The first step to implementing positive change in small businesses10 Jul 2013Posted by Brianna Bowman0 comment “Your paradigm is so intrinsic to your mental process that you are hardly aware of its existence, until you try to communicate with someone with a different paradigm.” — Donella Meadows According to Ronnie Musick, a team leader with The Dwyer Group®, with a new generation of marketing and business practices migrating into the work environment at record speeds, it can be a struggle for long-time business owners to keep pace with the changes.With almost 7 years of experience working with The Dwyer Group and Mr. Electric® franchisees, Musick has witnessed the success of many businesses, but he has also watched many of them struggle as they attempt to make the necessary changes in their approach to business. However, expertise and knowledge are only one part of business change. The biggest obstacle, Musick suggests, is the difficulty that established business owners have changing their paradigm as it relates to their business.What is a paradigm?“Ultimately,” says Musick, “a paradigm is a map, template, or just a way of doing things.” A paradigm can also be understood as a habit that is so deeply engrained by a group that they are no longer aware of or open to other ways of performing a task. For business owners, some processes become so deeply engrained it is no longer just a way of doing things, but it has become “THE” way of doing things. As a result, when better options or processes become available, businesses resist change of any sort.What is the impact of paradigm on a small business?While the consistency that comes with habit provides a number of positive benefits, it can also become dangerous if taken to the extreme. An article published by Calibre Business Integration entitled “Business Transformation: The Importance of Change” stated, “In modern business things change at an exponential rate [with] new technologies, new markets, new ideas, and new inventions… Organizations must continuously evolve to keep up with change and remain relevant to their customers.”For information about the dangers of contentment, complacency, and comfort zone in a small business, read the article, “The 3 Cs That Will Wreck Your Business.”Because a paradigm is so engrained in a daily routine, it becomes extremely difficult to acknowledge the value of new ideas or systems. Musick describes this type of complacency as “normalized pain.” For instance, when pressing a sharp object into the skin pain is the initial reaction. However, if the same level of pressure is continuously applied to the same point, the pain appears to abate. The same effect occurs in businesses. Even if a system or way of doing things causes a loss of profits, damages customer relationships, or even diminishes employee satisfaction, it is difficult for some business owners to break from their paradigm and consider a different approach.Overall, change is a natural and necessary part of business growth. Without a healthy level change, businesses become stagnant and lose productivity and profit. However, change begins with a shift in paradigm by acknowledging that there are alternative means of performing a task or looking at a process.Changing a paradigm is difficult to do alone, and often business owners need a guide to help recognize and adjust their paradigm. Thankfully, a The Dwyer Group provides franchisees with business coaches that offer expert advice and assistance. For more information about the opportunities and benefits that a franchise can offer your business visit http://www.leadingtheserviceindustry.com.