HOW TO REINVENT YOUR BUSINESS
My Small Business Marketing Guru
Your business has managed to establish quite a bit of success and acquired a loyal following. But suddenly, sales have waned, and visitors have certainly decreased. Somehow, you see some familiar faces trooping to your newest competitor’s revamped store. What could be the reason?
Sooner or later, all businesses, even the most successful, run out of room to grow. Faced with this unpleasant reality, they are compelled to reinvent themselves periodically. The ability to pull off this difficult feat—to jump from the maturity stage of one business to the growth stage of the next—is what separates high performers from those whose time at the top is all too brief.
Perhaps your clients need to see some change, or have grown tired of the same-old products and techniques. Maybe your own employees have also lost their enthusiasm, or find less motivation. Here are a number of reasons why half of small businesses need to reinvent themselves from time to time:
Overhauled their products or services;
Modified their infrastructure (technology, staffing, etc.);
Expanded their sales and marketing efforts;
Reduced their pricing and took less profit; and
Relocated their operation.
How does a business make sure that their reinvention turns out well? Here are a few tips:
Launch a new product or service.
You’re already good at what you do. What else can you offer customers that would change their buying experience? If you’re feeling burned-out with your present endeavour, remember how excited you were in the beginning. That same creative fervour can spark ideas for new offerings.
Start small and multiple projects throughout the company
If your business is not in a turnaround situation then plan the change over a number of years. Once you and your leadership team have a clear understanding of what the end result will be – financial, operational, customer relationships, segments or channels – initiate small projects, connect and build upon each initiative. Doing this allows you the opportunity to evaluate responses to change, risk, failure, personal growth and development.
Consider new marketing channels.
If your business has relied largely on conventional marketing and advertising channels, look at the opportunities presented online. Conversely, if your web-based business needs more exposure, consider buying advertising in venues you haven’t tried before, such as billboards or television. Changing the way you market your product is a type of reinvention, especially when the message targets new customers.
Rethink your customer base.
How well do you know the people you serve? Can you explain how your product or service fulfils their needs? Now is a good time to talk to your top customers and explore new ways to satisfy their desires. Use their feedback to start rethinking your customer relationships. Meanwhile, what about customers who represent lower profit margins? Could you entice them to purchase a different or modified version of your offering? Next, identify new market opportunities: Who isn’t buying what you sell? Why not? Look for people who are ignored or bypassed by the entire industry.
Target the chain of buyers
Instead of focusing on the buyer of your product, who is often best known, you might want to consider looking at the chain of buyers. Again the buyer experience phases outlined above might help you to identify individuals or groups of people having to deal with each of these steps separately. What is it that they are looking for at each of these steps? The result might be a total solution and experience for each of them. The McCafé can serve as an example. Often kids want to go to McDonald’s and drag their parents along. I can imagine that since McDonald’s offers the McCafé even grand-parents are happy to enter McDonald’s and have a piece of cake along a good cup of coffee.