During down economic times, more reinvention occurs than new inventions as companies are forced to look inside their operations to determine what must change or evolve in order to continue to grow. Ask any business owner who sees the other side of any challenge and he or she will claim wholeheartedly that the shift they made was something they should have done sooner, but just needed that challenge to see its true opportunity.
Business owners can also go awry when reinventing. Here are five ways reinventing is done in the wrong way or for the wrong reason.
1. Uncertainty vs. Strategy: The by-the-seat-of-the-pants business owner will too often make decisions to change the business model or an aspect of the business due to feeling uncertain, and therefore, fearful of what might happen if they don’t make some changes. Fear and uncertainty should not drive your reinvention. Gaining certainty and confidence through formulating a strategy developed from what you seek to learn and lessons already learned is where reinvention is best launched.
2. Lateral vs. Next Level: Another mistake I see business owners make is in reinventing on the basis of trying to maintain versus to grow. Any strategic initiative should be focused on growth, even if your business has lost some ground. Dig deeper to see what others might not be seeing that could catapult your business out of its current state. There is always opportunity if you are willing to see it. You need to think beyond what you see and vision beyond what you think.
3. Dissatisfied vs. Inspired: Being unhappy with how things are going in your business is acceptable only if you can quickly shift to being inspired by what it could be. Being consumed by what isn’t right or working stimulates a “fix” mindset, whereas reinvention focused on what you know it can be stimulates solutions and ideas.
4. Ordinary vs. Extraordinary: A fear of being ordinary or becoming bored is another reason some business owners seem to always be jumping onto the “next big thing.” They have a multitude of ideas or are concerned that their business is getting stale if it is not doing something different all the time. Being different is not what differentiation is about. It is about building preference based on your distinctions, making your customers feel as though they could not have the same experience anywhere else or get the same results anywhere else.
5. Surreal vs. Serial: There are business owners out there that claim to be serial entrepreneurs, having had multiple businesses. Let’s get something straight. A serial entrepreneur is a business owner who has successfully grown businesses time and time again. It is not a business owner who never seems to quite land on one business, but keeps trying this business and then that business and then another business, none of which actually get off the ground running. It is a tough pill to swallow when you must admit this. But chances are one of the reasons cited above has you reinventing in the wrong way for the wrong reasons. Wake up to your opportunities and focus on the business you are most suited to build.
Change for the sake of change will do nothing for your business. There is plenty causing change each and every day. Change IS the new norm. Being able to adapt and shift with agility, competency and strategy is what separates the business that is merely trying to survive from the business that thrives.
Sherré DeMao is author of the nationally acclaimed books, 50 Marketing Secrets of Growth Companies in Down Economic Times, www.50marketingsecrets.com, and Me, Myself & Inc., www.memyselfandinc.com, Her column seeks to help business owners build and grow sustainable enterprises and businesses with economic value and preference in the marketplace.