The Art of Reinvention
As 2020 rolls into gear, Fiona Clark delivers some easy, common-sense steps for reinventing your business. Here we are at the start of a new decade! It’s 2020 and it will be fascinating to see what the next ten years in business brings. The new year also brings us options; a chance for a fresh […]
As 2020 rolls into gear, Fiona Clark delivers some easy, common-sense steps for reinventing your business.
Here we are at the start of a new decade! It’s 2020 and it will be fascinating to see what the next ten years in business brings.
The new year also brings us options; a chance for a fresh start; and the opportunity to ponder the next 12 months and what we can achieve.
We know it’s the best time to do business and strategy planning, to not only figure out what we need to do but the step-by-step plan of how to do it.
But let me ask you a question. How do you approach planning?
Do you do it yourself as the business owner or manager, or invite your whole team to participate?
Do you have a structured, comprehensive process that challenges your thinking; is researched, robust, and takes you through the next three to five years?
Or do you believe it’s pretty much status quo for the next 12 months, with just a tweak to set new targets?
Before you start planning out the year ahead, I’d like to challenge you to think differently about your business.
Consider these four key questions:
1. Is it time to reinvent yourself?
2. Is it time to pivot?
3. Is it time to do more of the same?
4. Is it time to streamline and do less?
Think objectively about the business. Remove your ‘owner’s hat’ and approach the business as if you were an outsider looking in – with no emotion or justifying decisions. Just seeing the business as it is – the good and the not-so-good.
Have a look at where you are in the lifecycle of your business. Are you just launching? Are you in a growth phase and scaling well? Or are you a mature business needing to keep innovating and retaining market share?
Wherever you’re at, think about your business creatively. But be mindful not to overcomplicate things. Stick to your vision; keep true to why you started the business in the first place, and what you stand for.
Where is a good place to start?
It’s valuable to challenge the status quo, even when the business is doing well.
Sometimes it can be all-consuming getting caught up in the day-to-day running of the business; managing the ‘busyness’ of clients, staff, and operations. And when we become comfortable, we can miss certain signs that we should be aware of. These could be around changes in the industry; what clients want and don’t want anymore; market ‘disrupters’, or new technology impacting your market.
If you think back over the past ten years, there have been amazing advancements in digital innovation and business. There are new products, new industries and ways to communicate.
The pace of change is rapid, and we need to be thinking ahead – not only for our business, but to be aware of what’s coming and what the future holds for your industry.
Here are some key ways to challenge your planning:
The art of reinvention
This is worth thinking through, particularly if you’re an established company and have been in business for some time. It also creates some good conversation within your team – what does it mean to reinvent yourself, and do you actually need to?
Reinventing business is valuable at different times – especially at the mature stage before sales decline. Successful companies such as Netflix have done this during their first ten years. The company started off in 1998 by launching its first DVD rental and subscription service, where customers could rent unlimited DVD rentals for low cost and receive them by mail.
It wasn’t until 2007 that Netflix transitioned into online streaming, where viewers of all ages could access shows, movies and original Netflix content. Now the company has an estimated 158 million viewers globally (as of October 2019), however it is facing new competition from newcomers entering the same space.
Is it time to pivot?
Sometimes it is not about completely reinventing the business or a product offering but making some changes to what you already have. When thinking about the next 12 months (and actually the future of your business), it may be that a shift, or new strategy, or changing one aspect of your products/services, or business model may be the difference to sales and growth.
For example: focusing on a new set of customers by positioning the company into a new market, turning a popular feature of a product into the product itself, or creating a more simple streamlined offering.
Do more? Or do the same?
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you’re in a growth phase, have significant potential for sales and market share and a strong future ahead, then don’t change for the sake of change. Any change, reinvention, or pivot, needs to be well researched. What is best for the business?
Change is disruptive so make sure it is for the right reasons, and you are clear on the outcomes. When developing your strategy, do your research first – on your particular industry, competitor activity, predictions, and international trends.
The benefit of streamlining and doing less
There is something to be said about sticking to your knitting. It can be tempting to stock a wide range of products or offer a lot of services that clients may possibly be interested in. However, when we diversify too much it can confuse clients. It may be unclear what your business offers and stands for, and therefore a challenge to market and connect with potential clients.
There is, however, ‘power in the niche’.
When you become the ‘go to’ specialist within your industry – regarded as ‘the expert’ – this can bring you more business. You can charge more for your services and become sought after.
Now is a good time to review your product or service offering, and ask yourself ‘why’ are you selling what you do?
There is no doubt that the way we do business has changed so much in the past ten years.
I’m excited to see what the next decade brings to my business, and to be prepared for it.
I hope you are now better prepared for the future too. I wish you every success!