Regardless of the business, it can be difficult to introduce new technologies, systems and processes.But in successful family businesses, it's particularly challenging. So how do you do it?
All businesses face resistance to change. But in successful family businesses, introducing new technology, systems, or processes can be painful – even if the changes will provide significant improvements in efficiency and profitability. So how does the next generation introduce change?
When Trudi became more involved in her family's business, she wanted to introduce new technologies that would streamline ordering and receipt of payments. Given her uncle and father are still very hands-on in the business (even though they are in their 70s and 80s), it was a task.
Here are Trudi's seven secrets to introducing new technologies into a family business.
While there may be faster, more efficient and cost-effective ways of doing things, remember the business has been successful using traditional processes. That's why it's essential to respect the current systems and, if necessary, consider running them concurrently while introducing the new technology. You might even find the traditional methods are a handy back-up if there are hiccups with the new tech.
Resistance to change is a strong human emotion that can be even stronger when the younger generation introduces change. As a result, it won't happen overnight, so be prepared to discuss your ideas frequently and tenaciously.
3. Show the benefits to individuals within the family business
The best way to gain acceptance for a new technology, process, or system is to highlight each individual's direct benefits. Follow up by addressing everyone's concerns – after all, they may be valid. Then continue to discuss the benefits; it is key to removing any apprehensions about the change.
4. Choose wisely and make it easy
You won't obtain acceptance of new technology if it's not easy and intuitive to use, so choose wisely. Don't be afraid to ask other family members to assist you when evaluating a new system.
5. Get internal influencers onboard
Every organisation has people who seem to have a knack of persuading others. If you can, use these influential family members or suppliers to help you get everyone onboard.
6. Customise the training and make the changes part of the daily routine
Don't just hand people large instruction manuals and expect them to adopt the new technology. Instead, invest in customised training, so everyone is learning how to use the new technology in "real life" activities. When people can experience the benefits for themselves, they are more likely to adopt it.
7.Highlight early wins
As soon as the business or individual family members begin seeing benefits in using the new technology, talk about it! Celebrate it, highlight it and work to improve the system even further.
We’re experts in helping family businesses
Numeric Eight provides bookkeeping services, including what we term as “Beyond Bookkeeping” - a fully integrated finance department to help family businesses thrive.
To explore what’s possible, contact us to arrange an obligation-free 30-minute consultation with Trudi.