If a child came to you crying and saying, “I don’t feel perfect,” you would probably ask where it hurts and begins the process of identifying the place that hurt and how to stop/treat it.
Why don’t you, as a business owner, do the same thing?
It’s not uncommon for a business to begin to spin its wheels. It happens with almost every business when an entrepreneur feels that nothing is moving: sales, deals, clients, etc. These periods will most of the time pass, as they may be down to seasonal trends or other outside market forces. But when they drag on too long, it could indeed be time to make some significant changes because if you are not moving forward in business, you will eventually start to slide backward.
If your business is stuck and no growth, here are five basic steps you should take:
Determine where you are stuck and the cause
The first step in getting unstuck is to figure out where the pain is coming from. If your leg is hurting, maybe it’s a bruise, or maybe it’s a burn, something is causing the pain. Hurting is the symptom, and the bruise or burn is the source of the pain.
Find out precisely where you are stuck. Some common areas where business owners get stuck are:
- Little or no Sales; you aren’t selling enough of your product or service.
- Little or no profit; your profit is low due to high cost or no sales.
- Too much work; no time management.
Also, determine the cause of your business stagnation? Here are some of the sources of pain in businesses:
- No effective marketing
- If the only thing that makes your product or service special is the price, don’t ever hope to have a highly-profitable business.
- If you’re working around the clock to meet up with demand, you don’t have effective systems in place.
- If you’re accepting any client who walks through your door or calls, then you’re undoubtedly serving too many low-profit, high-maintenance clients, and they are causing too many headaches.
Sit with your core team.
At this point, your core team can help you best understand the business situation—all you need to identify the gaps within the core team. First then comes services, operations, products, and overhead expenses.
Treat the Cause
Once you figure out the cause of your business stagnation, you can start to address the cause.
Business owners often scream and flail so violently from the pain that they never stop identifying and treating it. If your business is stuck and hurting, what can you do to provide some immediate pain relief? Here are a few suggestions to help get you unstuck:
- Call all your previous clients and see if there is anything you can do to serve them.
- Define and market your Unique Selling Proposition. What makes your company different from all the others? Now tell people about this difference.
- Take some time to develop systems for your business. You’ll need critical systems for marketing, employees, sales, inventory, delivery, customer service, and management.
- Discard your problematic customers. This will free up your time and energy and enable you to focus on attracting high-profit, low-maintenance clients.
Get properly involved again.
You need to consider if you’ve maybe put too much distance between yourself and your day to day business operations. Believe me when I tell you that there are millions of company owners out there who have done just that without even realizing it. It can happen very gradually over the years, as your key hires get used to your business properly and take control. Now, there’s no problem with them having things under control, but if reporting to you gets lazy, and you have yourself become accepting of that, you no longer are in a position to say what is best for the company because you are leading somewhat in the dark– which means you are only partially leading. Get in control again. You are needed.
Avoid the cause and keep the balance.
Once you know what has caused you to get “stuck,” you can find solutions to prevent it from happening again.
Also, work-life balance is key to performance, and if your workforce is operating at “crazy” on the stress meter, you need to fix that because growth is tough to come by in an environment where people are too overworked even to think.