For many, forming your own business is a little like falling in love. It’s new, it’s a little exciting and who knows what time will bring; its all a bit of a whirlwind. Add to that the stats that 1 in 3 new start-ups fail in their first year and you have the recipe for excitement and anxiety all rolled into one!
But what of the businesses who make it, the ones that have gone on to be successful and continued to thrive for many years? Could this be equated to a happy marriage? Or perhaps as the years have advanced, complacency and predictability have become the norm.
If you’ve been in business for a long time, it’s a fantastic achievement, and you might be a little bit wary of mixing things up, especially if that self same formula has worked so well in the past. So why would you rock the boat?
There’s a quote I often see banded around on social media which says, ‘ The most dangerous phrase in the language is “We’ve always done it this way.” Attributed to Rear Admiral Grace Hooper. And quite frankly it’s a popular quote. Why? Because, when you allow business to stagnate you run the risk of becoming obsolete, and the competition is catching you up, with new, more advanced and innovative ways of doing things.
But what can you do to re kindle that ‘first love’ feeling for your business?
- Consider bringing in new staff, or perhaps re training existing staff – a decent learning programme can inspire new ideas for the company and create a new buzz for staff to be developing their own careers and your business.
- Diversification – you might see this word a lot, but that’s because in order for some businesses to survive in changing markets they need to consider what their customer base might need that they don’t already supply. Or they might just need to adapt to a changing environment, after all how many people put films in their cameras any more? Be sure to refer to your insurance policy if you are considering diversifying to ensure your cover is correct.
- If your business has premises that are exposed to the public, a new lick of paint and a bit of re decoration in something a little more bold and striking might be just the key to creating a little more ‘curb appeal’.
- Engage with your customers, perhaps allowing them to suggest future changes and requirements.
- Do a little research on competitors in the market, especially newcomers that are on the up, what are they doing differently to you, and is it something you might be able to provide as well?
It might be that you don’t need to make huge changes in the business to stoke the old fire, but a few minor changes could be just enough to fuel the flames of love.