products are made
  21. Point out industries that use your products
  22. Book Reviews
  23. Videos, Videos, Videos – start creating How-To videos of your expertise as blog posts
  24. Create Resource Guidebooks
  25. Company announcements such as new hires, new efficiencies, new products

FREE Blogging Resources

Lastly, below includes several outstanding free blogging resources to help you get started:

In conclusion, one thing to remember, just get started!

For those already enjoying success with blogging, what resources do you find the most helpful?

Thank you for reading & wishing you tremendous success with your blogging journey!