How to Reinvent Your Company

Marketing and consulting professionals weigh in on the best methods to reinvent your company and rejuvenate your business model.

Dissecting the working (and non-working) parts of your company gives you somewhere to start.

Marketing and consulting professionals weigh in on the best methods to reinvent your company and rejuvenate your business model.

The market for your goods or service has suddenly become very crowded. You’re afraid your business will disappear if you don’t take it in a new direction – and fast. Don’t panic; here are a few tips on how to reinvent your business, from people who have lived through the experience. Our experts are Leyland Pitt, professor of marketing at SFU; Scott McLean, a partner who leads PricewaterhouseCoopers’ B.C. consulting practice; and Steven Fitzgerald, president of Habañero Consulting Group.

Review your company’s vision statement

Start by asking who your customer is, what needs of theirs you satisfy and how exactly you address those needs. “If you do that, you can actually define your business in one simple sentence,” says Pitt. “You can say, ‘We satisfy X’s need for Y, and this is how we do it.’ You have a single-sentence definition and a three-dimensional vision statement. In other words, it’s looking at who, what and how.” Once you have this vision statement, you can figure out in which of those three categories you need to expand your business.

Come up with a strategy

Start a strategic process aimed at getting managers to think about what the company does well and how it can build on that success. Convene a group of your company’s leaders to go over sales for the last year. Maybe you tried promoting a new product that flopped, or maybe you started something that was very popular. “It’s really about finding out what parts of the business really are working well and which parts aren’t and then reinventing that piece,” says McLean.

Cater to customer demand

Talk to your customers to find out what they need and what services they would like from you. Capitalize on existing customers and grow from there. “When you have something that customers need or will pull from you,” says McLean, “it seems to work a lot better than coming up with a new invention that you then try to force on the market.” 

Make your company unique

Look at the four c’s. Who are my customers? Who are my competitors? What are my competencies? Who are my collaborators? “If you have a unique business, you should be able to say, ‘I do for that particular group of customers what my competitors can’t do for them because I have certain unique competencies,’” says Pitt. If you answer the four c’s and find that you don’t have any unique competencies, it’s time to reinvent the company so that you have something that sets you apart from your competitors. 

Challenge the norms

“Really challenge the accepted norms in the industry and perhaps you could use that to create a new path that could really be a differentiator for you,” says Fitzgerald, who advises that you re-envision how your company fundamentally works. Rather than follow the same formula as other, similar companies, create your own structure that allows you to build relationships with your clients and your staff alike.