Could your business be reinvented?

Picture by Mark Chapman via Flickr

Picture by Mark Chapman via Flickr

There was a little secret sauce released in an interview this past week that reaffirmed that any business can be reinvented.   And based on this example, business age and size has little to do with it.   It was much more about having vision and creating a plan of where they wanted to go and then putting the wheels in motion to make it happen.

“The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.”

— John Sculley
Former CEO of Pepsi and Apple Computer

KC Source Link recently held a “Battle of the Brands” competition, pitting Kansas City businesses against one another for a friendly competition to see who had the most passionate fan base.   The bracket of 64 included many of the respected companies Kansas City is known for including a brewer of beer, a roaster of beans, and a company with products that can guide you from the beer to the beans.

As the tournament played out, it became clear size was not the only thing that mattered and some of the big players were knocked out in the first round.   When the companies squared off, voting was on-line and big advertising budgets were no match for the eventual champion who used the same strategies that dramatically changed the course of the 16 year old business, approximately 3 years ago.

“2 ½ – 3 yrs. ago maximum, that’s when it really started, even though we’re (a)16 year old (business), we like to think that we’re just 3.”  Jeff Morgan: Morgan Miller Plumbing, when asked when he really started Getting the Vision?

Jeff Morgan, the 2013 Battle of the Brands winner said the vision started shortly after being exposed to Facebook and he anticipated what social media could do for his highly competitive service centered business.  Looking back, the change has been so dramatic, Jeff now views the first 13 years as simply building the foundation for the last 3.   They have basically reinvented themselves as a company.

The point here isn’t about jumping into Social Media – if this is making you eager to ramp up a social media campaign, turn the faucet off (pun intended). For some, that may be a great idea, but that’s not the important part of the message.

Key to Success – Be Open and act on New Ideas…!

The underlying message is regardless of how long you have been in business or what your industry is, you have to be open to new ideas and opportunities.   Once identified you need to develop plans with vision to achieve them.   Today in business if you aren’t getting better, you’re getting worse; complacency is a merciless option.

For Morgan Miller Plumbing it was harnessing the power of social media.  They saw it as a tool that could potentially move their business from one level to the next and they put together a plan of action to make that a reality.  Maybe for your business it is a new location? Or a product line? Or changing a distribution model?   Those are questions you need to ask yourself or discuss with a business advisor, but you must ask them because someone else in your industry is.   If you’ve been in business for a while, it can be especially challenging to shake things up. If you’re just looking for a fresh perspective maybe a business evaluation would help provide new direction.  Or take a couple of days off, get away from the office and challenge yourself to come up with something new. Whatever you do, taking action will help you move forward!

Congratulations to all 64 businesses who participated in this year’s Battle of the Brands.   Click here if you would like to hear Jeff share his secret sauce  and please click here to donate to the Red Cross for the disaster in Oklahoma.   As always please feel free to share any thoughts or comments you have in the space below.

Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach

2 thoughts on “Could your business be reinvented?”

  1. Great article Chris! I was listening to a piece on our local NPR affiliate KCUR a few days about young people taking the path of trades and how there is a critical shortage of jobs in the skilled trades of pipefitter, masonry, etc. Many of these well-trained professionals are hiring on at 60-70K/year right out of school – without accruing a crushing amount of student loan debt… and the construction trade can’t find enough of them to fill their needs.

    I think there will be a real renaissance (and opportunity for wealth) for young bright people to build companies that provide ‘common’ services uncommonly well.

    Thanks for the inspiring story about Morgan Miller Plumbing Chris!

    1. Kenton,

      You’re welcome, glad it inspired you. I like your spin…providing “common” services uncommonly well.

      What really struck me is that Jeff views his company as a 3 yr old business even though they have been working at it for 16 years. If they can transform their business, how many more “Morgan Millers” could do the same thing? But someone has to step up and lead the change to make it happen.


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