Want a fresh start? Reframe your business.

Businesses get stale. Entrepreneurs running businesses get stale. Customers lose interest. It’s time to reframe the business.


It’s not unusual for businesses to get to the point where they’re running on cruise control. Just selling stuff and facilitating transactions. The business owner starts running out of ideas and feels like he is just re-hashing the old ones over and over again. Sales start slipping. Nothing seems new and the entrepreneur feels trapped. He is, by his business frame.

Your business frame is the concept around which your business is organized. Most often the frame is related to an industry category, for example: tire dealer. You are a tire dealer, so you act like a tire dealer. You organize your business, sell products, arrange your showroom, services customers…like a tire dealer. As the years go by, your mind becomes hard wired to think within your frame. Thus, the staleness.

However, your current frame is not a tangible object, instead, it’s a concept. Even something like “tire dealer” is a conceptual frame that can be changed. You can sell the same products and services, yet by reframing, you can become a different business. And things become fresh again.

How To Reframe a Business

To reframe means to change the conceptual and emotional setting or viewpoint of your business. It places your business in another frame with different facts and different emotions, thereby changing the entire meaning of the business. Our tire dealer could be reframed as a safety center. How would that change the business?

A chiropractor could become a pain relief revolution. A sprinkler repair service could be reframed as a practical conservationist. A new car dealership? Nonsense! it’s a family gathering (these are all actual frames used by real businesses). One of my favorite reframes is Axe men’s grooming products. Axe is not shampoo, shower gel, or deodorant, Axe is a chick magnet.


The great thing about reframing is that it allows you change your business, even if the objective circumstances of your business have not changed. But even more amazing is that if you reframe your business, over time, the objective circumstances of your business do change. Your mind re-wires itself to think like your new frame.

So how can you reframe your business? You change your business from one class membership to another equally valid class membership. A simple way to do this is to apply a metaphor to your business. Then you take on the characteristics of that metaphor. Our tire dealer is a safety center, what are the characteristics of a safety center? A revolution? A family gathering?

Reframing changes the game, and makes the old one obsolete. Reframing changes the conceptual and emotional setting of a business, and changes the customer’s perception of the business. Reframing allows you to break free from the limits of your old category.Want a fresh business and some new ideas? Reframe.

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