Many business owners purchase a business to bring in additional income, to allow them to be their own boss, to take control of their destiny, and to invest in their future. However, one big issue that many business owners don’t realize is that when they purchase a business they are also purchasing the history of that business. If the purchased business has a history of violence, theft, bringing in the wrong type of customers, etc. then this will not change with just a purchase of the business. The business must be changed. Now, the products or services that the business offers to customers doesn’t have to change (upgraded is always nice, though), but the name and look of the business does need to be changed.
Creating a new persona will change the image of the business. Creating a new, cool, hip name for the business, along with a new logo, will let existing and future customers know that an ownership change has taken place and that the way business is conducted will be different. Also, redesigning the interior will change the type of customers the business attracts.
Many times when a business is purchased the new owner doesn’t want to sink a bunch of money into painting, changing out tables, chairs, counters, merchandising racks, etc., but this is necessary to create a new look for the business. If the business is in a rough neighborhood, then the owner may want to look into hiring security to ensure that no incidents take place inside or outside of the business.
Then there is the marketing and advertising of the business. However it was marketed and advertised under the old owner and name will definitely need to change. Bringing in the right type of customers will make the business thrive and will become a destination rather than just another business. The owner can either attempt to market the business through his or her own connections, social media marketing and advertising efforts, through mailers, etc. Or, if the owner is not comfortable with this, he or she can hire a professional to market and advertise the business in areas where it makes sense to draw the appropriate customers from.
For example, the gym I go to down the street from my house used to be under a different gym name, it used to look really scary to approach, and the inside was very disorganized and not somewhere I’d want to workout.
However, when the current owner purchased the business:
- He changed the name of the gym
- He changed out all of the machinery
- He has an organized method for arranging all of the workout equipment
- He painted the location to be bright and inviting
- The gym name is on the monument sign
- There is a sign-up offer banner on the front of the attached business (with arrows pointing to the gym location)
- There is now security that goes around the parking lot since this is now a 24 hour gym
- He advertises discounts in the mailer the center sends out to the local community in the mail.
I have to say that I like it a lot more than the previous gym, the way it looks is more inviting, and there is a lot more advertising. He changed the image of the business, but he still offers the same thing the previous owner offered.
Have you experienced a transformation like this of a local business? What were the results?