Featured in Alltop StartUpRoar

Monday, February 11, 2013

Repurpose a business or a product to create success

This cat is not what it seems to be!

Repurposing has a long history in business.  If something does not work for one area, maybe it will work for a different one.  Take our feline friend in the photo.  It looks like a playful pet, but it was repurposed to be a KILLER.  Yes, it lives in a vineyard and it eliminates animals that destroy grapes.  The farmers grow roses near vineyards to detect insects or diseases before they can kill the grapevines.  Certain types of waste create fertilizer and make the plants grow better.  Repurposing takes place when someone becomes creative and finds a new use for something.

In the drug industry, patents expire allowing the products to become generic.  Many inventors will explore the use of these off-patent products for new indications attempting to obtain patents for the repurposed drugs.  Equipment once used for manufacturing or research supports new and different areas.  People move to accept new tasks to support the new products since they no longer needed for the old jobs.

Repurposing takes place in businesses and with business names.  Sometimes, a tired product or business that failed for one reason or another is adopted and rebuilt.  The owners of Twinkies are working to find a buyer.  The name will likely stay the same because of the wide recognition of the product.  Name recognition is very important to products.  Repurposing of names takes place in the investment banking area where new owners acquire the name and attempt to rebuild the business.  You may not even recognize that the sale took place, but you may recognize the name now owned by new owners.

In a recent discussion with an investment banker, I learned of an acquisition of big name banking group.  The management was changed and new people recruited.  The leader of the team developed a strategy to work with certain companies that other firms had failed to help.  Extensive planning resulted in new successes that benefited the bank and the companies.  The name of the bank remained the same, but everything in that business is different!  A new company was constructed using the repurposed name.

When is building a business, a valid strategy is to acquire a recognized business or product and re-invigorate the product or business.  You need creativity and management skills to carry out the activity and be successful.  The creativity helps you determine the reason for the failure and create a unique and new strategy to make it a success.  The management skills allow you to bring all the pieces together and direct them toward a target of success.

Repurposing comes in different forms.  Have you ever heard of WD-40?  This is a product originally developed by Rocket Chemical Company and first used by Corvair to protect the outer skin of the Atlas Missile.  The founder started putting the product in cans as an aerosol thinking home uses may be possible.   It took from 1953, when first invented, to 1961 for the first truckload to be shipped.  A company was born from creativity, innovation, and repurposing! 

When you think of your business, keep an open mind. You may find that a different direction may take your business from OK to FANTASTIC.  Your goal is success, not sticking with your original tired or poor performing product.
Taffy Williams is the author of:  Think Agile:  How Smart Entrepreneurs Adapt in Order to Succeed to via Amazon