FREE TRAINING: 3 Keys to Sell Your Business with Confidence

Innovate, Renovate, or Reinvent, but Do Something!

“We’ve made a good living singing three to four nights a week for over 20 years. Rodeos, concert halls, colleges, and county fairs all across the United States. We’ve traveled overseas dozens of times, too. But now, we have no place to go, no place to sing, and no concert income.”

Jay (not his real name) and his group have spent the last five months at home. His income from record sales and streaming continues, but that’s barely enough to pay his basic overhead. “If we can’t get back in front of people in the next few months, our careers will be over, along with hundreds of other entertainers and their support teams in this city.

Jay has been creative to use his time off the road redefining his business model. We recently met for breakfast, which ended up being a two-hour session as he reviewed his strategy to monetize his worldwide fan base. I won’t give away the details on his thinking, suffice it to say, he has some innovative ways to digitally connect with his fans. By the way, his thinking goes well beyond just having a Facebook fan page. It’s ironic that if this new approach works like he thinks it will, once the pandemic shutdown is over, he might not need to travel as much and can still keep his revenue where he needs it to be.

As the pandemic wears on, thousands of business owners like Jay are having to innovate their business model. Heck, even Garth Brooks is having to innovate! Did you hear about his concert streamed live to over 300 drive-in movie theaters? Of course, some businesses are throwing in the towel, the pandemic has squashed their business model and there’s no chance of coming back.

Five years from now, we’ll be looking at some very interesting businesses that used this time of shutdown and slowdown to innovate or reinvent their business. Sitting around and waiting for “normal” to return is a precarious strategy that might result in you entering the land of the squashed.

Don’t let the debilitating impact of 2020 take down your business. Innovate, or even reinvent. Focus on what your customers want and need, then on how you can meet that need. You might find, like Jay has, that your old business model wasn’t the best way to meet that need in the first place!

JIM CUMBEE is President of Tennessee Valley Group, Inc. a retainer-based business brokerage and transition mediation firm in Franklin, TN. Cumbee is an attorney and has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Jim is the author of Home Run, A Pro’s Guide to Selling a Business. .  He has a wide range of corporate and entrepreneurial experiences that make him one of the most sought-after business transition advisors in the state of Tennessee. The principles above are true, but the story, names and fact patterns are changed to preserve the parties’ identities.

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Tennessee Valley Group

Jim is an attorney (non-resident status with the Missouri Bar) and though he no longer practices law, he has read and negotiated enough legal documents to fill a cargo tanker. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and knows how Wall Street and private equity operates. Jim is a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 listed general civil mediator with tons of experience helping business owners (large and small) work through sensitive problems to achieve winning results. He is the author of "Home Run, A Pro's Guide to Selling Your Business, Seven Principles to Make Your Company Irresistible."