Here’s how to breathe some new life into your business…
When Steve Jobs died earlier this year, the world went into mourning for the loss of one of the greatest technological innovators of our time. While there is no doubt about Jobs’ technical prowess, perhaps one of his greatest achievements was his business savvy in re-invigorating the Apple brand.
Jobs re-joined Apple as CEO in 1997, when the company was struggling to gain share against Microsoft in the personal computer category. His first act was to design the iMac, a sleek, powerful machine that became an instant hit and helped to lift Apple back to its winning ways. Shortly thereafter came the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad, each of which re-invented industries and created new categories that hadn’t before existed.
What changed that made Apple go from a company that simply responded to market shifts to one that drove these shifts, forcing competitors to constantly play catch up? And, using this story as inspiration, is it time to realise that your business could do with some re-invigoration, and what do you need to do to make this happen?
Does change scare you?
“Change is not easy and is very risky,” comments local entrepreneur Warren Moss, CEO of digital email advertising company Demographica. Moss did a total re-brand of his company, which included a new name, look-and-feel and culture in order to reflect their more focused approach and desire to be seen as the creative, innovative team that they are.
He says the difference between the business owner who realises that his business is stagnating, yet continues in the same fashion, and the one who makes the realisation and decides to take drastic action comes down to perspective, coupled with risk.
Draw on external perspectives
“External perspective helps you make those calls. And if the call is to make a change, your appetite for risk comes into play.” Looking back, Moss says that the re-invigoration of the company look-and feel was one of the most significant strategic decisions that they took.
“We genuinely haven’t looked back since.”
See the rewards
For Moss, the energy and excitement that re-invigoration created well exceeded expectations – in terms of business performance the company grew over 80% in the first year. They trebled their staff compliment and employees felt a renewed sense of pride, with Demographica becoming a sought-after place to work.
Introduce a renewed energy
Personally, he found the re-invigoration critical. “I’d just come out of a difficult six months and this gave us the opportunity to start afresh; and gave me renewed energy.”
If you’re thinking about introducing a change, Moss’s advises speaking to business owners who have made similar moves, so that you can learn through their experiences and find out what they did right
Re-invigorating your business may be a case of taking drastic steps. Or it may be a once-off change that propels your company into a flourishing state, or a commitment to continuous innovation that changes your fortunes forever, as in the case of Apple. Or it may just be a small tweak here and there, an adjustment that gives staff an injection of motivation, or something that renews your own enthusiasm for what you do every day. Whatever the changes are, the important realisation is that your business is a living, breathing, changing thing that needs the right amount of oxygen to sustain it successfully into the future.
* Author: Nicole Canning. This article first appeared in Your Business Magazine.