Part 70: Breathing Life into a Tired Company – How Small & Mid Sized Companies Grow

No one likes to think of their company as being tired or old, but with time many if not most do become so, its sort of like entropy where things just go down hill over time. The air seems to have just gone out of the balloon unless you keep on pumping fresh air back into it. So how does one go about revitalizing a company and breathing life back into it and seems to be out of fresh ideas?

To start with nothing lasts forever. Unless one is monitoring the company performance over time it can miss the fact that the company is no longer energetic but has become tired, with declining sales, loosing customers, its competitive edge, its brightest employees, etc. The prescription for a tired company is to first figure out what the problem is and then go about fixing it; otherwise it may fold.

Most companies become tired as they stay with the same concepts and people who got them to where they were successful past the point of diminishing returns and follow the axiom of “don’t break what is not broken”. Something doesn’t need to be broken to be fixed. Your old car may still work, but may be getting 15 miles per gallon and is a clunker. A new hybrid may get you 45 MPG, GPS won’t get you lost; air bags and ABS will make your trip a whole lot safer, etc. And just think how many companies and industries have been put out of business by just one new concept, the smart phone. Their product or service was not broken, just made obsolete in almost the blink of an eye.

Here are a few things needed to breathe life back into your company. 1. Find out honestly where things are and how much they have changed over time. 2. What were your sales and profits when it was at its peak vs. where you are now? 3. Do you know what your market expects and your competitor’s have been doing during this same timeframe? 4. Have you been adding new bright and innovative people to your company? 5. Have you made investments in new technologies to be relevant (refer the old car analogy)? 6. What have you learned from the above diagnosis and do you have the staff, capital resources, time and the commitment to make the changes that are needed? If you have done all of these things you are now in a position to create and implement a game plan to convert a tired company into a vital one. It may take a substantial change in the way you have done business to make this happen but the longer one waits the harder this becomes. A good place to start is to come up with 10 new ideas for your company; from how to implement a price increase to creating innovative new services or products and selecting the 3 best and implementing them. Avoid being that company where so much time has passed since making changes that their proverbial car has now rusted away.

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