This article was written by Stan Lewczyk, SCORE Orange County Management Counselor
The market keeps changing, the competition keeps changing—are you keeping up? If you have been in business for several years, you need to re-invent your business at least every five years or less to make sure you are prepared for the future.
Is your business growing? Is it profitable? If you are not satisfied with your answers, these are additional reasons to review your current strategy and business model.
How do you do this? Here are some broad steps to take:
- Review the market-what business needs are you filling today, how are market changes impacting your “reason for being”, what additional future changes do you expect, how can you respond to these
- Do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis for your business and the key competitor(s)
- Re-affirm where you want to be in 3-5 years, what are your new goals
- Review steps 1-2 if you need to expand into new business opportunities
- Determine what changes will be needed to get there--business scope, personnel, operations, investment, sales and marketing, etc
- Develop a step by step plan to get there—including a new, updated business plan
- Get help from SCORE
This approach doesn’t mean that you will need to make major changes in your business model. Perhaps all you need to do is to focus on your key strengths and determine how you can improve on them to solidify current business and to gain new business. The key here is to set aside time to re-think and re-invent your business model.
Another suggestion, read a good book on business strategy for new ideas. An example is “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.
Score’s Advisory Board program is available to help established businesses address issues such as this.