How Recycling Ideas Saves Time

In order to save the earth, we’re encouraged to reduce, reuse and recycle, and the same concept can apply to your small business. With fewer employees – sometimes none at all – you must wear several hats, which can spread you thin. That’s when it’s time to make something old new again – it saves you time, resources and money.

Take a lesson from Hallmark – the greeting card company says it’s celebrating its 100th year by rolling out Retro Remix cards, which are old designs with new updates, such as contemporary messages and added music. For example, a vintage card featuring a hen and baby chicks has a message that says, “Today Mom is celebrating a birthday with her peeps” – not exactly something you’d read in a 1910 card.

Hallmark’s move is smart for a couple of reasons: By dusting off old designs, the company just had to come up with new messages rather than start from scratch with a new line of cards. In addition, Hallmark capitalized on the vintage trend.

Think about your own company: Do you have ideas – graphic design or otherwise – that were left on the backburner and could be updated to fit a current project? Do you recall a successful promotional campaign from the past that could be recycled?

Freelancers and small-business people are prone to burnout, often because they have too much work for one or few people. By realizing that not every task needs to be tackled from the ground up, you can build upon past efforts and leave time to focus on everything else.

Finally, if you’re self-conscious of reusing ideas, remember that it’s all how you market it: “Retro” and “recycled” are kinder, gentler terms than “old” and “used.”

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