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One of the major advantages of small and mid-sized businesses is that it is much easier to make changes with this category of business than it is with the larger kind. The larger company can become so mired in bureaucracy that it can’t turn on a dollar much less on a dime. Changes can be a new product or service, expansion into new markets or focusing on existing markets, or a change in direction or positioning.
If your business is small or mid-sized, this might be the time to consider whether change, no matter how minor, might increase business. For example, if you’re in a retail business, would a new product or product line increase sales without increasing costs? If you’re in a service business, are there some new services that can be offered, or existing ones expanded? It is better to attempt a change rather than not to try one, because in the small and mid-sized business, strategies for change usually can be withdrawn or modified without inordinate damage to the existing business.
One change increasing in popularity is co-branding. It movement manifests itself in a variety of business combinations, one of the most common being the gas station and convenience store or mini-mart. Food franchises are also co-branding because one company may own or franchise several brands. KFC and Taco Bell may share the same premises and kitchens. Many of the travel plazas will have, for example, a Burger King, a Popeye’s Chicken and a Cinnabon’s (cinnamon rolls) joined together. There are coin laundries that also house espresso bars, tanning salons, and there are small convenience stores that sell soaps and other laundry items for use in washers and dryers, right along with snacks and other products.
Many other small businesses are adding other products and/or services to their existing business. Even some movie theatres are adding fine dining as a complement to the traditional movie to create a whole entertainment experience. Perhaps your business would profit by adding something else to the mix. All it takes is a little imagination, some homework, perhaps a trial run, and the courage to give it a try.