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July 19, 2010 / Tony Arena

How to Restructure your Small Business for Success

During these tough economic times many small businesses have had difficulties hanging on. With little hope of recovery on the horizon, some are wondering about their staying power, should they continue to stay the course or is it time to throw in the towel. Well, perhaps neither is precisely the right answer. We have put together some tips that can help you reinvent your business and achieve success.

1) Compare your business with similar types of businesses in your industry and geographical location. If other firms are showing some signs of rebounding or growth, and your business is not, then you need to look into making serious changes to your business. Some areas of the country have been hit harder than others by the recession, you have to take geography and industry into consideration. There are a few places you can get statistics on your industry such as your local chamber of commerce, trade associations, and professional business organizations.
If you find that your business is not doing as well as similar businesses in your area, you can work with a business coach or analyst to look at the overall picture. This should help you determine if you need to close shop or makes changes.

2) Don’t throw away good money on your business if it is doing bad. If your business is just sucking cash and you just can’t seem to get over that hurdle, then it’s time to stop throwing away good money. If you have tried to cut costs and reduced spending but still have to fund your business on a monthly basis, you need to stop and see what changes need to made.

3) Reinvent yourself – While it may be hard to let go of your dream, you need to step back and take a look at the big picture. Assess the situation with a set of fresh eyes, maybe the industry has changed and you have not changed with it. Are there things you need to do differently? You need to be able to question everything. Reinvention is about taking your current resources and leveraging or utilizing them in different ways for greater productivity and profitability.

4) Give yourself time to sit down and think about your business. Get away from the day to day turmoil of running the business, and schedule a time where you can think with a clear mind. Then take a look at the operations and process of your business, what are you not utilizing? Collaborate with other businesses or services.

5) Be open to change – Sometimes we can be stuck in our ways and not open to changes, but this can be very bad for your business. The attitude of “that won’t work, we have always done it this way” is a very negative outlook. If what you have been doing is not working now, you need to look for a new way.

6) Look for new revenue streams – Search for new ways to bring in revenue to your business, for example if you have a product that you have always sold, try adding a rental or leasing option to it. Also look into leasing empty office space that you may have.

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