In 1998, Steve Jobs triumphantly returned to the company he’d co-founded two decades earlier. At the time, Apple was at a crossroads: Success was anything but certain.
“The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting,” Jobs said at the time. “The cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament.”
In 2012, countless small businesses are looking to exit their current predicaments. Amid increased competition and uncertain economic conditions, these entrepreneurs — like Jobs — aim to reinvent their way to growth and profits.
Although many small-business owners have recovered from the psychological impact of the economic implosion that began in 2008, self-esteem still isn’t a commodity that’s easy to find. In fact, the latest data from the National Federation of Independent Business shows that small-business confidence today remains at or below recessionary levels.
The good news: Throughout history, scores of small ventures have evolved into monster successes as a direct result of reinventing their operations to counter economic or competitive disadvantages.
For example, few people were enthralled by The Point, a website that leveraged the power of groups to fund-raise and make other things happen. But when its founders started an innovative side project called Groupon, the daily-deals site took off — and became wildly successful. Similarly, when the founders of Burbn, an obscure microblogging platform, reinvented themselves as Instagram, their success skyrocketed. The mobile photo app was ultimately acquired by Facebook for $1 billion.
The Route to Reinvention
More than half of small-business owners say they’ve reinvented their company to “stay afloat or competitive,” according to a Citibank survey released in June. Whether your operation has humble plans or grand aspirations, a fresh start or even a minor facelift may be all you need to get back on track.
Check out the infographic below for more on the various steps for reinventing your business.