What Does Business Reinvention Really Mean?

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The phrase “business reinvention” might have you quaking in your boots. After all, who wants to start all over again from scratch?

Ah. I think I can help by offering up a different definition for you to ponder.

Business reinvention isn’t about tossing it all away and starting from scratch (unless you really, really want to do that). Instead, I think of business reinvention as a process of looking at your current business model and your own goals, and finding places that could use a makeover. Knowing why you’re reinventing your business is the first step in the process of transformation.

There are lots of places where you can transform your business: your marketing, your target audience, the services and products you sell, the way back-office administration happens, your technology, your scale (national versus local), your resource base, your business and personal goals. You can choose to remodel every single one of these items or pick the one that will give you the biggest bang for the buck.

Some business reinvention stories…

One of my clients is a chiropractor and has been doing it for nearly 30 years. But as she gets older, its harder and harder to lift patients off the table and the work itself causes her back and shoulder pain. In addition she feels that she would like to reach a larger audience with her message of being in conscious choice about all aspects of your life and not just following what everyone else tells you to do or think. She will take everything she’s ever learned as a chiropractor and everything she’s been studying and living for the past 30 years and create a new business where she can teach and coach.

One client of mine is taking her existing locally-based business and making into a virtual business that she can conduct from anywhere in the world. This frees her up to travel with her husband and continue to have a business she loves.

Another client of mine stayed in the same industry but changed his service offerings. In the past he had offered sign design and installation to his local customers. Now he’s offering sign management on a national scale to large organizations with multiple locations throughout the USA. He’s taken all his knowledge, experience and connections and put them to work for a new, larger, and more lucrative target audience.

In all these business reinvention stories you’ll see a common thread: as a small business owner, your goals, your values, your needs and your lifestyle can change. And you can reinvent your business to reflect these new dreams and move you towards the business and life you want.

You decide how, when and where to transform your business

Business reinvention is what you make it. But it’s not making tiny tweaks here and there; it’s shaking up the whole business and marketing models and realigning them to your goals, values and needs.

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Category: Rethinking Your Business, Running a Strong & Efficient Business
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Finding Time to Think About Reinventing Your Business

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If you’re not busy, raise your hand.

Ha! I knew it!

Everyone is busy. Everyone has a full calendar and a full To Do list.

So where are you supposed to find time to think about the future of your business and how you will reinvent it?

Of course you know that you have to find the time to think about the future of your business or it will sneak up on you and bite you in the butt.

A Calendar for Reinvention Your Business Model

I can’t offer a miracle time-creator pill (wouldn’t that be cool?). But here’s how I carved out time to plan for my business reinvention — maybe some of these tips will work for you.

  1. First I had to figure out the best time of day for me, the time when I’m thinking clearest and the time when I have energy and vitality. For me, that’s early in the morning.
  2. Next, I picked several one-hour time slots each week (8AM – 9AM) and booked an appointment with myself. No phones, no email, no hubby, no cats. I did this for a four-week period, two “self-appointments” per week for a total of 8 hours for the month. This time is used for brain-heavy thinking and planning.
  3. Then I figured out my most dreamy times, the times when my brain is shut off and my heart and intuition are open. 3PM is my mental down time.
  4. I scheduled 4 one-hour appointments in a month (once a week) to visit the lake and just sit for the hour from 3PM – 4PM. No cell phone, no laptop, no paper, no pen. Just me and the waves and the ducks. This time is used to sit quietly and just let whatever comes up to ripple to the surface of my consciousness. I figure if it’s important, I’ll remember it later and write it down, but I don’t want to stop the flow of energy by stopping to write down notes during this one hour “business meditation.”

It might take you a month or two to schedule these appointments with yourself. Just get them on your calendar.

Schedule Business Reinvention Mega Time

The final thing I did was schedule a business reinvention weekend for myself, away from the house. I was lucky that I had a business trip planned so I extended my stay a few days so I could have three days of undivided attention to my business future.

I also used a mastermind group retreat weekend to focus on my business reinvention and talk about it with my mastermind group colleagues. But you might find a willing friend who will let you stay in their guest room for a few nights and who will understand if you’re incommunicado for part of that time so you can spend quiet time reinventing your business model.

A Question for You

How are you carving out time to devote to planning your next business move? What suggestions do you have for people who know they need to find time to think and dream about transforming their business, but also lead very busy lives? Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you!

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Category: Rethinking Your Business
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If You Could Re-create Your Business From Scratch

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On the path to business reinvention, there is one powerful question to ask yourself that never fails to generate great ideas (or freak you out completely):

If you could recreate your business all over again, what would you do differently?

Imagine for a moment that you were going to create the same (or at least similar) business you already have, but that you had to do it all over again from scratch.

  • What would you do differently this time around?
  • Would you pick the same target audience?
  • Would you sell the same products and services?
  • Which marketing techniques would you keep and which would you dump?
  • Who would you want to join you on this journey?
  • Would you work the same hours?
  • Would you be in the same physical location?
  • Would you have the same financial model?

Here’s the best part about business model reinvention: you get to choose to change or keep every aspect of your business and marketing model, based on the years of experience and the vast knowledge you already have about running a business.

So, what would you do differently and what would you keep exactly the same? I’d love to hear what’s going through your mind. 🙂

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Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business
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What Will Make Your Clients Really Angry?

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Joyce is one of my “reinvent your business” clients who likes to take things to the edge, fall off the edge, and either soar or splat.

We were discussing all the different aspects of her business model that she could reinvent: her target audience, her product/service offerings, her delivery model, her marketing model, etc. But we kept focusing our thoughts on “What does the client want?” Hey, it’s a great question — but it was limiting the discussion.

So I asked Joyce, “What could you do that would make your clients really, really angry?” She is a business consultant to medium-sized businesses, and they have certain expectations of her even if she is a solo entrepreneur.

Asking this odd question can generate great ideas.  Here are some of Joyce’s answers:

  1. Double our prices
  2. Reduce our quality
  3. Take a longer time to deliver our services
  4. Take a week to answer emails and phone calls
  5. Show up at their office in a clown suit (or with clown-like answers)

By asking this question, Joyce was able to see which pieces of her business model were most important to her customers — and which were not:

  • No where did she mention HOW she delivered her products and services.
  • No where did she mention WHO delivered her products and services.

So these were two great starting places to consider reinventing in her business model.

Bingo! Asking this outrageous question opened her eyes to places where she could transform.

Question For You: If you were to ask yourself this outrageous question, what answers would come up for you? Share your comments here!

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Category: Rethinking Your Business
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