12 Steps To Re-Vive Your Business (Part 3 of 4)
Re-Structure | Re-Focus | Re-Build
7. Re- Structure!
Most companies use the same unwritten organizational chart for years without ever changing it. The owner is at the top of the chart and accepts most of the important roles like chief salesperson, general manager, chief estimator, and money manager. But over time, the old chart doesn’t work as business and customer demands change. For example, on a professional baseball team, the marketing manager used to be in charge of advertising on television and in the newspaper to sell tickets. Now ninety percent of marketing is done over the internet. Managing internet marketing requires a different skill and talent than the old role of marketing manager.
What outdated positions do you still have? What new positions do you need to compete today? Using the example of a professional sports teams, you should also consider changing the way you stay in touch with past customers and attracting potential customers. Your old equipment manager was a glorified mechanic. Now he needs to be fully responsible to get a return on your equipment investment plus keep everything working efficiently. The old role of an estimator was to prepare quantity take-offs and put a price on jobs. Now he must be a director of presentations, video modeling, power point slide shows, and master of negotiating complicated design-build contracts with professional engineers. The old role of general field superintendent was a pusher and problem solver. Now he has to be fully computerized to coordinate complex challenges, field scheduling, material expediting, crew productivity rates, and contract management. Perhaps it is time to RE-STRUCTURE and take a hard look at your company organizational chart, job responsibilities, and who is in charge of your operations.
If you’ve never played ice hockey, you’ll find it’s a hard game to follow, confusion, low scoring, and very technical. Therefore you probably would never consider buying a ticket or going to a game. To expand professional hockey into the warmer lower states in the USA, the NHL had to offer more than hockey to the non-hockey crowd. They had to realize the game they had always played in Canada, while exciting to Canadians, won’t sell tickets in the USA. They had to change their focus from hockey to entertainment.
What does your company offer or do different to attract customers to pay full price for your services? Have you changed your marketing strategy, proposal, bid presentation, image, or guarantee to gather new fans of your company? Have you changed your target market, project types, or delivery systems to expand your customer base? Trying to convince customers to hire your company using the same old bid strategy and low price methodology won’t get them to buy tickets from you at premium prices. It is time to RE-FOCUS your customer strategy and look for new customers in new markets and new project types by offering something exciting that will fill seats and get customers excited about paying your company what it’s worth.
When the National Hockey League added the Anaheim Ducks, it quickly became one of the hottest teams in the league in merchandise sales. They had teal and purple jerseys which stood out and attracted lots of attention. But over time, they looked dated, too cute, and not tough enough for true hockey fans. So sales of their gear slowed. A few years ago, Disney sold the Ducks and the new owners who decided to change the look of the team. The fans were skeptical and said it wouldn’t work. When the new tougher black, gold, and orange jerseys were revealed, fans started buying again and the team won the Stanley Cup championship the next year. Now, merchandise sales of Ducks gear is at the top of the charts in the league.
Image isn’t the only reason the team won the cup. But it did help. The Ducks were able to change their colors, look, slogan, music, theme, and perception in the league. The new look felt like a winner and created excitement. It gave the fans a new reason to cheer and opponents a look to fear. Take a fresh look at your overall company image, logo, stationary, proposal format, communications, presentations, uniforms, trucks, job signs, office, showroom, business cards, and website. Do they create any excitement or are they old, tired, and like everyone else’s? Do they give out the right professional clean impression to your customers? Does it make your employees proud to be a part of a winning team? Does it promote technical expertise and value? Now is the right time to RE-BUILD your image. To be the best, customers must perceive you are the best.