How to Plan for Change in Your Business

How to Plan for Change in Your Business
A successful business is an ever-changing business, be this on an internal level, external, technological, or other. Find here how to always be one step ahead by adapting your business, and how to plan for it.
by Square Nov 09, 2022 — 3 min read
How to Plan for Change in Your Business

Change is an inevitable part of being a business owner. No matter how well your business is doing today, you have to be prepared to adapt and shift as circumstances change. This could mean changing to deal with difficulties such as economic impacts, a global pandemic, fluctuations in revenue, demand shifts, or adapting to take advantage of new opportunities. In all cases, planning for change is hugely important to help avoid disrupting your business. But, as the past few years taught us, sometimes big changes happen that are out of our control and we can be forced to adapt.
Let’s chat through a few simple ways that could help you prepare for future changes in your business.

Create a clear idea

Start planning with a clear idea of what you want the outcome of the change to be. Many people concentrate on the mechanics of the change without considering where they want it to lead – the how rather than the why. In order to keep a firm grasp of what the impact of the change should be, write down why change needs to happen by listing the current aspects of the business which you feel are holding you back.

Draw up a plan

Planning for change means having a clear roadmap to refer to at every stage. Not only will this help you to navigate around any problems which arise, it also means you have something to show to other stakeholders such as employees. A plan could the following:


Set specific goals

Planning for change effectively means creating a set of highly specific goals you wish to achieve. Rather than vague aims such as ‘business growth’ or ‘better cash flow’, set out clear targets. These could include how you want the business, post-change, to look and operate. Metrics to identify at this point of planning for change include:


Document milestones

Part of a plan for change should involve the creation of milestones, enabling you to take the change process logically from one stage to the next and communicate this with your team. Once the goals and targets around these milestones have been set, they can either be ticked off as you meet them, or identified as having failed and needing to be addressed. The creation of stand-alone milestones also makes it easier to create a plan for change which is practical and gradual.

Clear communication

No matter what kind of change you want to introduce, it is vital that you take employees along with you through the process. This is only possible if you communicate clearly and from the very start of the process.

Tips for ensuring this happens include:


Involve your employees

Having communicated with employees on your plan for change, also involve them in planning for these changes. Although you have already drawn up your own plan, the employees who work across the business on a day-to-day basis may be able to identify more efficient ways of doing things, or approaches which are more practical. In order to reach employees at every level of your business, use a range of media including emails, one-to-one meetings, information leaflets and group feedback sessions.

Change the culture

When the time comes to plan for change, it is extremely helpful if, in the past, you have created a culture within your business in which change and versatility are seen as the norm rather than as something hugely disruptive to be feared. Ways of embedding a culture of this kind could include the following:


Create clarity and confidence

When planning for change, ensure that you approach every stage – particularly when engaging employees – with a high degree of confidence and clarity. If employees get the impression that you are uncertain about the change you’re planning, they will find it hard to embrace that change themselves. Similarly, if you’re not completely clear about what that change will involve, employees may find themselves caught by surprise and therefore less able to complete the tasks and processes you identified as being necessary when planning for change.

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