Small Changes – Big Effects

In business we are often looking to make changes that will improve our business. All too often we are looking for dramatic changes, relocating, buying larger premises, more money spent on advertising, hiring more staff in the hope that the investment will pay dividends.

I would like to raise a question. Should we always be looking for big changes to make things better?

The reality is that often small changes have big effects. I remember working in the carpet trade many years ago and the company used to price everything with 95p at the end of the price such as £5.95, £6.95. £10.95 per square yard. By simply changing that to 99p it generated an extra 4p per square yard of carpet sold. Not one customer was lost and the profits of this national company were considerably increased. An example of small change big effect.

Small changes in the way we market our businesses can also have a big effect. In a headline just changing one word can often increase the response. If you make tweets on Twitter with links to your website by simply finding words that work better than others you can dramatically increase the click throughs to your website.

Perhaps you own a shop and space in it is limited it could well be with better planning of the layout and stock control there would be no need to relocate to larger premises. Sales would rise without increasing costs too much.

You could for example look to upsell to your customers. If you can get each customer to spend just a little more each time it would be far easier than trying to find more new customers. If you do this correctly your customers will be pleased with their extra goods or better quality products and are more likely to stay loyal and refer others to you.

I increased the amount of referrals a business was receiving by simply making sure every customer was contacted at least twice a year and supplied with a few business cards each time. The results were quite amazing! Such a small change made a dramatic difference to that business. The customers of course also were more likely to come back as they could not forget who was concerned about them and wanted to provide them with a good service.

With your business take time to think about the small changes that you could make that will increase profits, increase turnover and reduce costs. You will be amazed at what you can achieve with very little effort.


Roland Millward
The Entrepreneur Club

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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8 thoughts on “Small Changes – Big Effects

  1. Hi Mr R,

    Another great article. I wholeheartedly concur with you. A comfort zone can become a coffin zone so quickly. Both are abreviated C.Z.

    The only things in life that don’t change are dead things, even though they change for period of time, the change isn’t for the good.

    I will make sure there is nothing smelling dead in my systems and
    strategies.
    D

  2. This is an extremely pertinent post, particularly given today’s economic climate.
    I see many businesses who were doing well during the ‘good times’ who are now struggling, but they have no idea what they should do. The key word here I feel is “testing”, because it is possible to test changes to prices, website/advertising copy, sales processes etc, so that you can find out exactly what works and what does not.
    In fact NOT testing changes is a huge mistake, and one that I see many businesses make and as a result they have no idea what works and what doesn’t.
    For example … I ran a test with a client recently where one advert pulled in more than 485% better than his previous advert. He now knows that this advert converts well, but I have him testing it against another advert to see if we can beat that.
    Also, what Roland says about keeping in contact with customers is absolutely critical…
    …Did you know that the easiest (and cheapest) people to sell to are your current customers. The second easiest are referrals from current customers, and the Third easiest are lapsed customers. Ideally in my opinion you should be in contact with a customer at least once a month in one way or another, be it an email newsletter, physical newsletter, postcard, special offer, phone call etc.
    This always puts you in the front of their mind and will ensure loyalty from them, and very possible more referrals.

  3. I think a key point to note about small changes is that they may not be noted elsewhere. As you say in the carpet example a 4p increase nobody cared about. Raise it by 50p and you would (probably) have lost a lot of customers.

    I often advise people when starting up a business (see my previous blog) to take small steps and spend money wisely!

  4. Great post. So easy to miss what is under your nose.

    My old boss always used to say revolution is the enemy of evolution and drive home the importance of looking where you are stepping as well as where you are going.

  5. I completely agree! What is the point of drastically changing the way you work when you can improve the same thing by changing a single tiny little thing.

    The devil really is in the detail!

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