Getting a business off the ground and up and running can be a hard task in and of itself. But that’s by no means where your efforts stop. Are you disappointed by the performance of your business? If the market is there and the products and services are good, then why aren’t you growing? That’s the questions we’re going to address with the tips below. We’re going to be looking at what could be stunting your growth and how you stop it.
The stigma of small business
One of the biggest challenges a business can face from its inception is the sheer fact that it’s not already a big, established business. You have a lot to prove and you do that with how you deliver your products and services and satisfy your customers. But that can be difficult if people aren’t willing to let you get your foot in the door. How a lot of small businesses get around that is by playing a bit of pretend. That is, they act like they’re a much bigger business. Branding plays a big part, but that comes later. Mail forward services can start by giving you a more professional address to work from. Virtual phone systems can also give you multiple extensions for taking calls from customers. Even if you’re the only person on the other side of the phone. A professional phone number and system can help you maintain the illusion that fights the stigma.
Being too beige
Not everyone is a marketing whizz kid. That’s not a crime, but it is going to pose a big problem when it comes to growing your business. You need to be able to stand out if you’re going to be making enough money to grow. If your marketing is bland and beige, you won’t be catching too much attention. You need to start seriously thinking about the business image. Activate your brand by thinking about what you deliver, your motives, and what your customers most want from services like yours. Make these things the key to all your messaging and add some color to it.
Being an island
A lot of the work of a startup owner needs to be outside the business itself. Yes, you have to manage and oversee things, but you also have to work to get the first customers who are going to help you reach the others. You need to start networking. Get out to trade shows and shake hands. Run your own networking event. Produce content and share it across the internet. If you’re not actively putting work into gaining leads, you’re reduced to simply waiting for customers to come to you. Particularly online, the ‘build it and they will come’ model simply doesn’t work for a lot of businesses.
You have holes in your wallet
Sometimes, stunted growth isn’t about being unable to get customers coming in. Sometimes it’s about not being able to keep the money that they’re bringing into the business. The poor grasp on finances that some business owners show can be astounding. If you’re not organizing your business finances, you need to get started. Create a running budget of all your costs versus what you’re bringing in. Being unable to profit isn’t just about customers. It’s about identifying your spending and figuring out where you’re spending too much. Look closely at your budget to figure out where you’re clearly spending too much. Negotiate with your service providers, cut down energy usage and ask yourself if you’re really using some of the tools you’re paying for.
Inefficiency in the workplace
It can just as easily come down to how you manage whatever team you have under you. Inefficiency in work is easy when productivity and results aren’t being measured properly. People get complacent. They make mistakes and use ineffective methods to accomplish their work. Procrastination rears its ugly head. So you need to make sure that you’re doing what you can to eliminate it. Measure their workflow using key performance indicators. Make sure that everyone in the office understands the overall objectives of the company and how their roles factor into them. Talk to them one-on-one, as time permits. Find out how they’re doing their job and see if you can identify any methods you could use to help them work smarter, not harder to get more done.
The problem with the people in your office is that they’re people. They’re all different, have different motivations and outlooks. If two people don’t gel, it can lead to a lack of cohesion. This can have an impact on communication, teamwork, and the overall morale of the workforce. But people can get past their differences in most occasions. You just need to work to help them work together. Stop conflicts as soon as they arise. Show that you don’t tolerate bickering. Build a community out of your employees by developing shared values and goals. Be prepared to recognize toxic influences on the workplace, as well. Sometimes, there just are those one or two people who are dragging the team down. Help them address their problems or see them out the door.
You’ve stopped innovating
A successful model is only successful for so long. If you’re not doing your part of staying relevant and novel to the customer, they are likely to lose interest. You’re certainly not going to grow by just offering the same thing time and time again. You could go the route of opening up new revenue streams, for instance. If you sell a product, you could open a support service beside it. For instance, think of how many tech providers will also sell insurance alongside their tech. Or you can simply work on improving and reiterating on the products and services you offer. The point is that your business can’t grow unless what it offers is growing as well.
You’re not delegating
Yes, sometimes even you can be what’s stifling the growth of your business. We know how it is. When a business first starts, you absolutely need to be all over it. You need to oversee everything and be the guiding hand that corrects the course. As your team grows and starts to get used to their roles, however, you don’t always need to be that presence. Like we said, your time could be used with branding and networking efforts. You need to learn to trust your team and all them to run their own things. You need to learn how to delegate properly to give yourself more time on making the business grow.
Leaving a poor taste
Above all, the path to a business’s future starts and ends with the customer. We’ve talked about how to get them in the door. Now you need to focus on how to stop them from leaving it. If you haven’t had a serious look at how you provide customer service, now’s the time. How easy is it for them to get in contact with someone in the business who can help them with queries? Could you personalize their service in any way that would make them feel valued as an individual? What are your staff’s phone manners like? If you’re leaving a poor taste in your customer’s mouth, it’s going to lose you their money. It may perhaps even threaten the business’s reputation.
Any number of changes in your business could help to start you see the growth that you need and deserve. The fact is that sitting around and worrying isn’t going to help. You need to start making changes and giving it your all.