Adapt and change to progress
It seems unquestionable, or maybe not, but companies must have the ability to adapt and change with times in order to progress within their markets. Without changes, we can’t improve as people and companies can’t reach their full potential. Experiencing change, however, is something that we’re deemed to hate, as humans. We resist change for a number of reasons which are now summarized by the fact that changing is difficult. It’s so difficult that many companies are too afraid of it and stagnate. In fact, in 2009, Steve Mckee published “When Growth Stalls”, in which he notes that 41.2% of nearly 5,700 companies he studied stalled in the previous decade. Amongst the number of reasons, the ones that stood out the most were a failure to focus, no competitive point of difference , and weak identities and brand images, to name a few.
Why businesses stagnate
Neurosciences and cognitive sciences explain the following.
Habits are powerful and efficient: Early lessons in life and business play a crucial role in creating mind maps that sort reality into well-established habits and perceptual order. In other words, your brain limits what it sees and reality is perceived according to your past experiences.
Your brain despises change: Your prefrontal cortex must work very hard when experimenting with unfamiliar ideas or when learning something new. In those situations, your brain uses approximately 25% of your energy. This is why you feel tired and your head hurts.
You should aim to experience and feel new things, not just read about them: As you learn new things your brain actually changes, reflecting new decisions, mind maps and reality sorting. Learning through experience is essential. As soon as you encounter a challenge, your brain will try to hijack new thought patterns.
As people and as a business we can vouch for the above. In fact, we’ve come across many changes in the past six months that we’ve actually experienced first-hand. To start with, the most recognizable change is that our company is now operating in a different area. We have relocated from London to Stroud, or from the UK’s capital to a medium-sized town in the hearth of the Cotswolds. This change has affected us, both as individuals and as a business.
We had to adapt to a new environment, which it ultimately came down to making of this new place our new beloved sweet home. Now, you may want to know how we’re doing so far and here’s what we’d like to share with you: Leaving well-known places, solid routines, but above all, friends and loved ones behind (to a certain extent, of course!) is not an easy task. There was no doubt that it would come with challenges. How are we coping with them? Well, the initial shock and sense of strangeness were overcome by the pleasure of meeting some great welcoming people and by the breathtaking landscape that surrounds us. This is what make us feel pleased to have embarked on this exciting adventure.
As a business
From a business perspective, we have excellent reasons to believe this new market is better suited to our company’s culture and identity. We have been in business since 2014 and throughout the years we have gained a deeper understanding of ourselves, as a company, and of our market as a whole. London is the city that witnessed our birth and first steps, which inspired us to be competitive and to always try our very best. Without London, we wouldn’t be where we are now so we are grateful to the city that sought us grow and shine. But London can be overwhelming for an independent business that’s trying to make a difference. The little fish in the big pond, only that, too often, the fish did not see itself as being that little, nor it saw the pond as big. It was more like wanting to test new waters.
The perfect place to be
We needed a scenario in which our front-stage superstars, namely Tesla cars and our chauffeurs, could get the visibility they deserved. While looking for new horizons, this area of outstanding natural beauty seemed like the perfect place to be. Here, our green car has found its green roads, and green clients (metaphorically speaking – they are not aliens and our Tesla is not in Mars). We are, therefore, happy to welcome you to the Cotswolds and to Stroud.
Really a scenic countryside, which we are able to enjoy in its full splendor thanks to its villagers’ dedication to preserving this area, to their intimate connection with nature, and to the fact that they are willing to go the extra mile for the environment. In fact, town centres are also a reflection of its inhabitants’ lifestyle and personalities. Forget about big multinational corporations. In the Cotswolds, independent companies and family-run businesses are supported the most. So imagine the honey-stone architecture and gentle landscape, alongside organic farms and farm shops, vegan and vegetarian cafes, traditional picturesque pubs. The Cotswolds is home to stores and boutiques selling fair-trade products and a number of charity shops sustaining good causes by selling excellent second-hand clothes and homeware.
Welcome to Stroud
Stroud has its own green energy company and even a vegan football team! And if this isn’t enough, the Cotswolds is also home to celebrities such as Kate Moss, Hugh Grant, Lily Allen, and Kate Winslet, amongst many others. With this regard, Stroud claims more artists per capita than anywhere else in the country! What else could we look for when it comes to relocation? But as mentioned before, this is the most remarkable change that has occurred, but not the only one.
Today is our past, present and future
We have also taken into account our clients and collaborators’ feedback and decided to start operating in this area with a name which collocates better with our brand culture and identity. Ladies and gents, allow me to introduce you to Exec-Ev-Chauffeurs. Changing name is something that has come up several times over the last few years, but we were resistant to it because Gooder meant so much to us (see initial blog “Is Gooder even an English word?”). It has significance to us, in particular when it comes to long-term goals – we won’t share these with you just yet, but we promise to keep you in the loop. This is why we’ve decided not to forget our initial name altogether. Our own way of honouring our past, while keeping an eye in the future. All of which is being done now, in the present.
Our values remain intact
Today, we have the chance to think about our business priorities, to evaluate our business practices and make the necessary changes in order to grow. This is also a moment to discuss about those things that should remain intact. Regarding this, we came to the conclusion that our decision of choosing quality over quantity has demonstrated to be essential for a small company with a big vision and it’s something that we are not willing to compromise, ever. For instance, we are well aware of our own business capability and know that our clients receive an excellent service at all times.
Our strength lies on our reputation and client’s satisfaction
In other words, we know that at this stage, our independent business will have more clients by accepting less bookings. If you are unable to find the logic behind this reasoning, try and think for a minute of you and your client as a two-way relationship. Now, to be good and long-lasting, relationships need to be nourished at all times. To do so, attention, dedication, time and effort play a crucial role and we need to make sure that we invest them all in our clients. In return, customers satisfaction translates into loyalty and support. After all, it is because of these relationships that our business keeps on growing.
That being said, we are not suggesting that new opportunities cannot be taken, or that we will not accept any new client. It is just the opposite! We are striving to do so, but in a responsible way, so that it is beneficial for all our existing and potential clients and for us. Finally, both Exec-Ev-Chauffeurs and Gooder Ltd apologise for being quiet for a while. Our website and social media have undergone changes too, but we are back on track! Now you know it was all for a good reason: we were dealing with change, which consumed our energy, hurt our brains, but above all, made us dream, improve and progress.
P.S: Tell us what you think about our relocation, name and website! We would love to hear your thoughts on this.