Five reasons why your SME might need to reposition

Five reasons why your SME might need to reposition


Published in :
Business strategies
Published on 15 January 2019
Reading: 4 minutes

Five reasons why your SME might need to reposition

In the words of the great American statesman and writer Frederick Douglass, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” The same principle applies to your SME. Certain events are warning signs that require stepping back and considering a strategic repositioning for your brand. Here are five worth thinking about.

  1. Losing a major client

It may be that in the past few years you’ve been lucky enough to count on a major client whose orders represent 25 percent of your annual sales. But what would happen if that client switched to your biggest competitor for one reason or another? The consequence would be a sudden reduction in your revenue.

Your goal should then be to reposition your offering to target another customer segment to be less vulnerable to that type of eventuality. You could try to improve your ability to respond to your current clients’ present and future needs by launching a new range of products, for instance. More clients means less dependence on any particular one of them!

  1. The arrival of new competitors or a new technology

The big players that once seemed unshakeable have seen their grip on the market diminished in recent years. Xerox, formerly a leader in photocopying, has been buried by the huge number of smartphones that have flooded the market. There’s no longer any need for a “paper” copy, since a digital image will do nicely! Kodak has also fallen victim to the same digitization phenomenon. In the car sector, General Motors, to mention only one example, is going head-to-head with Tesla and its promise to deliver an autonomous electric vehicle.

Don’t make the mistake of resting on your laurels. Just because you might currently dominate a market doesn’t mean you always will. Be proactive in your strategic thinking. Don’t underestimate the threat of new players in your industry, especially from developing countries. Finally, don’t wait for an out-of-date product to compromise your profits—clean up your service offering on a regular basis!



  1. A new high-level appointment

Appointing a new CEO is sometimes a good moment for mixing things up and advancing your company’s positioning. A new chair or member of the board of directors with a new vision for the company can cause your SME to really take off. Sometimes it’s necessary to question the foundations of any business. For instance, a new CEO deciding to recentre the SME’s main activities in order to focus on its strengths and most profitable markets is a great example of a well-thought-out repositioning.

But be careful! To transform your organization—if that's actually the mandate given to the new appointee—it's essential to have a good grasp of the company culture and a sensible plan of action in order to avoid wasting precious resources.

  1. The next economic recession

While the economy is currently healthier than it’s ever been, what would happen if there were a recession in 2019 or 2020? Is your SME ready? If not, now's the best time to start thinking about that possibility. It’s always better to be prepared for a crisis.

Set up an action plan you can deploy immediately that will build customer loyalty and strengthen your brand. In times of crisis, you want your SME to be top of mind for consumers when they need your product. And since “recession” unfortunately rhymes with “compression,” it’s also a good idea to take another look at your operating costs. Could certain budgetary items be lowered to increase liquidity?

  1. A transaction that affects your company’s ownership

The arrival of a new capital investor, the acquisition of a competitor you've been looking to buy out for some time or the sale of a division to a new industry player are all situations that require repositioning your company. Don’t forget that even though most companies aim for organic growth above all, many actually get there through mergers and acquisitions.

No company is immune to change. And change leads to organizational adjustments—from your supply chain to customer relations. Because company owners are often the heart and soul of a business, replacing them following a transaction means that repositioning its brand and reorienting its operations can become inevitable. A smooth transition is a must to keep moving ahead!