How to Relaunch Your Business
Whether you have just bought an existing business that you need to kickstart, or are planning to bring your business back onstream after a refit, any kind of business relaunch requires a good deal of pre-planning and preparation.
In either case, you should acknowledge that a break in trading or a change-up will have had an impact on even your most loyal customers. And how you manage to rejuvenate that relationship will determine how successful your relaunch will prove to be.
Here’s some things you’ll need to address if you’re hoping to get that phone ringing again:
Alert your clientele and suppliers
Both your sales and supply side need to know you plan to be up and running again.
Not only will your early contact allay any fears they may have about the continuity of your business, your reassurance will speak volumes about your customer care.
It also presents you with an ideal opportunity to source some new business from old customers in an atmosphere which should be nearer to ‘preaching to the converted’ rather than cold calling.
Plan and research your new identity
Though you will, of course, gauge just how much change you want to make, it’s almost inconceivable that you can just pick up where ‘Business Mark 1’ left off.
Your outlook will have changed, your clients will have changed and, most importantly, your competitors won’t have stood still either.
Your starting point may be how much of the old you wish to keep. Or, you might feel that success in this new reincarnation will be best achieved by making at least a few radical alterations and perhaps repositioning yourself in the market altogether.
PR & marketing
Your research will inform your relaunch strategy, which may involve approaching your established clients in new ways.
Equally, you could decide it would be more advantageous to address a completely different demographic, embrace new technologies, or even set up in a fresh location.
Whatever you choose, you must go all out to create a vibe of excitement about your return.
That means at least setting a special day to give significant celebratory discounts or offers. And if you have the budget, you could even plan a full-blown event with attention-grabbing customer experiences and sector personalities.
This approach also means you’ll have plenty to enthuse your clients and contacts about when you’re ready to make that marketing call.
Be upfront about all changes
Your relaunch strategy will be put to the test when you approach those who have been business customers in the past.
If you have carefully thought through your new approach, this will be your opportunity to sell your new vision to those who only know your business from a historical perspective.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and you’ll need to discuss not just what’s going to be different, you’ll also need to explain how much better things will be with your new changes.
Your clientele will hear this best if you can show them how much faster, cheaper, more efficient, more up to date, or whatever USPs your new products and services can offer – and stress just how much more pleased they will be with your revamped business!
Addressing all the changes also means you will have the opportunity to sell some aspects of your relaunch which your customers may not initially welcome.
Here is your chance to directly explain the benefits, or at least get the client to agree to trial your new ideas in order to experience the advantages you promise.
Many who enjoyed doing business with your enterprise in the past will be initially cautious about any proposed change. After all, they made a commercial decision to trade with your company based on its suitability for their own needs. That would suggest it could be dangerous to make so many changes that your new products and services lose their relevance for your existing customers.
So ultimately, the success of your relaunch will rest upon how well you really understand whose loyalty your former success depended on.
By Jo Thornley, Head of Brand and Partnerships at Dynamis.
Joining in 2005 to co-ordinate PR and communications and produce editorial across all business brands. She earned her spurs managing the communications strategy and now creates and develops partnerships between BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com and likeminded companies