What Are Strategies for Adapting When Traditional Business Methods Fail?


    What Are Strategies for Adapting When Traditional Business Methods Fail?

    When traditional business strategies hit a wall, it's the wisdom of experienced professionals that can pave the way to success. From the insights of a Certified Business Consultant to the strategic pivot of an Attorney and Owner, we've distilled the hard-earned lessons from eleven experts. They share candid stories ranging from fostering team unity to modernizing legal services through digital outreach.

    • Fostering Team Unity for Strategic Success
    • Embracing Modern Marketing Methods
    • Prioritize Paper Planning for Effectiveness
    • Cultivating a Collaborative Corporate Culture
    • SEO and Social Media Drive Startup Success
    • Revamping E-Commerce for Increased Engagement
    • Customer Feedback Informs Cost-Efficient Strategy
    • Segmented Marketing Outperforms Mass Outreach
    • Digital Diversification Saves Face-to-Face Business
    • Agility and Diversification in Digital Marketing
    • Digital Outreach Modernizes Legal Services

    Fostering Team Unity for Strategic Success

    I was hired to help a small company overcome an impasse within the leadership team. I quickly identified a significant divide caused by the owner's exclusive focus on growth, leading to a disgruntled leadership team. Prior attempts to propose a strategic plan had failed. To address this, I introduced creative team-building sessions, fostering open communication and understanding among team members. Through one-on-one discussions, I aligned individual visions for growth.

    Facilitating collaborative workshops, I engaged the team in co-creating a unified strategic plan, leveraging diverse perspectives. Implementation involved a participatory approach, empowering each team member to contribute. This creative strategy not only aligned with the owner's growth goals but also improved team dynamics and positioned the business for sustained success.

    Michelle Flesher
    Michelle FlesherCertified Business Consultant, Personnel Impact, Inc.

    Embracing Modern Marketing Methods

    In the ever-evolving business landscape, traditional strategies often struggle to remain effective. As a brand strategist and writer, I've encountered situations where businesses faced challenges due to their reliance on conventional approaches. To ensure success, it's crucial to remain adaptable and open to change. This involves re-evaluating strategies, exploring new digital channels, personalizing customer experiences, integrating online and offline efforts, crafting compelling brand narratives, and leveraging the power of social media and influencer marketing. These versatile tactics can help businesses thrive in dynamic markets, emphasizing the importance of flexibility and embracing modern methods.

    Jane Grismer
    Jane GrismerBusiness Strategist, Brands that Flourish

    Prioritize Paper Planning for Effectiveness

    In a world full of apps, I think it's more effective to plan on paper first. It is more connected with the finite nature of our time, which prevents overbooking. Plus, we remember more when we write it down and accomplish more when we cross it off. After years of failing with digital planning tools, I like to plan on paper first, then use digital resources to enforce the refined plan.

    Samantha Lane
    Samantha LaneTime Management Consultant & Keynote Speaker, Origami Day

    Cultivating a Collaborative Corporate Culture

    Drawing on my background as an HR and TD specialist, I encountered a situation where a conventional business strategy faltered. The organization heavily relied on a top-down decision-making structure, resulting in limited employee empowerment and stifling innovation. Recognizing the need for a transformation, I advocated for a more collaborative approach, fostering a culture that encouraged input and ideas from all team members. This shift not only enhanced communication but also ignited creativity and problem-solving across various levels of the organization. The adaptation to a participatory strategy resulted in a significant uptick in employee satisfaction and a surge in innovative solutions to business challenges. This experience underscored the importance of embracing a dynamic and inclusive approach to navigate the complexities of the contemporary business landscape, surpassing the limitations of traditional strategies.

    Bassam Nammour
    Bassam NammourManagement Consultant, Meirc

    SEO and Social Media Drive Startup Success

    When we first launched ProActuary Jobs, our initial strategy to attract visitors was through paid traffic campaigns. However, we quickly realized that the cost was prohibitively high, and the return on investment (ROI) did not meet our expectations. This traditional approach to digital marketing, while effective for some, proved unsustainable for us as a small startup due to the significant financial outlay required.

    In response to this challenge, we pivoted to focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and social media engagement (particularly on LinkedIn) as our primary methods for driving traffic. These strategies demand more in terms of time and effort but require minimal financial investment, aligning better with our resources and capabilities. This shift has not only proven to be more cost-effective but has also yielded improved results in terms of site traffic and engagement. By adapting our strategy to leverage SEO and social media, we have found a sustainable way to grow our audience and ensure the success of ProActuary Jobs in the competitive online job market.

    Dr. Mark Farrell (Fia)
    Dr. Mark Farrell (Fia)Founder, CEO, Associate Professor & Actuary, ProActuary Jobs

    Revamping E-Commerce for Increased Engagement

    In the early stages of my web development career, I took on a project for a traditional brick-and-mortar business, eager to help them establish a robust online presence. The initial strategy involved creating a static website showcasing their products, believing that a simple online catalog would be sufficient to attract customers.

    However, as the project progressed, it became apparent that the traditional approach was falling short. The website lacked interactivity, user engagement was minimal, and there was a failure to capitalize on the full potential of e-commerce.

    Recognizing the need to adapt, I proposed a comprehensive overhaul of the strategy. Instead of a static website, I suggested developing a dynamic, responsive e-commerce platform that not only showcased products but also provided a seamless and interactive shopping experience for users.

    I introduced features such as personalized user accounts, a recommendation engine based on user preferences, and a streamlined checkout process. Additionally, I integrated social media plugins to leverage the power of social sharing and user-generated content.

    The result was a transformation of the client's online presence. The new strategy not only attracted a broader audience but also increased user engagement and, consequently, boosted sales. The business witnessed a significant uptick in online transactions, and the dynamic website became a hub for customer interaction.

    This experience taught me the importance of flexibility in the dynamic world of web development. By adapting to the changing needs of the digital landscape, I was able to rescue the project from stagnation and provide the client with a solution that not only met but exceeded their expectations.

    Ishant HarjaiBusiness Development Manager, FAB Web Studio

    Customer Feedback Informs Cost-Efficient Strategy

    Our company is not yet three years old. We have grown from an idea sparked during the struggles of COVID-19 to a broadly viewed product, featured on national television shows. Along this pathway, often filled with small successes and roadblocks, we have had to adapt our business strategy in several areas including product design, marketing, social media communications, and even pricing. One strategy that we implemented was to respond to a customer request and add the year onto the spine of the custom-printed holiday video book covers. This was a beautiful addition to feature the year of the book's celebration. However, after that first holiday season, when we looked at our unused inventory of quite expensive custom-printed covers, we shook our heads and said, "Now we have a lot of useless inventory." These beautiful book covers were literally "dated" and had no value only weeks later. Our decision for the next year was to adopt a different strategy: all great suggestions by customers must be weighed against their cost-benefit to our operation at that time.

    Ashley Kenny
    Ashley KennyCo-Founder, Heirloom Video Books

    Segmented Marketing Outperforms Mass Outreach

    One of our traditional business strategies that failed was a generalized mass-marketing approach. Basically, this involves marketing to a large and general audience with the hope of selling your product. Unfortunately for us, this approach did not work because it didn’t help us show our customers the value that they could get from our product for specific uses. As a result, people seeing the ad struggled to see why they would need our product and how it could be used. Sure, there were conversions, but not nearly as many as when we tailor our marketing to specific customer segments.

    With that being said, there is still value in generalized marketing. For example, there have been times where we’ve used it to find new types of customers that might be interested in using our product—which helps us to later improve our personalized marketing tactics and expand our audience.

    Lauren Carlstrom
    Lauren CarlstromCOO, Oxygen Plus

    Digital Diversification Saves Face-to-Face Business

    Adapting to changing market conditions is vital for any business's survival. When my own business, which traditionally relied on face-to-face client consultations, was hit by increased digital competition, we faced a significant downturn. To counter this, I shifted our approach to embrace digital platforms, moving consultations to video calls and creating a strong online presence through content marketing and client testimonials.

    We further diversified our revenue streams by offering subscription-based services, which provided a more predictable income and solidified client relationships. The transition was not seamless, but it ensured that the business remained relevant and competitive in an increasingly digital marketplace.

    Rick Elmore
    Rick ElmoreCEO, Simply Noted

    Agility and Diversification in Digital Marketing

    In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, traditional strategies can become obsolete almost overnight. One such instance occurred when we heavily relied on a single channel for customer acquisition. As market dynamics shifted, that channel's effectiveness plummeted, and our customer flow dried up. This was a wake-up call. We had to quickly adapt by diversifying our marketing efforts across multiple platforms, investing in content that resonated with our audience, and leveraging data analytics to fine-tune our approach. It was a lesson in agility and the importance of not becoming complacent with a 'tried-and-true' method. By embracing change and continually testing new strategies, we turned a potential disaster into a success story, achieving a more robust and resilient marketing ecosystem for our company.

    Brett Farmiloe
    Brett FarmiloeCEO, Featured

    Digital Outreach Modernizes Legal Services

    In the legal field, the conventional approach has long been to refrain from advertising, be it through traditional methods or modern digital platforms. However, when I initially established my law firm, adhering to this conventional practice proved to be ineffective. I made the pivotal decision to shift toward utilizing digital platforms for client outreach.

    I believe in meeting clients where they are. While some may view advertising as an attempt to commercialize the legal profession, I perceive it as a means to prioritize the welfare of our clients over traditional norms. In today's digital age, where the majority of people are actively engaged on digital platforms, it only makes sense to leverage these channels to provide assistance and guidance to those in need. This approach enhances accessibility for clients, eliminating the need for physical meetings to inquire about legal services.

    It's high time for other legal businesses to embrace this progressive shift.

    Martin Gasparian
    Martin GasparianAttorney and Owner, Maison Law