In late 2019, this blog would’ve been launched as a natural hair blog called Korone ED. And now in late (very late) 2020, we’ve launched as type4girl. What happened? It’s simple – sometimes in business as it is in life, things don’t always go as planned. A 32-page business plan or presentation compiled over days and even weeks of research hours is no guarantee of a well-oiled successful business machine.
In this article:
If the idea of reinvention is still lost upon you, think about an Instagram aesthetic. If you’re not happy with how yours looks, you can (1) start a new ‘theme’ and completely neglect the current/previous one just by only uploading particular pictures or using a different editor/them. Or you could also (2) make a simple change by inserting a relatively blank image or a white square with minimal text to create an illusion of space and light up your timeline. The extreme would be (3) changing everything from your handle and name, to deleting all your pictures and focusing on a brand new aesthetic. By doing the latter, you would’ve reinvented yourself on Instagram. Reimagining your business or idea is relatively the same.
Deciding when to reinvent your business
While constant and unnecessary reinvention can be detrimental to not only your progress as an entrepreneur, but that of your business’ success, sometimes it is exactly what you need to push your business’ potential to its maximum. There are many reasons for wanting to reinvent yourself, your business or your business idea – you may be flatly bored, your initial idea might not be practical, the market might have changed, you hit a bad-PR wall or you want to spend less time on your business and more time on other things.
There is no formula to determining ‘a right time’. For it to be the right time, there must be a ‘real problem’ that you’re trying to solve. For your reinvention to be successful, you must make sure that your problem and therefore its required solution is practical. A good tactic is to do a critical analysis – ask yourself what the business and sales objectives are and how much of them have you achieved or are achieving. If your business is still an idea, then assess the probability of your business/launch goals being met given the current market and factors like your own social capital and start-up budget.
Decide what your business really needs
Once you have narrowed down the real problem, decide what your business or idea needs. Sometimes the solution is a seperate business element like a new marketing and sales plan, new product formula or name, rebranding, repricing/change in revenue streams or targetting a different market, change in ownership, change in key resources or new business partners. All of these can be perceived as functioning parts of reninvention because they are all (directly or indirectly) elements of a business model.
Other times, it is a matter of completely jumping ship – this is a very common strategy employed by entrepreneurs seeking to reimagine their vision. The great thing, which is also often the bad thing about [aspiring] entrepreneurs is that they have too many business ideas then they have time for. So most times, they will start one, get bored and move on to the next. Making a decision to commit to a decision or idea is especially difficult for entrepreneurs. However, this is not to say you should keep captaining what is clearly fixing to be a sinking ship. It’s totally okay to finally realise that while you like running a somewhat successful social media company, your heart is in carpentry and you really want to build a woodworks empire. The rule of thumb is to always go for (cautiously) what aligns best with your goals, passion and vision.
The transition: Do what your business needs
You’ve figured out what your issue with your business or idea is and now it’s time to implement the solution. If you already have a business and are looking to reinvent it, you’re going to have the mammoth but very doable task of virtually running two entities at once for a few months to a year depending on your business model. Compile a comprehensive exit strategy ensuring you account for all factors including current contracts and customers. You can start by phasing out a few products or services and making sure you keep your target market updated about what’s happening and how it’ll affect them in the future.
A lot of planning goes into a high-level reinvention strategy, for all points and purposes of entrepreneurship, it is tantamount to starting a business from scratch. It will take you right back to the basics of starting and launching a business. For established business owners this process is as daunting as it is likely to succeed, because they have, right at a new dawn, the experience of a start-up entrepreneur and a market that already knows their name and loves their offering… Provided they keep the same quality, values and work ethic that have been the foundation of their brand.