Reinventing your business when you’ve spent years, or perhaps decades, mapping it out and building it up from scratch can be daunting.
A part of you might resist change because you’re so attached to your business, and it’s become like a child to you. Another part of you might think it’s crazy to pivot in a new direction now, after spending so much time heading in a different one.
Switching directions every few months, or doing so without careful thought would be crazy. But reinventing your business in a calculated, thoughtful way could actually be the best decision you ever make as a business owner.
Times are changing, technology is moving at a pace we’ve never known before, and if you don’t keep up you’re likely to be left behind. Don’t take my word for it — you only have to look at some of the giants like Blockbuster and Toys R Us, who failed to adapt their business models and paid the price.
But reinventing your business doesn’t have to be stressful. As long as you have a solid plan (but it’s not carved in stone), and you’re paying attention to the market, you’ll be fine.
Here are 6 critical areas you must focus on to ensure your business survives.
If you’re stuck in your ways, unwilling to change, or living a life that is unsustainable; you’ll struggle to reinvent your business, and will feel like you’re always pushing against the tide.
Because change always starts within.
So many business owners are trapped in ‘hustle’ mode, working 24/7, and not prioritising their own health and well being. Contrary to what you might be hearing, this is a mistake, and will only lead to you burning out and resenting your business.
We are only human. We need to eat well, exercise every day, and have breaks from our work to refill our wells. If we forgo this, we end up like a car running on empty, and there’s only so long we can keep that up before we have a breakdown.
If you feel out of balance anywhere in your personal/business life, it’s time to address it today.
As time goes on, consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with ethics and sustainability, and how and where they’re circulating their money. There has been a huge rise in ethical fashion and beauty businesses, vegan and vegetarian food products and restaurants, and companies that are pairing with charities to give back and create a positive impact.
Now is the time to think carefully about what you’re offering, and if there’s a new direction you can go in that’s going to be better for your business as well as for the planet.
If you’re not on social media right now, or you’re under-utilising it, then you’re missing out big time. Facebook has over 2 billion monthly users, while Instagram has over 1 billion. That means more than a quarter of the world are active on social media.
These platforms have changed over the past decade, meaning it’s now necessary to pay for advertising when using these tools to have enough reach, but it’s still a brilliant way to target a specific customer who’s potentially looking for your products or services.
Having a website is a good start, but many owners have built businesses before they even had a website, and relied on social media entirely to do this. SEO still works as a long-term strategy but takes time to organically build, and the reality is the majority of people don’t even bother looking as far as page two when they do an internet search.
That being said, the future of social media remains uncertain, so it’s a great idea to also be building an email list and capturing your social following onto this list as much as possible.
The customer has always been right, but it’s more crucial than ever to ensure you’re paying close attention to them as a business owner.
It doesn’t matter how life-changing your offering is, if it isn’t received by your target customer in the right way, then they won’t buy it.
The whole experience is important these days; from your adverts to your branding, your ethics, the actual product, the checkout or in-store service, and customer care. You need to carefully analyse who your customer is, and how they want to see and feel your product or service, which will ultimately push them to buy.
If you’re a B2B company, building connections and a strong reputation is vital these days, as well as ensuring you’re offering great value for money.
As your business grows, you’ll see that you must delegate in order to grow, because there’s only so long you can hold down five job descriptions at once.
This is why it’s crucial that your staff support your business and mission, are given all the training and skills they need to perform and are made to feel appreciated instead of just another number.
Younger people are notorious for switching jobs every couple of years, which shows they’re not loyal to companies the way their parents may have been. This is why as a business owner you need to do everything you can to incentivise your staff to not only do a great job but to stick with you and the company as you grow.
Advances in technology mean that there are now incredibly powerful software systems at our fingertips, which make the day-to-day running of a business much easier than it has ever been. These programs are affordable, simple to use, and allow you to gather and analyse data which is incredibly helpful when looking at customer spending habits.
There’s no excuse to be doing things the old way — take the time needed to switch to the new, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, get someone to show you the ropes.
Failure to focus on reinventing in these critical areas of your business will mean you eventually get left behind, or swallowed by your customers who are moving with the times.
Take some time to check in with yourself and your business, and note down where you can see the biggest need for change right now.