Thirty-three percent of our clients have been in business for 20-30 years. Chances are, the processes they implemented in year one are way different than when entering year 30. In the business world, you have to adapt to current industry trends... because your competitors certainly are.
One particular industry that has seen its fair share of highs and lows is housing and real estate. Our client, Iacobucci Companies, has its hands in a variety of areas in this industry.
“We’re builders and developers. We can take tracks of land and turn them into new home communities or new home neighborhoods,” explained third generation Asset Manager Steve Iacobucci. They also do property management, real estate and even redevelopment and renovation work.
Since 1955, this family owned business has flourished throughout the volatile economy. Their success can be attributed to the fact that they adapt so that they stay relevant. Here’s how you can too:
Don’t be afraid to step back
This article from Forbes introduces an interesting concept of welcoming failure, not just accepting it. By acknowledging new ideas, testing new products or services and looking at setbacks as more of a stepping stone, you’re setting yourself up to make an impact for the future.
“Things have changed over the years and gone from a very large operation to a smaller operation and back to a larger operation. As the years change and as the business changes, we adapt well,” explained Iacobucci.
By adjusting the size of their workforce to coincide with industry trends as well as business success, Iacobucci Companies has accepted this idea of welcoming failure. And it worked. Well.
In many small businesses, each employee has about five different titles and typically wears a whole collection of hats. Iacobucci Companies is no different. Sales and marketing manager Ed Deisher says this can actually be an advantage though. “It’s like you can get into a bigger company and this department hands things off to that department and by the time it gets down to sales, you had no input on anything that you’re selling.”
Because everyone at a small business is able to work on so many levels of the operation, it’s almost easier (than at a large corporation) to restructure your staff in order to meet the needs of changing trends. Don’t forget to always promote accountability though. While it’s easy to match success with hard work and failure to just bad luck, make sure your organization fosters a culture of accountability. Trust between employees should remain a staple in your business, even when restructuring, to ensure morale stays at an all-time high.
When thinking about your current products or services, you might think you have a good idea of who your ideal or target customers are. But as times change, needs change as well. It might be time to re-identify who your target market is.
“When we started this project I think we had an idea of who our target market was and the folks that were going to become homeowners here. It turns out that we were directionally correct, but we found that we’re much more custom than we thought we were going to be,” said Iacobucci.
Iacobucci Companies was able to reestablish the way they went to market to most efficiently capture the needs of current home buyers. Whether you’re redesigning a website or changing your whole sales approach, it’s a good idea to survey your current client base and assess the needs in your industry before making any significant updates.
No matter what adaptation your small business may need to make in order to stay relevant, never forget where you came from.
“The important thing is that we’ve always stayed a family business. We pride ourselves on that history,” said Iacobucci.
To learn more about Iacobucci Companies, click here.
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