Edit ModuleShow Tags

When preparation meets opportunity


“Good fortune is when preparation meets opportunity.” That’s a quote from Jerry Goldstein, former CEO of Scott’s Liquid Gold; who is the son of Ida Goldstein, founder of Scott’s Liquid Gold; and the father of Mark Goldstein, the company’s current CEO. Sixty-one years of family and business history, manufacturing the same successful core product. At the same time, they’ve overcome the risks and challenges of competing against some of the world’s largest manufacturers.

The Scott’s story should reassure people who fear change which, in truth, is most of us. Their successful history illustrates that you have choices. The Goldstein family hasn’t changed the Liquid Gold formula or its original look in all these years—and they still manufacture in the U.S. But the company has changed in many thoughtful ways. It is now public and has successfully diversified into the personal care market, where you’d never expect to find a furniture polish manufacturer. Instead of selling their wares out of the trunk of a car, they depend on their partnerships with retailers or sell online.

They’re a company that’s tied to its roots while embracing change. It’s no surprise that you’ll find them fully engaged in social media—on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube; and you can read their blog.

Growing companies of every kind are in constant flux, or had better be, often changing over short spaces of time. Every business should understand that making a small change of any kind doesn’t necessarily mean a small risk. We’ve all been the recipients of “new and improved” products that made us switch to another vendor, leaving a baffled producer to figure out, too late, how it went wrong.

In general, there are two kinds of change to be aware of:

• No-choice change (customer demand, environmental factors, key person leaves)
• Optional change (efficiency improvements, new markets, key hires)

One critical step businesses often forget when making either kind of change is to evaluate risk versus benefit. (Remember the “New Coke”?) A manufacturer has no choice about whether to change, for example, when its supplier located in a small town in Thailand is suddenly wiped out in a local flood. Or, on the flip side, when a company whose product hits the market with perfect timing generates meteoric growth that it doesn’t have the capacity to handle, it had better change its processes fast.

What makes change different today is the power of social media, which can work for or against you, especially for consumer oriented businesses. In the form of a “social supply chain,” social media provides a major platform for dialog and relationship with vendors and customers. It allows you to test the market about changes before implementing them. It also presents an effective way to connect with prospective partners and clients, as I was reminded recently when the CEO of a major corporation “friended” me. 

A social media connection deepens the relationship and the experience we have when we work together. Conversely, social media can add an unwanted dimension to public relations by amplifying even your smallest misstep.

Most certainly, social media invites people into your life and your business—and, yes, it means change. How you choose to prepare your business to turn those changes into opportunities will tell your fortune.

Edit Module
Kathleen Quinn Votaw

Kathleen Quinn Votaw is CEO of TalenTrust. Her first book, Solve the People Puzzle; How High-Growth Companies Attract and Retain Top Talent, debuts in February 2016. She speaks to CEOs about trends in talent and how to be strategic in developing a people strategy. Kathleen serves on the Advisory Board for Colorado Companies to Watch, and she is a current Board Member and former Board President of ACG-Denver. Reach Kathleen at kvotaw@talentrust.com or 303-838-3334.

Get more of our current issue | Subscribe to the magazine | Get our Free e-newsletter

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

CBRE Hotels arranges the sale of Vail Four Seasons Resort

CBRE Hotels has arranged the sale of the 134-room Four Seasons Resort and Residences in Vail for $121 million.

Weld County renews support for Colorado Enterprise Fund Microloan program

The Weld County Board of Commissioners has approved $200,000 in funding to continue support of the Weld County Microloan Fund, which provides access to capital for local small businesses and startups.

Danielle Contos joins Gutterman Griffiths Family Law

Attorney Danielle Contos has joined Gutterman Griffiths Family Law. Contos's practice has focused on complex financial matters, parental responsibilities, interstate jurisdictional disputes and challenges to and enforcement of premarital agreements.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Thanks for contributing to our community-- please keep your comments in good taste and appropriate for our business professional readers.

Add your comment: