Being Established in the Industry: How to Know When to Reinvent Yourself

Whether you are an owner, manager or and integral part of the team, it is critical you pay attention to the relevance of your business model and your place in that world. In order to maintain relevance, you need to look at three things:

·       Personal Life

·       Industry

·       Economy

As a business owner for the past 29 years, I can only reflect on my experience and how I have evolved as a person and businessman. This is a process—not something that just happens.

Personal Life When I was working 80 to 90 hours a week, I realized what I was doing was not sustainable. As my life was changing (marriage, children), I knew something had to change. Like many owners and managers, I did not trust anyone to do the job as well as I could, so I micromanaged. Delegation and development of your people is the key to success here. Training, follow-up and setting expectations are crucial for success. As I changed my personal operating system, I was able to exponentially grow the business, create more time for myself and, ultimately, focus on the parts of the business that I was good at.

Industry We have seen how the events industry has changed. Technology has had the greatest impact on the business world as a whole. Are we ready to change what we do and think in order to remain relevant? If not, you will be frozen in time, and your competition will blow right past you. I have tried to learn all the technologies that are relevant to my businesses. I also realize that I need to bring in people who are experts. While my knowledge gives me enough of a base to work from, my internal experts allow us to stay with or ahead of our competition.

Economy There have been economic downturns that have impacted our businesses to varying degrees. The last market shift that occurred in 2008 has been the most dramatic of all. Competition is driving prices down to the point that we are all wondering how they are making a profit. So we have to ask, how can we be competitive and remain profitable? For starters, what changes do we need to make in order to reduce our internal costs? Sometimes this requires investment in technology that will reduce labor and increase efficiencies.

It also requires us to look at our business model. I realized about 15 years ago that the valet business model was not sustainable for me both personally and as a stand-alone business. Competition was going to continually drive pricing down where I would find myself working harder and longer for less money. I had to reinvent myself and branch out to other business models, transforming from a valet parking operator to owning four business lines (valet, parking, transportation and facility maintenance) while partnering in several other events-related businesses. By forward thinking and looking for opportunities, I have been able to achieve my personal and business goals.

In short, I had to reinvent Marty Janis in order to achieve personal and business goals. Remember: Don’t fear change, embrace it.

Name: Martin Janis
Company:Atlantic Services Group Inc.
Address: 2131 K St. N.W., Suite 200
Washington, DC 20037
Phone 202/466-5050