Repurposing Your Business

May 23, 2009

Last month, I described how Charles McCabe expanded his business based upon a simple question: “Why don’t you sell your tax school to other independent tax firms?” In the process, he helped insulate himself and his business against ever-changing economic conditions and the competition.

This month, I’d like to continue in the flexible business vein. “Repurposing” has become a popular term and practice, especially for the Green Movement and those interested in reducing waste. Old New York subway cars, for instance, are now serving as breakwaters off the coast of Delaware–and have helped marine life flourish to boot.

As Managing Director of Wave Dispersion Technologies, Jonathan Smith’s primary source of business was Floating Breakwaters, designed to stop beach erosion (much like the repurposed subway cars). Then the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center (NFESC) asked, “Can your barrier be repurposed as a floating security barrier (FSB)/line of demarcation (LOD)?”

Questions are often opportunities to grow (both personally and professionally), provided you’re not too entrenched in your ideas, habits, and processes. Smith seized this opportunity for growth. Within twenty-four hours, Wave Technologies developed a prototype, photographed and recorded it in the water, and delivered the details to NFESC, who dubbed it the “definitive, survivable line of demarcation.”

Since that interaction with NFESC, 80% of Wave Dispersion Technologies’ sales have been in the area of FSB’s and LOD’s!

Don’t wait for NFESC (or its equivalent) to come to you. Ask your organization: How might we repurpose the products and services we offer?

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