When I first started working in the real world after college I worked for a company that had been in business for over 100 years.
It was a great company with great people. I learned a lot while working there including a few details on what it takes to be successful as a company for that long.
When a company is around for that long it usually goes through many different changes. Companies have to change if they want to stay relevant. One of the interesting ways this company changed was how it communicated with customers. It moved from face-to-face sales to door-to-door sales to storefronts to catalogs and then to Internet ecommerce stores.
Every generation or so the company would feel out the market and find the best way to connect with customers for the future. Then they would move that direction with people that knew what they were doing.
While at the company I read a book by the former LL Bean CEO. He talked about how that company went through changes as well. Recently I also read an article on Nintendo. That company started making cards over 100 years ago before they moved into arcade games and then to home gaming systems.
If you’re in a mature business and you feel that the company needs some rejuvenation in order to continue growing then here are 5 ways to breathe new life into the company.
They might not all apply to your company, but hopefully one or two will fit or hopefully they’ll provide some inspiration for change.
Let’s get into it.
1. Research Technology To Explore New Threats And Opportunities
Technology is great, but it’s not always right for every company. New technology usually comes with a big cost. And it doesn’t always provide a pay off in terms of efficiency or better products.
Great companies don’t jump into new technology. They’re often not the first to try something. They let others test the early stages and see what shows potential. After seeing the potential then the great companies start doing due diligence to see if it’s the right move for them.
If your company is stagnant now it’s an obvious sign that something needs to change. Start researching technology. It doesn’t have to be cutting edge. It could be something that’s a few years old. See if there is a way to make your process more efficient. See if there is opportunity for new products or services. Most things won’t apply, but you only need one thing to rejuvenate your company.
2. Hire A Few Younger Staff Members
I read an interview or saw an interview with golf coach, Butch Harmon. He’s one of the best in the industry and he has been for several decades. He shared a lot of things about his success and one thing was that he likes to surround himself with long-time friends, but also with younger, new friends and associates.
He said that spending time with younger people keeps him young and in tune with what the younger generation sees in their worldview. In Butch’s work, his clients get old and start playing less and less golf. He works with pros and while the older guys can stick around for a while they also gain knowledge and don’t seem to need as much coaching.
So Butch needs to be able to connect with younger golfers in order to keep his business going. He embraces it and figures out a way to appeal to younger generations.
This happens with all businesses. You might have a mature customer base right now and they’ll be around for a long time. Don’t stop providing them with what they demand from you, but if you want to grow you have to get with the younger generations so you capture their lifetime business.
One way you can do that is by hiring a few younger staff members. You’ll learn from them and you’ll be able to teach them the finer details of your business.
3. Experiment With New Products
We talked about this a little bit in the point about technology. It’s good to put it here because technology and working with younger generations can provide inspiration for new products.
Again, you’re not looking to make immediate changes. Ease into the research. See what’s working and what’s really connecting with your target audience. It might be for younger generations or maybe you can discover something your current customers need.
New products and new customers are the way to business growth. They’re the ultimate business rejuvenation.
4. Launch A New Brand
One thing to be careful with when launching anything new is your brand. You don’t want to turn away your current customers. They’ve come to love your brand over the years. And you’ve built a lot of recognition for what your brand stands for.
The way to move into new products and customers is to launch a new brand. This is harder in the short-term, but better in the long-term. You can build a new identity for the new product and the new customer. They’ll have their lifetime brand to connect with.
Your company stays the same, but the brand changes and your company continues to grow and succeed.
5. Take Your Content Strategy Online
At Ghost Blog Writers we specialize in blogging, which is part of content marketing. A secret about content marketing is that companies have been doing it for generations. Somewhere in the last few years we just starting calling it content marketing.
Content marketing is just teaching your target audience about the questions they have related to your industry. That earns trust and from there they discover what you offer and you can work through the sales process.
If you’ve been around for a long time the chances are good that you have been doing content marketing. It might be the content in your advertisements. It might be the content in your catalogs or the way your customer service reps answer common questions.
Identify the questions your customers has about your industry. Turn the answers into online content (blog posts, videos, guides, etc.) and publish then on your site. You’ll start attracting brand new customers.
Questions change over time, but for the most part they stay the same. And being involved in the online world exposes you to a whole new set of questions.
Online content can turn into a whole new pipeline of customers for your business.
Take Your Time
There is no need to panic.
When you start lurching around and making reactive, quick decisions you’ll usually only dig a deeper hole. The best way to approach change is to carefully analyze things. Try a few things out without putting the company at a huge risk especially in a financial risk.
But as you work on new opportunities and you identify something that shows promise, jump in full steam ahead. Commit to the change and work through it just like you would with any new business. It won’t all go according to plan, but stick with it, make only necessary changes and you’ll find continued success and your business will live for another generation.