7 Signs It’s Time to Reinvent Your Online Business

by Lisa Suttora on June 9, 2010

The only thing constant about entrepreneurship is change. If you’re not one for change, prefer the status quo and like to keep things “as is” for was long as possible, then being the CEO of your own business is probably not for you. Nothing will kill your online business faster than stagnation.

Keeping your business current  is the name of the game. Although this doesn’t mean “chasing rabbits” or having ‘bright shiny object syndrome”.  Nor does it mean dumping your core values.

A current  business  means your market + your products + your marketing + YOU = are in tune, fresh and relevant in your niche!

Unfortunately, even the most well-intentioned entrepreneurs can let things get stale. Reinventing doesn’t mean starting from scratch. It means updating, refreshing and sometimes retooling.

So how do you know if your business is ready to be reinvented? Here are 7 business and personal signs that tell you it’s time!

7 Signs It’s Time to Reinvent Your Online Business

1. You’re doing things exactly the same way you did a six-months, a year, two years ago or more. Things happen fast on the Internet. (That’s one of the things I love about it the most.) Everyday brings a new tool, technology, strategy, opportunity. Your customers change. The market changes. If you’re doing business in exactly the same manner you were 6 months ago, your business is losing ground. What’s one new thing you’ve implemented in your business this month?

2. What your customers want to buy from you has changed, but your offerings haven’t. Can you imagine going to your favorite store week-after-week and seeing the same products displayed the same way? It wouldn’t take long for you to say “What’s the point of coming here anymore, everything is always the same?”  What new things are you offering your customers? Are you continually bringing exciting products into your business?  It doesn’t matter what you sell – whether it’s physical products, affiliate products or digital products – you have to continually introduce new products into the marketplace in order to keep up with what people are buying now.

3. Your business model isn’t a viable business model. If you’ve read my recent blog post on profiting without passion or purpose, you know that I am a firm believer that you can’t be successful in your online business without a passion, purpose or interest. But that doesn’t mean “do what you love and the money will follow”. If you love goats and want to build a business selling goat products but there isn’t a big enough market for goat products – you don’t have a viable business model. If you want to build a business selling common craft project instructions that are widely available for free on the internet, it’s going to be a tough-go. And many times your business model and your numbers don’t add up.  I had a client who wanted to design, sew and sell her own clothes online. She also wanted to make a consistent $10,000 a month in her first year with no additional staff. We ran the numbers – she wouldn’t have had enough hours in the week to turn out the inventory required to make that kind of money on her own. Even with staff, she would have been working for free. Passion, interest and optimism are core when running your own business. But a viable business model is a requirement.

4. Sales are lagging. If your sales are not what they used to be, something has changed. And before things get any worse, you need to find out what the problem is and figure out a way to solve it by reinventing what your business offers.  If you sell physical products, the first place to start is by looking at your product line.  What new products have you brought into your product line recently?  If the answer is none, it’s time to restock. If you’re marketing affiliate products and your sales have dropped, what’s changed? How’s your traffic, what’s the demand for the product your marketing, did you get slapped by Google? If you’re business is not growing, it’s dying.  But don’t let it get to that point before you refresh and reinvent it.

5. Your niche is declining or has changed. Every niche market ebbs and flows, morphs and changes. This is why it’s so important to stay on top of the trends in your industry. Trends are about people – your customers. Lifestyle changes, demographics, the economy, marketplace changes all dictate the trends in your niche.  What about your niche? What’s really going on in it today?  Is it growing, changing or declining? How has it changed? Where does your business fit in?

6. You haven’t grown as a person and neither has your business. The person you are when you make your first $1 on the Internet is not the same person you’ll be when you make your first $10,000 or $100,000 or $1,000,000,000.”

In fact, it’s impossible for you to remain the same and make more money. If you’re not growing as a person, neither is your business. That’s why if you haven’t made your first $1000 yet, you shouldn’t be worried about how you are going to make your million.  You’ll  grow and change along the way and as you grow, so does ability to make money.

7. You’ve lost passion/interest in your business. This one is tricky. Because there is a fine line between temporary boredom or frustration in your business and a true loss of passion/interest. And  of course there are a whole slew of emotional reasons why we may think we’ve lost passion in our business, but we haven’t. Things like fear of failure, fear of success, wanting to “have fun” and not work, reluctance to adhere to a schedule, perfectionism, you name it. But don’t kid yourself. You know in your gut if you’ve truly lost passion/interest in the business you’ve been running. And if you have, the time to sell it or reinvent it is now. Don’t wait for it to die on the vine so that you have an “excuse” to shut things down.  I see this happen all the time. Instead of taking a stance of power and saying “I’m ready to move on.” and then sell the business or reinvent it while it’s still profitable, they wait till it’s on life support to make changes. It’s a lot easier to sell or reinvent a business when it’s on top.

Catalyst for Change

Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

If it’s time to reinvent your business, it’s better done sooner than later. There’s no sense in waiting a moment longer to reinvent a business to make it more profitable!

How about you? Is it time to reinvent your business? Have you recently reinvented your business? Share your experiences below…


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