What story does 45 years in business really tell you?

At my best friend’s wedding, I shared the quote:

“It’s not a matter of counting the years, rather it’s more about making the years count!” 

George Meredith

Now that could not be more true about marriage, life, and yes….even BUSINESS! 

Growing up in my family’s business, I was always in awe of companies that had been in business for so many years. My husband’s locksmith family business had been around for over 125 years when we first met. It takes a great business and exceptional people to keep a company going that long! And they sure did!

One thing I Iove about businesses is getting to hear the history of how companies began and evolved over time. The history is what makes the company right? We can definitely put the FUN in DysFUNction sometimes. 

Can you relate?

Times are changing, and they are changing fast. So what does that mean for the business culture? Well, It means we need to start recognizing the advancements in technology, culture, habits, and even leadership will help us get a better understanding of where we need to be or where we need to go.  

It is great to celebrate the however many years of service your businesses have been in. But sometimes, promoting your double or triple-digit years in business could be viewed as an anchor. Meaning, you carry that anchor but you’re not recognizing the opportunity and importance of evolving and keeping up with the trends. 

Don’t get me wrong, I have tremendous respect for companies that kept going throughout the years. I know first hand what grit goes into the journey. Small businesses, will always have a place in my heart, but I also know how hard it can be to step out of the small business mindset and look out to see what your company is missing. 

I believe that if you don’t step back and reevaluate the company you are today and make sure it is evolving you may be facing a predicament in the future. 

Too often companies think “we have always done it this way and it has always worked so we won’t change”. Or “why change when it is still working”? One great reason to keep evolving is that you don’t want to be caught off guard when an industry shift happens. No one wants to become irrelevant to their consumers or potential employees. 

This type of too confident thinking can present itself when viewing your brand. Do you have a logo design from 1982 and you think, well it still works, everyone knows us and they recognize the logo we have. Why change? 

Here is why.

People are going to want to do business with those that tell the story of their past AND appeal to them today. If they don’t notice you then you are losing opportunities. Do you think that the product or service you are providing today will always stay relevant? 

There are too many industries that have been hit hard with the disruption of let’s call it, “lack of evolving with the times”. Travel agents, newspapers, bookstores, video rental, farming, wired telephone…the list goes on and on and is not done yet. The cycle of disruption will continue at a more rapid pace. 

I am beyond proud of the 45 years of blood, sweat, and tears (literally) that our family has overcome to be in business for this milestone. However, I am even more proud of the way in which we have evolved and embraced change. Even when change is scary, unpredictable and downright terrifying, we need to continue to produce value to our clients and create a culture that passionate individuals want to be a part of.

Are you ready? By all means, DO NOT stop counting the years…but make sure you are also making them count by loving what you do, why you do it and sharing that story with others.

“The next ten years, the business will change more than it did in the previous fifty.”

Bill Gates

 


Carisa Holmes has 25+ years of experience in leadership and office culture. She is currently an Owner and Administrator of Holmes Marketing Services. To talk to Carisa more about this topic, please leave a topic, or visit her bio page.

 

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