I was standing in a long line at a coffee shop waiting to get my hot coffee and fresh berry-bursting muffin. When I finally got to a table and bit into my muffin, I was met with a dry, crumbly, tasteless mouthful.
It wasn’t fresh.
Without the freshness, the moisture was gone and the flavor was flat.
That is what a stale life is…dry and flavorless.
This is what can happen each day if we simply go through the motions. I see it happen all the time in small businesses.
What starts out as an inspired vision from God soon turns into a boring grind.
Imagine how your customer feels.
If you are bored and uninterested in your business and you feel like each day is just a grind, do you think your customers feel the same way?
What about your team?
I think an important business concept is to keep our business fresh.
I know we hear terms like “cutting edge” and “trendy.” I am thinking deeper than this.
Keeping your business fresh doesn’t necessarily mean via technology or significant scientific breakthrough.
It does mean creativity, energy, and change.
Creativity is Fresh
We need to seek creative ways to keep our business, our products and services, and our approach fresh.
This could be:
- changing the environment — fresh-cut flowers, new paintings on the wall, new packaging for your product, a newly painted van for delivery. We need to keep our space and assets updated, renovated, and clean.
- enhancing our products or services — this may be revising a training program you created years ago for current learning, adding a new quality of material to your product, expanding your services and reach.
- developing your team — a fresh team is one that is learning and growing and producing. I have lost people in the past because they weren’t challenged. What a shame. With opportunity all around, there is unlimited capacity for growth, development and positive challenges.
Be The Energy We Want To See In Our Business
We need to lead with energy and enthusiasm in our business. If we are tired and burned out, I can promise you that is not a call to the front line for our team. They will mimic and settle in to the same pace that we are in. We can be mindful of our own energy and work on energizing ourselves:
- Develop your mindset by praying each day, first thing, thanking the Lord for the day He made. Pray for God’s rejuvenating energy and presence to flow through you for the day.
- Exercise and eat right. I know this is a mantra of mine now, but it is because I have learned the difference it makes.
- Play music or listen to a motivational recording on your way to work.
- Create special moments for yourself that make you calm, give you peace and give you small pleasures to re-energize you during the day.
- Fake it. I don’t really buy in to the “fake it until you make it” philosophy, however, in this case it is more like the power of positive thinking. If you act energetic, it must have some kind of kinetic power than transforms into real energy.
We need to embrace change if we are going to stay fresh. “Fresh” by definition is:
- not previously known or used; new or different.
- recently created or experienced and not faded or impaired.
When I worked in the restaurant industry, changing our menu and food was imperative. We had huge cases of pre-prepared high-end foods. Even with the wide variety, if you were coming to get something to eat every day, you would still get sick of what felt like the same old thing.
We had to constantly change the menus, adding new items to the cases, and freshening up the display.
We have all seen large companies who failed to change and keep up with the new, fresh ideas. Blockbuster, the mammoth video store titan, is now gone. AOL is barely used. Remind me again what MySpace is.
We can fight it, but we will lose.
What is new in your business? Have you made changes to your offerings? Have you created new more efficient processes? Have you switched up incentive plans to motivate your staff or added a benefit to keep up with the competition as a great place to work?
A quick exercise to try:
- Make a list of your best products or services.
- Look at the list and think about what you can do to enhance these products or services.
- Look at the least popular products or services.
- Can you make changes that will improve them?
- Should you discontinue them?
- What could you add to replace them?
- Are you receiving any feedback on your products and services?
- Review the feedback and determine if a change will make a difference.
When you step out of your morning shower, or walk out into a bright breezy spring day, or awaken from a full-night sleep…don’t you feel refreshed?
When the new year begins, a new account is opened, a new adventure starts…isn’t it energizing?
When you found Christ and were made anew…didn’t it feel like a fresh start?
Just like the free will God decided to give us from the beginning, we have choices.
Choose to stay fresh!