Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wed on Twitter from 8-9pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with Karyn Greenstreet @Kgreenstreet. She is the President of Passion For Business, LLC. Karyn is an internationally-known speaker, author, and self-employment expert who has taught business and personal development topics to over 250,000 people worldwide. She is extraordinarily passionate about helping self-employed people to create the life and business they want. For more information www.Passionforbusiness.com
Smallbizlady: What is business reinvention?
Karyn Greenstreet: Business reinvention is not about making minor tweaks. It’s about transforming your business. Business reinvention isn’t about tossing it all away and starting from scratch (though you can, if you want). Instead, I think of business reinvention as a process of looking at your current business model and your own goals, and finding places that could use a makeover.
Smallbizlady: How is it different than making some tweaks to your existing business or marketing model?
Karyn Greenstreet: Every business goes through a life cycle. Making tweaks and changes along the way is normal. However, sometimes you need to completely reinvent all or part of your biz. It’s about big ideas, big changes that take you to a new level.
Smallbizlady: What are the warning signs that tell you that you need to reinvent your business?
Karyn Greenstreet: First, a feeling of restlessness. You have an inner knowing that something has to change. You’re thinking, “My business model isn’t working for me,” and you find yourself constantly asking, “What’s next for me and my business?”
You may feel excited and frustrated, because you’re ready to take action, if only you knew what the right action was! You’re feeling you don’t have a crystal clear vision for the future of your business. You remember in the past how it feels to have a clear vision for your business, but it’s just not there anymore.
Maybe you’ve run a successful business before, but your goals and values have changed, and you need a business model that mirrors those changes. You need to put the pieces together, but in an entirely different way than your current business model.
Smallbizlady: What are the steps involved with reinventing your business?
Karyn Greenstreet: First, you know or sense something needs to change. So you ask, “What’s next for my biz?” You know you need to shake things up.
Next comes getting lost in the not-knowingness. The solution won’t come to you. This is a tough stage to be in, but trust me, it’s an important one. (You can read more about Learning To Tolerate Ambiguity on my Compass blog. You’ll find the blog at http://www.RoadmapToReinvention.com )
In the next phase, you find clarity on your goals. You figure out what’s most important. Then you start exploring a bit. You play with ideas. You talk to friends, colleagues; you read books. You look at other people’s business models to see what might work for you.
In the final phases, you make a map of where you’re going. You lay out your plan. Then you implement it and track to see how it’s going.
It’s a journey.
Smallbizlady: What is the Compass Model?
Karyn Greenstreet: The Compass Model is a step-by-step process, which helps you on this reinvention journey. It walks you through the entire reinvention process. Because it’s part training and part mastermind group, you get the brainstorming and support you need along with education.
Smallbizlady: What are some of the traps that people fall into when reinventing their business?
Karyn Greenstreet: The big one is getting stuck in the plateau. Things just sit there; things don’t change.
Perhaps your revenue is at a stand-still. Or maybe your love for your biz is faltering. Your motivation changes. You get tired of doing things the same old way, because “the same old way” isn’t getting what you want.
Smallbizlady: How can we learn more about this business plateau and how to get unstuck?
Karyn Greenstreet: I have a free 1-hour audio called Get Off Your Business Plateau. You can download it here: http://www.RoadmapToReinvention.com. Also, check out the blog on that site. It’s full of great articles about business reinvention.
Smallbizlady: Why do some people choose to reinvent their business?
Karyn Greenstreet: One of my clients, Claire, had a local business, but her husband retired early and they wanted to travel around the USA for a year. She needed to transform her business completely to a virtual model, freeing her up to spend time on the road with her husband and still have a business she loves.
Another client, Jim, wanted to expand the services and products he offers to his customer base, to be more “full service” and have multiple streams of income.
Smallbizlady: Do people ever completely throw away their existing business and start something brand new as part of reinvention?
Karyn Greenstreet: About 15 percent of small business owners feel they have completed their work with their current business and want to get out of it completely. One of my mastermind group partners, Susan, wants to completely reinvent herself, sell her existing Chiropractor business and take everything she knows and loves, creating a whole new business for herself. She’s been a Chiropractor for over 20 years. For her, it’s about starting a whole new life which includes a new business. But because she’s run a successful business before, she can take what she’s learned and use it in her new business.
Smallbizlady: What are the most important things people need to work on, when reinventing and transforming their business?
Karyn Greenstreet: The number one thing is clarity. You need to have clarity about your business vision as well as your motivation for reinventing your business. You need to know where you’re going and WHY.
By gaining a better knowledge about who your target audience is and what they want, you can design creative new products and services for them. Instead of just following someone else’s business and marketing model, you create a unique one that’s perfect for you and your customers, and makes you stand out in the crowded marketplace.
Smallbizlady: Why not just follow what others are doing? Do you really need to invent a unique business?
Karyn Greenstreet: I believe there is a “perfect” business out there waiting just for you. It’s a true reflection of who you are and why you were put on Earth. When you copy someone else’s business model, you stay part of the herd. You don’t shine. You’re just average.
Tom Volkar says, “Herd mentality works best for the lead bull. If you base your decisions on what others are doing then at best you’ll create a poor imitation of what has worked well for them.”
You cannot stand out from the crowd by following the crowd. If you want to create a business and a brand that gets noticed, you need to reinvent your business and be truly distinctive and noteworthy.
Smallbizlady: What if you’re not creative and can’t come up with a unique business idea?
Karyn Greenstreet: Everyone is creative. Everyone. Think of all the creative solutions you have found to problems and challenges in your life. Many people are at their creative peak when bouncing ideas off others. So don’t do it alone; find a group of colleagues to mastermind and brainstorm with so that you get the best of many minds working on your new business and marketing model.
If you found this interview helpful, join us on Wednesdays 8-9pm ET follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter.
For more tips on starting or growing your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog at www.succeedasyourownboss.com
Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is one of America’s leading small business experts. As a seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker, and small business coach, she develops audio, video and written content to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. As CEO of MFE Consulting LLC, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing. She has been featured on NBC Nightly News, the Tavis Smiley Radio Show, in the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur and Black Enterprise Magazine. She hosts #SmallBizChat weekly on Twitter for emerging entrepreneurs and publishes a resource blog www.succeedasyourownboss.com Melinda is also the author of the national bestseller Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works. (Adams Media 2010)