The problem is not that the times have changed, or the marketplace, or the economy. The problem is that business has not changed to keep up.

Here are the top four reasons I see entrepreneurs struggling over what they can do to revitalize their business.

1. No Brand Differentiation

If you are not differentiated from the next guy in a significant way, your customers will head for the cheapest solution at a customer service level they can just barely tolerate. If you don’t believe it, ask your friends the last time they checked out phone, internet, and cable packages.

2. Cost vs. Margin

Your costs continue to go up, particularly for infrastructure, technology, and staffing, while the marketplace keeps forcing you into smaller margins.

3. Outsourcing

It’s pretty tough to compete on price if someone else is able to create almost the same thing overseas for a tenth of the cost than you can at home. If you’re committed to Canadian production, what’s making you stand out from the competition?

4. Everything’s Open

We have access to a constant supply of very smart people that we can reach day and night. They provide us with rapid access to a steady stream of ideas, eCommerce, open-source software, and they are constantly innovating.  

What’s an Entrepreneur to Do?

The idea is that you’ve got to take what you have and present it in a way so that your existing consumers and fans want it really badly. They’ve got to be willing to pay your price, and in our economy, that means that if your product or service is forcing them to give up something in their budget, there has to be a darned good reason for it.

In order to revitalize and rejuvenate your business and get into another level of results, here are three key considerations:

  • Face Reality: This takes courage and statistics, and you’ve got to have both to determine your ability to flex and move forward.
  • Define Your Smarts: Be honest as you assess your core competencies and where the gaps are. Ask your employees, suppliers, and trusted resources for their input so you have a 360-degree view of what’s happening, and what’s possible.
  • Leverage Technology: If you are one of the many we hear complaining about technology, it’s time to stop. You like having a better car, and high-efficiency appliances in your house, don’t you? Those are the results of advancing technology! If you are balking at the necessity and cost of everything from wifi at the office to how to approach content marketing, it’s time to get out of the 2000s and embrace today!

Learn more about our guest author’s strategies online at and social media.

@pamrobertson on Twitter