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Sometimes a good idea for your business is lurking in your past. Taking a look over your shoulder can be productive--you might find ideas to increase sales and expand.
Example: In the past, a restaurant faxed daily menus to regular customers. But faxes became, well, so yesterday. Today, the restaurant has an app for customers to access the daily menu, specials, place an order or reserve a table. An old idea is re-born.
Ideas from the past can come alive again, upgraded to keep pace with today's technology.
Example: Doctors wear white coats in their offices and clinics. One doctor has hung up his white coat for the last time. He decided to re-introduce the house call. Today, he sees elderly and indigent patients in their own homes. His office is in the trunk of his car. He is busier than ever, and patients avoid emergency room visits and hospital stays. And they love the personal attention.
Sometimes, discarded methods can make sense again, even in today's brave new world.
Example: A computer expert discontinued the training sessions he once provided. Although the sessions were popular, he noticed a decline in attendance and interest. He stopped them. It was a bad decision. The furious pace of today's technology has left clients more confused than ever. So he re-structured and re-introduced his training sessions to be less detailed. The re-focus has worked. Instead of trying to educate clients in the weeds of computing technology, programming, and troubleshooting methods, he now provides introductory sessions. His formerly detailed training sessions have today become overview sessions. They are more quickly understood and appreciated by attendees. And they have led to referrals and new clients for his expanding on-site business of repairing, troubleshooting, and networking computers at the offices of clients.
Discarding yesterday's ways of doing business can work against you. Better to take a second look, re-format and re-introduce ways you used in the past. This can offer new business opportunities in today's business world.
Small businesses are fleet of foot. You can change very quickly. In your own business, if you spot a method that that worked in the past, but you've discarded, re-examine it. With a little tweaking, it might work again.