It can happen in your home, at the office, with your relationships, and in just about any part of your life: things get stale. What do we mean when we use the descriptor “stale?” It’s a hard term to nail down precisely, but we all know it when we feel it. Routines get old and boring. Relationships get taken for granted. We go on “auto-pilot” and just go through the motions with our work. We do the bare minimum to keep the peace in our homes. Although “staleness” is a very understandable consequence of our busy and modern lifestyles, it can be problematic nonetheless.
And if it can happen in all other aspects of our lives, it can certainly happen with our small or medium-sized businesses. While it’s true that there will always be difficult periods in which we just have to put our noses to the grindstone and power though, we certainly hope that’s the exception and not the rule. In many cases, people who start a small business start the business around something they’re good at and passionate about, and one of the joys of owning a small business is enjoying one’s work.
So what can you do if you feel like your business is becoming “stale?” How can you breathe some new life into the thing you were once so passionate about? How can you feel like you’re really engaging with your clients and customers and not simply going through the motions when you provide them with goods or services? Permit a few suggestions:
- Take time to reflect on the evolution of your business. If you started the business yourself, think back to all the thoughts and emotions you had when you first opened your doors. Perhaps you were feeling excited, nervous, uncertain, and hopeful—all at the same time. Take time to appreciate all the obstacles you have overcome as your business has grown and the challenges you have conquered, but also try to recapture a bit of that (possibly naïve) excitement and joy you felt as you started out. If you inherited the business from someone else, try to imagine what they were feeling as they started out, and recapture some of those feelings for yourself.
- Give your business a facelift. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for a room in your house, and it’s amazing what a “fresh coat of paint” can do for your business too. If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your business’s logo and graphic identity, prioritize the project and see the huge difference such a seemingly small project can make. It will change your own mindset about your business, and it will turn your clients’ and customers’ heads as well.
- Re-evaluate your product and service offerings. Take time to think about what the “core” of your business is. Has it changed over time, or has it remained largely the same? Do all of the products and services you offer still make sense in 2019 in the same way they did ten or twenty years ago? Are there products and services that you should be offering in 2019 that didn’t even exist ten or twenty years ago? Take time to analyze your offerings and decide what changes might be beneficial without changing the “soul” of your business or your business’s mission.
At Vertz Marketing, it’s our passion to see the small and medium-sized businesses of southeastern Wisconsin grow and thrive. We want to see you succeed and also enjoy what you do while you serve the great people of the Milwaukee area. What you do for the community is too important to “go stale.”