Small Business: Innovate or Attenuate

So you're a small business owner?

Go ahead.  Keep doing the same thing.

Keep using the same business processes, the same hardware and software, the same approaches to your business game that you've been using for the last decade. Heck, maybe even before then.

Keep hiring the same kinds of people, execute the same strategy, depend on the same marketing techniques, and say the same thing about your product or service.

Keep doing the same thing because ... ? It's safe? It's what you've always done? You're afraid of alternatives? Consequences? Real and perceived risk? Losses? Embarrassment?

Keep doing the same thing because ... ? You believe the world is static - technology isn't reinventing your industry, consumer preferences aren't changing, and that the perceived value of your product or service doesn't continually wane in the eyes of your consumer?

Keep doing the same thing because ... ? You like consistency. You dislike change. You want to keep the cheese right where it is, thank you, and that makes you feel comfortable. Comfortable is preferable to disruption.

Keep doing the same thing and - in comparison to your competitors - your costs will increase, your margins will erode,  your perceived value will diminish, your market share will shrink, and you will be slow: you shall be the master of the wrong product, at the wrong place, at the wrong time. 

But maybe, in the end, you'll still feel good about it? If not, upswings in the economy are times to innovate. Do something different. Spend a little money to R&D - try new things, in new ways, to question your assumptions and think differently.  And a great place to start is with your business processes and systems automation.