Reinvent Your Company
How to change your mind set.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein –
Your sales are spiraling downward. Customers are not reaching you online. Your clients have lost confidence in you. Many small businesses come to a defining moment where their business plan is no longer working and they need to change their strategic direction to keep their doors open.
Often the retarded sales are from an external factor, such as a declining economy, a product or service becoming obsolete because of new technology or a new competitor opening up down the street. No matter the reason, when what you have been doing is no longer working, it’s time to reinvent your business.
1. Start with “Why”
Determine the reason for the deceleration. Many small businesses will offer discounts like Groupon when going through a slowdown. But if you’re not repairing what is actually out of order, then you’ll only have a short-term fix instead of long-term success. Positive change requires vision. If you share a new vision, or include your team in a new story, change will follow. Many times I have found that the web site is out of date and many companies cannot be found by Google. Start with a renovation of your web site in order for prospects to find you.
2. Take a Hard Look at your Company
Create a strategy to overcome the obstacles. Spend some time with the list of hindrance and begin devising ways you can reinvent your business to meet your challenges. If your industry has become saturated with competing companies or products, consider ways you can develop a niche. “In order to be Successful you must be Uniquely Different”. Focus on what could go wrong. Think about what you really could be doing better.
Become your devil’s advocate with your own company’s pros and cons. From that, you will also learn about your strengths and opportunities.
If one of your obstacles is finding new customers, think about ways you can appeal to a new customer demographic. If you own a gym, you may want to focus on ways to appeal your offerings to a specific market set like mud run training, to increase revenue. While sometimes a marketing campaign aimed at a specific audience can work, you may have to add a new product or service as part of the reinvention of your strategic direction.
3. Self Awareness
Before initiating change, it’s very important to do the research and make sure those changes reflect where the market and your target market are headed. As you review your strategy or consider your competitive setting, take time to learn from others’ mistakes. Consider businesses that competed in the past, identify the winners and losers, and translate those paradigms into methods for your company.
It’s best to establish your business model to serve a variety of target markets.
4. Feel the Pain
Ultimately, what’s behind people’s discomfort with change is fear of the unknown; a fear that will no doubt run through you and your entire team. You must face your fears, rather than run from them.
Allow yourself some time off to reflect. Spend time with family and friends and honor your need to heal, regenerate and invigorate again. Usually I take time between Christmas and New Year to reflect on the past and seek ideas for the future. Many amazing ideas come to you in a state of rest or respite.
Visualize the future. By visualizing yourself in five, ten, or twenty years, it’s easier to see the effectiveness of your current visions. This approach is extremely powerful on both the individual and corporate level.
5. Redesign your company for the future markets
As business owners, we can be control freaks and insist on doing everything ourselves. That’s never smart! Focus on your strengths and hire into your weaknesses or people who can move assist you to achieve your goals. You need to surround yourself with people who are supportive during this time. Having a good team around you is as important in business as it is in life.
- Focus your time primarily on the revenue-producing activities of the business.
- Determine the gifts you have and design your business around communicating them to your existing clients and target market.
- Test the new direction.Once you’ve decided your strategic direction for reinventing your business, create a roll out plan that will allow you to test your strategy before sharing it with your future visions.
- Propagate. Make sure to get the word out about your new offerings or focus. The best reinvention in the world won’t be successful if no one knows about it. Use your web site, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to spread the word about your new future.