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Is Your Business a Fixer Upper?

A popular HGTV television program is called “Fixer Upper” where a talented couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, find an old house for their clients and turn it into a masterpiece. It is fascinating to watch the process of gutting and rebuilding the structure. But even more interesting is the ability of the hosts to see a worn out piece of property and envision one far more valuable.


Perhaps your business is in need of some fixing up to bring out its potential value. Changes may be required to a building, a website, the processes that drive business, or even a product set. But before starting the demolition phase, it is necessary evaluate and develop a plan.

Begin with:

  • What do you want the business to look like? For example, if you are a computer service, what are your specialties and why will you be different from your competition? How do you want to take advantage of your strengths?
  • What will it take to make the business look like your vision? In a house, walls are removed, floors refurbished and windows replaced. What will need to be eliminated or changed in the company?

With these answers, budget accordingly. Ensure you have the capital to cover all expenses including lost revenue in case a complete shutdown is required. Fund raising is less stressful before improvements begin and can prevent stalled projects.

As you begin to implement your fixer upper plan, carry out tasks in an organized manner. Keep the project plan handy and follow it. If changes to the plan are required, go through a process to evaluate how the change will affect budget and planned milestones. Watching a home being refurbished may at times look out of control, but you can bet that there is someone closely monitoring each sub-project.

Step back periodically and look at progress towards the goals.

Perhaps a more profitable product set is desired. So, are production costs being reduced or more value added allowing a higher price for the end product? If a process overhaul is taking place, will it be easier to do business with the company?

Finally, enjoy the change. The show’s final scene is the home owner reflecting on what they like best about their fixer upper. Do the same and include employees celebrating your new and improved business.


Written by Ted Saul, Sr. Staff Writer

Ted Saul is a business coach that assists with Business Plans and Project Management. He holds a master certificate in project management and has earned his MBA from Regis University. Ted can be reached on LinkedIn, TedS787 on Twitter or emailing

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