Week 8: Why businesses are reinventing themselves

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When I think about all of my conversations and meetings last week there was a very common thread tying them all together, and that was of people or businesses reinventing themselves.

I have mentioned before that the art of surviving in any business is about adapting to new circumstances in the company or market, or indeed in a major shift of focus in the world in general, just as we are seeing with sustainability for example at the moment. If a company is not going forward and trying to stay ahead of the curve then eventually it will shrivel and die.

Some reinvention is subtle and some much more fundamental. Sometimes it is an existing business that is changing and adapting, and other times it can be an individual that decides that the time is right to move on and do something totally different. Whatever the case, this process inevitably uses and applies all of the knowledge and experience gained over the years as well as detailed research. But once the reinvention decision is made it then leads to a steep learning curve of how to adapt and use all of that in the new venture.

The week opened with a fun meeting with somebody that always displays great enthusiasm and is no stranger to reinventing themselves. They are now really focusing on how best to fully monetise the latest idea before stepping away from a full time senior role so that all their considerable energy can be channelled into the new venture. But given the track record I am sure that it will be a success and they will be smiling the whole time.

Later the same day I was part of a group meeting with a number of people all with different backgrounds but all with an entrepreneurial spirit and looking at how best to start something new or work in a different way – either collectively or as individuals. These type of meetings can be very useful and can be invaluable in helping to clarify thoughts, and can often identify additional opportunities whilst at the same time challenging some of the initial ideas. Think of this type of a meeting as something of a small focus group but with known buyers and you get the idea.

The next reinvention was in rather a different league to the normal startup in that it was with someone who had already set up a small bank in the UK once before but is now going down this same path again. This time the focus is very firmly on the new digital age and catering for a glaring hole in the market, but one that until now has been difficult to fill. I say that it is in a different league because the experience of the management team, time, costs, and every other factor are so much more than for setting up any other venture.

Following that was a more classic reinvention with a lady that has already worked miracles with her early stage business and made it grow rapidly – all in her spare time. Having just left a senior role to concentrate on the new business this conversation was one of the many that was about raising finance in order to scale the business properly and complete the transformation.

This week I also had a meeting with one of the most positive, energetic, and enthusiastic people that I have met for a very long time. Over the years I have observed that positivity goes a very long way in most aspects of life but this is especially true when starting or running a new business.  Enthusiasm is infectious and sparks fly, and sooner or later this will create the explosion that propels the business forward. Yet another reinvention that is sure to succeed. 

Anything good in life takes time and effort to achieve and there are certainly many setbacks and challenges along the way. If reinvention were easy then everyone would do it, but with the right focus and like-minded, positive, and capable people around you, then the chances of success are magnified greatly.