What we typically see in our industry, and what a lot of newer business owners…
Shifting & Starting Over In Business
This shutdown and the unknowns surrounding reopening have caused a lot of people to stop and take a good look at their business, at what their goals are and why, and how to move forward in all this. And for many, that means really evaluating some major shifts in their business or even shutting down for quite a long period and starting over later. Whichever way you go, there are some important things to consider. Let’s discuss…
Maybe you’ve been in business for a while and it just feels stagnant. Maybe you’re not getting the clientele that you want, or you’re staying somewhat busy, but you’re just not “feeling it” anymore? Maybe you’re getting a little burned out and tired of this thing that you’ve built? Maybe this shutdown has opened your eyes to the feeling of being unfulfilled with what your business is doing? Maybe you realize it’s not allowing you the personal life you thought it would.
What do you do when you’re not happy in this thing you thought you wanted? It may be time for a shift!
As you probably know, branding is important; but sometimes, that brand just isn’t working anymore. What do I mean by that?
Let’s say that you started your business with just a general market in mind; you were trying to reach a broad audience, so your name speaks to a very large group of people. The things you post on social media and the emails you send out offer a variety of content to try to appeal to a few people here and there that are within that large market. If this doesn’t seem to be working for you, it may be time to get specific. Specialization is important, whether you narrow down a specific niche, learn a new modality you can build your business around, or want to be known for your work with a certain condition or injury.
If you already have a niche or have built your business around a specific modality, and now you’re being drawn to something else, it may be time to change things up. It’s ok to shift your business. It’s ok to re-brand when needed. Companies do it all the time.
Take a look at Dunkin’ Donuts. They have the word ‘donuts’ in the name! Or at least did for years. As they became more and more known for their coffee, they rebranded, dropping the word ‘donuts’ from the name altogether – so it’s just Dunkin’. According to the company, they were looking to rebrand themselves as a “beverage-led brand and coffee leader.”
Think about it….Dunkin’ Donuts has been around since 1950! And while they’ve changed their image slightly over the years, it’s a massive undertaking to change their entire brand and their offerings. That’s no small task for a company that has more than 11,000 stores worldwide! And they’re far from the only company to do this sort of thing. Look at Target, Old Spice, Harley Davidson, and Apple. They all went from being seen as mediocre at best, and almost bankrupt at worst, to being in the top of their respective industries, all with some rebranding and ingenuity.
So use this as inspiration…if you really feel like it’s time for a change, go for it! If these major corporations with thousands of stores and millions of moving parts can make such drastic changes, surely you can shift your company a bit to get those clients on that table and reignite your passion for your work and your business. It may be a small shift in policies or design, or it could be a major overhaul in rebranding the entire business and coming up with an all new concept. Nothing is set in stone! It’s your business, and if you feel like it’s time for a shift here or there, do it!
But what if you’re faced with starting over – either now or way in the future? There are numerous ways this may happen for you… You may move and have to completely restart a business in another town, state, or country. Or it could be a new start on a smaller scale if you decide to rebrand, niche down, or make big changes in your business. Even smaller still, you may need to start over on just a particular system in your business, like a marketing strategy, bookkeeping system, or other protocols that just need a complete overhaul.
So let’s say you’re moving and having to start your business completely from scratch again. This can seem daunting, no doubt, but this is a chance to take everything you’ve learned so far in business and start out, more than likely, way ahead of how you started before. Think of this as a chance to really focus in on your dream and build it exactly how you want. So if your previous business was struggling, or there were aspects that you weren’t really fond of and wanted to change but didn’t because they were already established, this is your chance to do things just the way you want from the start.
Take a look at every single aspect of your current or previous business. What do you want to bring forward with you in this new place? What will you be happy to leave behind? Are you going to stick with the same brand, the same clientele, the same software systems, the same anything? Or will you be changing pieces of the puzzle or the entire business so it’s completely new in this new place?
If you’re starting over in a smaller way, like rebranding, niching down, or simply making some changes in the business, before you jump to signing up or designing or anything else, stop and take a look at what you have and what you want. That may seem obvious, but it’s easy to get caught up in the newest, latest and greatest everything that comes along or you think you want something but reality doesn’t quite support it. So stop and do some research first before you make any changes. Determine the pros and cons of what you currently have – again, what will you bring with you moving forward and what will you be happy to leave behind – and then the goals for what you want with this change. Let’s say you’re niching down your business…who are the clients you enjoy and do they fit in that new niche? Would you be ok saying goodbye to them if needed with this change? Do your research to determine if there is enough of that market available in your area. Find the closest competition that also tailors to that niche. Don’t just change things up on a whim or because you want to. Research, analysis, and a solid strategy will always help you make the smartest decisions. You can’t make business decisions based on emotions and expect to be successful. Every decision needs to be backed by data.
Sometimes life throws a curveball and you have to move and start a totally new business. And sometimes there are things within your business that just aren’t working like you want and changes need to be made.
Making shifts or starting over, however big or small, can serve to fine tune your business and ensure you’re following the path to success, whatever that may look like for you. So no matter what you’re facing, do the research, make a plan, and go for it. You got this!