Entrepreneur: 3 Tips for Renovating Your Business Strategy This Spring
Springtime renovations aren’t just reserved for homeowners. If anything, entrepreneurs and CEOs have an even greater obligation to renovate their business strategy in order to beat their competition. So, just as homeowners want to keep up with current design trends and routine maintenance, you need to revamp your business strategy to stay on your industry’s leading edge.
Doing so is easier said than done, however. Updating your business strategy requires a bit of preparation, as well as an acute understanding of how each innovation will impact your organization as a whole.
Check industry trends when developing your renovations blueprint
Renovating your business involves more than just changing the look of a few offices. It’s about reinventing yourself to appeal to your customers. The first step, then, is to learn how your customers’ needs are evolving so you can determine in what direction to take your innovations.
Trade journals, consumer magazines and discussion boards are all great resources for staying up to date with what’s current in your industry. Alternatively, you could catch up with colleagues or attend a conference to get a firsthand look at what your organization may be missing. Basically, take any opportunity to get an update on your industry’s trends before you map out all of your desired changes.
Once you’ve made sure you’re up to speed, deciding what changes to make and how to make them is where the real work begins. Consider these tips as you develop your springtime business renovations blueprint.
1. Before wielding your sledgehammer, get a whole-house view.
Change doesn’t occur in a vacuum. When homeowners tear down a wall in their house, they have to consider how it will affect the adjacent room. Similarly, if you have a great idea for one department, you have to think through how it will affect other departments or procedures. Making sure these changes are compatible with your business’s existing technologies, for instance, is crucial.
Inderpal Singh, founder and managing director of Northshore Partners, advises you to ensure that your IT aligns with your business strategy. “As you begin executing on your strategic thesis, you’ll soon learn and adjust,” Singh says. “As those adjustments are made and your strategy is refined, oftentimes your supporting organizations such as IT are an afterthought and don’t make the shift required.” Recognizing that every component of your business is affected by your decisions can help you identify the most practical renovation ideas.
2. Renovations are fun, but don’t forget about routine maintenance.
It’s easy for homeowners to get excited about their next project before checking to make sure no upkeep is needed on their last one. The same can be true for business leaders. When conceiving your springtime renovations, then, check in with your team to see whether your last innovation requires any additional support.
Don’t make the mistake, however, of focusing solely on maintaining the past while forgetting about the future. The point “isn’t that we need to do only maintenance and get rid of innovation,” says Andy Russell, co-author of “Hail the Maintainers” and professor of history and dean of the College of Art & Sciences at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, New York. According to Russell, focusing on maintenance reflects “a shift in values away from glittery new things” and toward the day-to-day resources that make an organization run properly.