Is the battle with the economy becoming wearisome? Do you feel your business may not survive until the recession is fully recovered? If you are a struggling small business owner, then take heed of the advice given by the experts at the recent Tools of Change for Publishing (TOC) conference held in February 2010.
The TOC was a meeting of minds for both big and small players in the publishing industry. Although their discussions were focused on the problems with publishing in a changing industry and a down economy, the lessons are universal. Below is sound advice for any small business owner who wants to survive through change.
Don’t Hold On to the Past
Remember, change is the only constant. You simply cannot hold onto the old and familiar ways of running your business. One of the worst things a business owner can do is fall in love with the way he or she does business because it is sure to change eventually.
Instead, learn to recognize when change is happening, or better yet, predict when change will occur. The earlier you can recognize the opportunities in a changing industry or economy, the better prepared you will be to meet those challenges.
Reinvention is the Key
One sure-fail strategy that many small business owners propagate is taking an existing product and simply repackaging it. You must understand that all products have a life span. You can improve upon the product or invent something completely new, but trying to sell a product past its lifespan is certain death for a business.
Leverage What You Have
When you recognize that change is eminent, you can leverage any and all assets to flow with the changes. Does your business excel at customer service? Keep that emphasized in your reinvention. Are you good at raising capital from investors? Harness that leverage as you make positive changes and grow to your manufacturing model.
It is possible to weather the storms of a changing industry. Just like publishers are now making strategies for e-books and mobile device readers to stay in business, you need to reconfigure your business strategy to stay alive and thriving.