Has your business been in a rut these past few years? Perhaps the first couple months in the New Year is the perfect time to consider the possibility of a business overhaul. Many small businesses have taken big leaps to reinvent their brand as early as possible in order to thrive and survive in this constantly changing economy. While succumbing to change means taking the riskier and the more difficult road, many entrepreneurs who take the trail actually come out the most successful.
Whether it be expanding marketing efforts or modifying products and services, start the new year right by learning when and how to reinvent your business, slowly but surely.
- Know when to effect change.
Now that you are determined to execute change in your company, the question you should then ask yourself is: Is it the right time to make one? The answer to this is readily available in your records. Do your homework and study your monthly or quarterly reports. Regularly monitoring your company’s status will help you discover unpleasant facts that highlight your need for reinvention. Data may show an eroding customer base, a changing market, or a deviation from your brand’s initial vision. These red flags clearly suggest that your business is in need of a revamp.
- Think about your audience.
If you need any insight on what changes to incorporate, go back to your target market. Know how your services and products fulfill your clients’ needs — and how they don’t. Now is the perfect time to fully get to know the people you serve and to rethink your relationships with them. Customer feedback can tell a lot about what your business needs. Are they open to modified or varied options of your products? Can your services cater to those in the lower profit margins? Who are not buying your offering and why aren’t they?
- Stick to the plan.
Focus on what truly matters to your business, but don’t limit yourself to new perspectives and opportunities. Once you have objectively studied your data and accepted the facts, it will be easier to craft a business model that will spell success. Make a winning business plan — as if starting from scratch — and stick to it. Take time in thinking things thoroughly, such as enumerating your competition and figuring out ways on how to excel among them. While many entrepreneurs rely on their instincts most of the time, it might be better to share your plans with other business owners and ask what they think. You need more heads to make sure that your decision is a good idea.
If you feel burdened by your present dilemma, relive the excitement that you felt when you were still starting a business and start with that. This same fervor may spark new ideas that will fuel the entrepreneur in you.
- Transition gracefully.
After thorough assessments and evaluations, it’s finally time to make the switch. The transition can be overwhelming to some, as it will feel as if you are running two businesses at the same time. Most of the time, transitioning from the old business model to the revamped one can even take almost a year. It can be a long process to endure, yet it shouldn’t have to bring your spirit down.
What you need is a detailed exit strategy to ensure a smooth transition. Take time to incorporate the changes while being transparent throughout the entire phase. Your clients, vendors, employees, and family will need to also prepare for the changes that are coming. During such time, you may need to negotiate new leases, train active employees, or hire new members of the team. Most importantly, prepare yourself for all things possible — financially and emotionally.
- Consider other marketing opportunities.
To top your reinvention phase, you may need to consider other marketing options to get your message across. If you have solely relied on the same advertising channels in the past years, it might be high time to try something new, especially if your reinvented business targets a new audience. If you were all about conventional marketing, give online advertising a try. On the contrary, if you are a web-based business, consider bringing your message to print or on air. This move will bring fresh air to your new and improved brand.
A word of caution, though: Avoid making changes just for the sake of change. Reinventing a business should be done intelligently and should be backed with extensive research and customer feedback. Regardless of any changes made, the most important thing for any entrepreneur is to keep the passion burning and the soul of the business alive.
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