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Stale Business? Try a Makeover

February 15, 2010

Are your competitors getting ahead? Do your employees just go through the motions? Have those bright ideas stopping coming? If so, a makeover could be just the thing to re-energize your business. It need not be a major overhaul; some minor tweaks may be enough. What’s important is that you recognize the need for action, and learn all you can to make informed decisions. 

In order to identify where changes are most needed, dig for details about various aspects of your business. Remember to focus not just on the individual elements, but also how they all fit together. For example, has your customer base changed since you first started?  Is it broader or narrower? Older or younger? More upscale or less? Do you need to freshen-up your branding or rewrite your marketing materials to address the needs of this changing customer base? 

Are you sure your products or services are meeting – or exceeding — customer expectations? Perhaps competitors are more effective, or maybe they’ve created add-on products and services that improve their offer.  Ask your customers for feedback. 

Perhaps it’s time to reevaluate and devise a new marketing message.  Is it time to revisit your original business plan … and the insight and enthusiasm in that original document? Think back to your most successful promotions, presentations or sales efforts. Rather than reinventing the wheel, can you update and expand an approach that has already worked?  

Don’t hesitate to seek out other perspectives. Meet and brainstorm with trusted advisors, mentors, friends, partners, employees, and outside consultants. Ask customers for a frank assessment of what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and what you can do to better serve their needs. Generate lots of ideas and options! 

For more business makeover ideas, contact Lancaster SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business. SCORE is a nonprofit association of more than 50 business experts who volunteer as mentors to emerging and existing small businesses in Lancaster County. SCORE offers free mentoring, business plans reviews, business roundtables, and low-cost workshops. Call us at 717-397-3092 or find us online at www.scorelancaster.org.

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