Re-inventing a business …

Every successful entrepreneur watches what is going on in the economy, industries, customer buying behavior, and marketing trends. I am no different.

I got a hint of change while mentoring at a recent Startup Weekend, and that set me to thinking.  Today I see almost as many Baby Boomers as Millennials at entrepreneur networking events. Most of the Millennials have taken entrepreneurship courses in school, learning to write their own business plans, and the Boomers have written many business plans during their previous careers.

Writing business plans has always been my loss-leader…

What I have mostly done when working with clients is apply my knowledge and experience to defining the business idea, positioning the idea, establishing the business model, revenue model and marketing model, planning the build-out, planning the launch, establishing contingency plans and … finally … putting it all down on paper in the form of a business plan.

My experience was actually what they paid for, whether they knew it or not. Back in 1997 when I started my business, business plans were mysterious documents that most people feared tackling on their own … a great marketing niche for me!

Although I still see some AWFUL business plans, most plans people send me are really pretty good.

Here is where I am going with all this …

This past month I have spent almost all my billable hours on mentoring or coaching. This makes a lot of sense, considering that my experience has always been my value proposition. Writing business plans was a marketing niche. These days people come to me for review and recommendations on the business plans they have written themselves. I also get a lot of calls asking for what amounts to coaching services or mentoring. This, actually, is where my true value lies and where my own enjoyment of work lies.

The big announcement …

I am changing my business emphasis to coaching and mentoring, and I thought it would make for an interesting series of posts in my blog.

What I want to convey is the basics of how an entrepreneur approaches such a change. This applies to current business owners, trying to figure out how to keep their businesses relevant and it also applies to startups. The process is essentially the same.

So, keep watching as I move through this transition in my business and PLEASE COMMENT.  I’d like to create a bit of dialog around this.

This is what I think the future is going to look like …

  • Shift from project fees to hourly fees
  • Group mentoring sessions via online meetings
  • Informal weekly meetings at a coffee house for local entrepreneurs
  • Potentially establishing a virtual incubator – may incorporate the online sessions
  • Potentially a name change – new branding
  • Vetting of service providers and potentially creating a directory
  • Potentially creating online templates
  • [I am still thinking …]

So, keep watching and feel free to communicate!


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