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Add Your Style to Your New Business

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 8/13/2009

If you've just purchased a business, you need to make it uniquely you. You need to look at the least expensive ways to increase sales, advertise, and perhaps even revise your vision and mission statements. Jean Scheid takes a look at how to redesign an existing business at little or no cost.

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    Initial Redesigning Tips

    TriBoro Barber School 

    When you first bought that existing business you probably had some ideas. While some revamping and redesign of existing businesses will be an expense, others are free or at little cost.

    Start with your business vision. Your vision should be uniquely you and is the "what" of your business. For example, Levi Strauss, the famous blue jean maker, has a simple vision, "We will clothe the world." It is the "what" they plan to do. Keep your vision statement short but offer a strong statement on what you want your business to do.

    What is your mission? Your mission statement should be "how" you plan to do the "what" in your vision statement. Your mission statement should also be short but give a clear and bold statement about how you plan to run the best business you can.

    Along with creating a vision and a mission, you'll need to let everyone know you are the new owner of an existing business. While print, television, and radio advertising can be expensive, you should budget for them in the near future. Initially, however, take to the streets to advertise your business. Make a brochure or flyer and take a trek to the shopping mall or grocery store nearest your business and place the flyers on car dashboards. This can be an effective yet inexpensive way to let people know you're new.

    Offer discounts immediately. Everyone loves discounts so offer some type of savings for your customers. Even if you lose some money on initial discounts, the loss should be considered a startup expense and can be tax deductible.

    Freshen up your business with a new coat of paint or rearrange the furniture or other fixtures in the existing business you purchased. Keeping it exactly the same will not bring in new customers nor will it shout that it's your business.

    Review the staff at the business. Have an open and honest conversation with the person you bought the business from about employees. Do they like the ones that came with the business? If yes, why? If no, why not. Make changes in poor staffing to help your business grow.

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    What Should Remain the Same?

    Some things in an existing business should remain the same if possible. If you can, keep the same telephone number, fax number, and email addresses. If you are buying a business that has large Internet revenue, make a deal in the purchase agreement to include the website in your purchase. If the existing business you are buying uses a PO Box, see if you can take that over too. Existing customers are used to the same address, telephone, and fax numbers.

    While you can redesign and introduce new products, rely on steadfast products or services that are big sellers. Cutting these out will only result in lost revenue for your new business.

    A logo can be a trademark of any business. People do associate businesses with their logos. Ask yourself if you really need to redesign your logo right from the start or if you should retain the old logo? Even large corporations such as Chrysler, who have been sold and resold many times, have not changed the logo. Once people know more about you and your business, and you have the extra cash, you can redesign your logo.

    It's easy to redesign an existing business at little or no cost. If you purchase an existing business, try revamping instead of spending initially. You'll not only save on cash but can gain customers by following these suggestions.