Something’s in the air!
Everywhere I turn recently, I keep running into seasoned business owners who tell me stories about how they are changing their business model, reinventing the way they do business, modifying the products/services they offer, and shifting who their target audience is.
Some say they’re feeling restless: that they know something is going to change in their business but they’re not clear yet exactly what the new model will look like. They’re exploring all the options to find the new formula that works for them.
Others know exactly the direction they’re moving in and just need to work out an action plan. One colleague said to me, “I’m itching and ready to take action, if only I knew what the right action should be!”
You know your business is morphing. You won’t reinvent it from the ground up, but instead you will take all your knowledge and experience, and redefine your target audience, your offerings, and even your behind-the-scenes business processes.
I see some recurring themes about why people are reinventing their business: they’re ready to go for something bigger, or something that mirrors their lifestyle better. Maybe the economy has hit them, or their industry is changing. I explore the reasons why in this blog post.
Just trust your gut instinct. If you know something isn’t “quite right” with your current business or marketing model, trust your thoughts and feelings on the matter. You may not know exactly where you’re going, but the reinvention journey is a path worth exploring.
I’m interested to hear your comments. Are you reinventing your business, too? Where are you in your thinking about your new biz model?
Karen, I know exactly what you mean about feeling like my business needs to change! As a Professional Organizer with an MBA and 13 years of banking experience, I want to go beyond organizing business owners files, information and time and leverage my skills in banking and finance to offer entrepreneurs and small business owners assistance with obtaining financing to start or expand their own businesses. The problem I am having is finding a way to enter this market. The SBA and S.C.O.R.E., other not-for-profits and government agencies already offer assistance to business owners in writing business plans, obtaining loans, etc.. These entities offer their services for free! How do I market myself so that I can be paid for acting as a liaison between entrepreneurs and bankers to facilitate the process of starting a business or obtaining start-up financing? The other complicating factor is that there are “brokers” out there who charge high fees to entrepreneurs to assist them in getting SBA loans to start their businesses. The SBA has issued a warning about scams offered to help small businesses to apply for SBA loans for a fee, sometimes promising to secure the loans. Obviously, I don’t want to be associated with these types of scams. I have written my own business plan and worked in small business lending so I have insight into what lenders are looking for from entrepreneurs seeking financing. I know I can provide a valuable service, it’s just how to market that service and turn it into a revenue stream for my business. I would appreciate any insight you may have, Karyn.
I hear you, Deb. One of the big reasons I’m hearing about why people are reinventing their business is that they hit a brickwall with competitors (in your case, SCORE and SBA) changing the landscape, yet still wanting to work with the same audience. I was talking with a regional director of an SBA office a few months ago at a conference, and she said that SBA was focusing their attention on “big” small businesses, and medium businesses, basically those who could create jobs. So perhaps your niche, Deb, is “small” small businesses (less than 50 employees) whom the SBA won’t help?
Me, too! Me, too! I’m in major transition mode with my business. Significantly decreasing 1:1 coaching (my bread and butter for the past 9 1/2 years) and increasing my professional speaking and training with the Myers-Briggs as my primary tool. I love the collaborative nature of group work and the shifts can be so profound! I’ve also been growing my retreat businesses and have been thrilled with how that’s taking off. So many of us are so busy & so overwhelmed … we are desperate for R-E-S-T. So the primary shift is from 1:1 to group and I’m love, love, loving it! Can’t wait to see what your transitions are, Karyn!!!!
Sounds like an interesting transition, Elizabeth! 🙂 Needing to shift gears seems to be an important transformational stage we all go through.
I see my business as forever evolving: sometimes just at a quicker pace then other times. Last November I took my first annual two day business retreat and reflected on what had worked well, what hadn’t and based on that, where did I wish to go. Then I updated my business plan.
A motto of mine is that ‘we are not the same person today as we were however many years ago, only older.’ As my skills and abilities, and the economic landscape, continues to grow and change so must my business if it is to continue and thrive. Since I started my life coaching practice 3 years ago, I have since refined some things, expanded others and in some cases just moved on.
Thank you Karyn. I am sincerely grateful for all of the help along the way you have provided in your classes, newsletter, blog and website. Since it seemed like too much for the coment box, the poli sci/econmics major in me responded to the ‘why’ you put out there in my blog as a post. I hope you get a chance to check it out.
I love your motto, Lisa! As we evolve as humans/spirits, so do our businesses. 🙂
Roger K. Allen
Nice post Karyn. I am very much grateful for all of the help along the way you have provided in your classes, newsletter, blog and website. Keep it up!
Glad to help, Roger. Thanks for the note. 🙂
I am in the transition process now. I am redesigning one of my websites (over 600 pages – whew!) and starting a new business at the same time. It is a bit overwhelming but I find that I work best when I have a lot on my plate. I also really enjoy changing things up to avoid my business becoming the same day after day.
Sometimes change can be very enlightening!
That’s a fact, Stacey! 🙂
Yours is one of the few newsletters that I actually take the time to read (or at least skim) because you have such valuable information to offer.
The timing of this is amazing. I’m in the midst of rebranding and also changing my business model. Lots of changes happening right now with regard to pricing, hiring, services offered, what I speak about and how I market my speaking!
I can’t wait to see how things unfold for my business and others.
Professional Organizer &
Stay tuned, Maulitta, because I’m going to write a series of posts on this topic, both from my own reinvention process and the stories I’m hearing from others.
Thanks for the great post. I, too, am in this same sort of mode lately. I just realized this week that I’ve been blogging just over a year. I have been shaking things up lately and readership is climbing. More people are inquiring about my services, a couple of advertisers have actually come to me, and I have some joint ventures in the works.
I think that it’s good to revisit goals every now and again and also very useful to periodically take stock of how far you’ve come. RIght now, I am writing a post listing milestones in the last year for my blogs and my business. Hopefully looking back will let me see more clearly the things I am tied to and the ones I am ready to let go.
Best of luck to you and to other commenters in the same sort of situation. I think we all need it!
Good luck to you, Sean, as you review your milestones and look ahead for your biz! 🙂
I love this topic. I’ve already talked to you about my change- much of it is about myself. My business is fine if I wanted to just keep on the way it is but I am wanting to shift to selling online business development programs for solo-business owners, and this means not only creating them but figuring out the marketing.
Creating the first program had some initial challenges at first, but it’s been fun – sort of like writing my book had been. The marketing is the hard part as I have to develop whole new relationships with people who can be my partners. I so appreciate that you gave me the blueprint for what I need to do- but at the end of the day- I still need to do it! In the midst of all this I am re-defining what it means to be a 65 year old woman. It certainly isn’t about being retired but part of what I’m doing is creating my exit strategy. The key is to stay healthy, balanced and watch my energy. This might take me longer to complete than when I was 40 but I’ll get there. (smiling)
You bring up a good point, Kaya. Much of business change stems from changes in ourselves…either those we’ve already made or those we NEED to make. So it sounds like your re-defining your self while re-defining your business to work with the “new you” and what you want out of life. Bravo!
Hi Karyn: I have an Insurance office, and have been in this business now almost 26 years. I have seen so many changes in the industry over the years that I decided to start making changes over a year ago. I added to the services that are offered to my clients, including Tax Preparation, Notary Services and Retirement Planning. Customer Service is so important, I continue to look for other ways to assist my clients in their businesses and revisit my Marketing Plan quarterly, and am always on the look out for other revenue streams for my business. Take care
Wow, 26 years, congratulations, Heather! And I think you’re wise to look at other services you can offer your existing clients. They like you and trust you, and they know you listen to them when they tell you what help they need.
Hi, Karyn, thank your for your sharing. I’m inspired by your article. Tks!
Some great points! About 3 years ago, I found my business really weighing me down. I was a life coach living the 9-5 pay per hour life and it just wasn’t working for me.
Every day, I would find that I was thinking about all the people I couldn’t help that day verses the ones I was able to help.
This quickly caused me unhappiness. I wasn’t happy in my business anymore and I felt like I was doing a disservice, not a service.
I had no time with my family, we were on the verge of losing our home and I was working more than I should have been. Some days, I would work 12 hours per day and only made 8 hours worth of pay.
I started to dig deeper into what it was my clients were really asking me for and what it was I could really do to help them in a bigger way.
I started realizing a pattern. My clients biggest barriers were time. They were so strapped for time they couldn’t get anything done and were beyond stressed.
This became a Win Win situation for me because I was strapped for time too! I started mastering “automation”. I transformed my business into full automation mode and in my first 3 months of doing so, made my first $27,000! Right then, I knew what I had to do.
I created a step by step formula, training’s and programs that were all automated and 100% the exact process I used. I launched this offer through a teleseminar (which I have another one coming up in April) to my entire list and over 150 people signed up to learn my program!
In one month (from the time I launched the teleseminar until it ended) I made $149,550!! I was beyond shocked as you can imagine! I sold 150 programs that month!
I turned that into a product and continued moving forward! I had a massive business breakthrough and today, this is what I teach other Entrepreneurs for a living! I live the life I want but also love what I do!