2 Smart Ways To Break Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Even as the economy rebounds, some small business owners I talk to still say they’re working harder just to stay afloat. If you face this situation, how can you turn things around and get your company growing again?

The first step is to break out of your comfort zone. The economy isn’t just recovering—it’s changing, and more successful companies are following new rules and using new tools. If you want your business to grow quickly, you need to follow suit.

Here’s an example: In this video, entrepreneur Bill Rancic explains what he’s doing to help make his Italian restaurant in Chicago a success. Bill is using all sorts of new tools and techniques to keep the restaurant running efficiently at all times. To do this, he had to learn about new technologies and make them part of his daily procedure. You can help your business expand by doing the same.

Want more ideas on how to grow your business rapidly? Check out this infographic which highlights a new poll on how technology is helping small businesses prosper. In an earlier blog post, I wrote about key findings from the poll. Today, I want to discuss two ways I see companies taking advantage of technology to break out of their comfort zones:

1. Diversify your offerings

Let’s say you run a healthcare service that performs administrative tasks for doctors’ offices and medical practices, such as billing and collections. The federal Affordable Care Act gives you a chance to expand your offerings—as long as you familiarize yourself with some new tools. You could:

  • Become a digital expert- Your company could help medical practices choose and install the electronic recordkeeping systems that the government will soon require for submitting requests for reimbursement.
  • Champion the cloud–  You could help medical practices save money and improve care by implementing inexpensive, easy-to-use patient management systems managed through third-party servers.
  • Promote security-  As your clients go wireless, you can recommend a broadband solution that includes advanced security tools to help protect them from hackers, viruses, and other cyber crimes.

The takeaway: Use technology to expand your offerings and to put your company on the cutting edge.

2. Streamline your operations

Here’s another example. Say you run a home construction company that’s doing well enough—but you would like your profits to be higher. It may be time to upgrade your communications with suppliers and customers to help save time, reduce costs, and improve service. You could:

  • Strengthen digital connections-  Do everything you can to make your digital interactions, including business email, fast and secure. Also consider implementing online videoconferencing to help improve communication and collaboration with those who matter most to your business.
  • Market online-  Let prospects know you are ready to serve their needs. Use every online marketing technique at your disposal, including having a crackerjack website and text messaging.
  • Troubleshoot problems-  You can’t let a power outage or other interruptions shut you down. Get 24/7 remote support to help keep your business up and running.

The takeaway: Even when things are running smoothly, you can always do something to make them better.

What is your small business doing to grow? Let us know below.

Alice Bredin is America’s foremost small business expert, with more than 15 years of experience in the small business market. She has provided highly practical, actionable advice to millions of business owners through her books, syndicated newspaper column, radio commentary, and small business forums.

Alice Bredin Founder and President Bredin Inc. About Alice