Friday, September 4, 2015

Changing directions

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     Business decisions are complicated. To home in on what you want to do, you must juggle all the pieces.

     Every day you match what you do and where you are going to the marketplace. The marketplace is where your business decisions make sense--or not. 

     If it makes business sense and it "feels right" you take the plunge. However, if your intuition causes you to hesitate, pay attention. That gnawing feeling (that something is not right) can sometimes save you from disaster.

     Example: Bill established his business designing websites for small businesses. His business was small but successful. Bill noticed that people in small business frequently had no interest in social media, no idea how it could work for them, and no concept of how to access it. He began offering clients a new service--he would coach them in the value and use of social media, and if they wanted, he would actually do the legwork to get them onto various social media sites--and maintain them. Bill still does websites, but it is a small part of his new business model.  

     Example: Linda is a chiropractor. Her client base was slowly growing, but Linda wanted more. She noticed that more and more clients were asking questions about nutrition, massage and other healthy living activities. Linda knew that it was a new marketplace coming to her door. She could expand by becoming a wellness center offering much more than just chiropractic. Her intuition told her to step carefully, so she began a growth path, making small changes. Once a month, Linda brought in a nutritionist for free talks about diet and weight problems. Then she began bringing in a massage therapist to give free short demonstrations, to explain different types of massage, and to answer questions. She got positive response by promoting on social media. By taking these small steps, Linda gained confidence to establish a full-service wellness center. 

     Example: Jameel runs a landscaping service. He started his business cutting lawns for residential and commercial clients. He began noticing that the market was changing. People wanted to get rid of their lawns, replacing with wild flowers, perennials and shrubs. Using social media, Jameel began offering gardening services in addition to his lawn maintenance services. It's a changing marketplace. Today, Jameel runs a full-service yard and garden business, helping people design and re-design yards more in keeping with their new interests. And he still maintains lawns. 

     When changing the direction of your business, it is useful to take small steps. In other words, you gradually move in the direction you want to go.

     The marketplace is always your guiding light when changing business directions. What made sense yesterday might not be viable today. And the business you are in today can change completely tomorrow.     


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