Every entrepreneur has had to change their business model in one way or another. Here’s how some of the most successful did it

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If you do the same today as yesterday, chances are it’s not the right thing. No matter what industry you find yourself in, you face an ever-changing, ever-changing, disrupted business landscape – and playing like BlackBerry at an iPhone launch party won’t do the job. So, if your business model is not configured now for future success, you will need to continually anticipate, evaluate and adapt. And if it’s … same advice.

Of course, the changes in strategy vary widely by type and degree. Unless this is the start of your business or something goes wrong, you probably don’t need a full pivot from selling ice cream to developing bioweapons. In most cases, the sweet spot is somewhere in between that and, say, Blockbuster Video trying to fight obsolescence with higher late fees.

Sure, it’s a lot to tackle, but here’s a good place to start: we spoke with a multitude of entrepreneurs who saw a storm come, changed directions, and came out the other side with a new ship. sparkling. Open the slideshow above to see how they transformed their business and their tips to help yours grow.

Change agents

Many of America’s most prominent companies didn’t start with the business models they’re known for today. Here are some of the more interesting transformations.

GROUPON
BEFORE: A site that organized people to achieve a goal and donate money to nonprofits
AFTER: A site to obtain group discounts offered by merchants

JAPPER
BEFORE: A business search site based on referrals in user networks
AFTER: A crowdsourced business review site

NETFLIX
BEFORE: DVD rental service
AFTER: An original video streaming and programming platform

SHOPIFY
BEFORE: An online snowboarding equipment store
AFTER: A multiservice platform for e-merchants

NINTENDO
BEFORE: a playing card maker
AFTER: A video game and consumer electronics company

SOFT
BEFORE: A multiplayer video game
AFTER: A communication tool in the workplace

ECOLAB
BEFORE: A hotel room carpet cleaner
AFTER: Water purification and energy services

INSTAGRAM
BEFORE: A location recording site where users have shared photos of themselves with friends
AFTER: A social network for sharing photos and videos

YOUTUBE
BEFORE: A video-dating service
AFTER: An online video sharing platform

Extract from the Winter 2021/2022 issue of Inc. Magazine


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