Thursday, March 27, 2014

Changing directions

     Free daily advice for people in small business
     from someone who has been there, done that.

     Starting up a business is one thing. Changing the direction of your existing business is another thing.

     The decision to change direction comes up more often than you might think. Opportunities to change the focus of your business grab at you often.

     Example: Say you run a small law practice. You do wills, real estate, collections, business set-ups (partnership, incorporation, etc.) and more. A client asks about elder law. You investigate and find a thriving market in elder law and related activities. You might decide to specialize in this area, foregoing the rest.

     Example: Say you run a restaurant that seems to be lagging. Is it just a poor economy? Or should you start a catering operation, reaching out to corporations, event organizers, weddings and the like? Or you hold a cooking class and find that people pay well to attend. Should you turn your restaurant into a how-to operation--baking, butchering, food nutrition?

     Example: Say you are a chiropractor. You notice the surge of interest in holistic practices--nutrition, massage, Chinese medicine, and other alternatives. You test out the possibilities by bringing in holistic practitioners to offer informational sessions for the general public. After a few of these, you might develop relationships with these practitioners and offer on-going sessions. At the very least it will expand the public's awareness of your chiropractic practice.

     No matter the business you are in, opportunities to change are always present. These deserve your close attention.

     Markets drive all businesses. Check out those market opportunities carefully before heading off in another direction. Do a new business plan. 

     Also, be alert to business drift. That law practice can drift into avenues inconsistent with goals. The restaurant can settle into menus convenient in the kitchen but less appealing to the diners. And the chiropractor can drift toward alternative medicine whereas the goal is to develop more relationships with traditional medical doctors. 

     Never let your business drift without taking note. Better to take a critical look from time to time. Based on the market, decide if the drift is right for you and consistent with your long-term goals. And always--always--do a business plan.

     (c) 2014, Al Warr

     If you have questions on this or any other topic covered,
     email me direct at: and put BLOG in the subject line. 


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