Give Your Business a Makeover
This article is provided by the Greater Scranton Area SCORE Chapter.
Is your small business stuck in a rut? Perhaps your customers no longer seem excited and your staff has stopped offering fresh new ideas. Or maybe the competition has been giving you fits.
Now could be a good time to give your business a makeover. It could be a major makeover or a minor makeover. What’s most important is that you find a way to breathe new life into your profits and get the business back on the fast track. Small, agile businesses have a big advantage in this area over the big and slow ones. You can move quickly to spot changing conditions and put changes into operation.
Stand back and take a top-to-bottom look at your business. In order to identify where changes are most needed, you’ll have to dig for details about your products or services, your marketing and sales efforts, customer service, competition and more. Has your customer base changed since you first started? If so, this could be one area where you need to make changes. Is it broader or narrower? Older or younger? More upscale or less? You may need a new image, revved-up branding or perhaps just a rewrite of your marketing materials to address the needs of this changing customer base.
Take a hard look at whether your products or services are performing to customer expectations. Remember that your goal should be to exceed expectations, not simply meet them. If customers are luke warm on your business, find out why. Perhaps competitors are doing a better job, or maybe they’ve created add-on products and services that you haven’t. Your own customers can help with your makeover if you ask them for feedback.
If your marketing message has never changed, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate and devise a new one. Try revisiting your original business plan. You might be able to recapture some of the insight and enthusiasm you originally had from that document. Think back to your most successful promotions, presentations or sales efforts. Rather than reinventing the wheel, you might be able to update and expand an approach that has already worked for your business.
Some old-fashioned brainstorming sessions can help rekindle your managerial flame. Meet with your most trusted advisors, partners, employees, friends and outside consultants. Ask for their view on what your business can do to improve itself.
For more business makeover ideas, contact SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business.” SCORE is a nonprofit organization of more than 10,500 volunteer business counselors who provide free, confidential business counseling and training workshops to small business owners. Call (570) 851.1608 or visit www.scorescranton.org to contact the Greater Scranton Area SCORE Chapter.