There comes a point in your business when you start to feel everything is static and you are repeating the same things over and over again. Your consumer base isn’t growing, your leads aren’t converting to actual sale, your revenues are stagnant and you have tried all the strategies that are present out there. So why isn’t your business growing, you may ask? Well there may be thousands of reasons for that but let’s narrow those down into seven most common ones. Figuring the right answer to this question is subjective and what works for one may not work for another.
1) You stopped growing:
Your business is a reflection of the decisions you make and your decisions are based on what you know. So, for your business to grow, you need to grow from a personal perspective. After all, you can’t give your business the benefit of knowledge you don’t have. Read the books. Attend the seminars. Seek expert advice. Grow. Then watch your business grow too.
2) You’re not asking for referrals
You already know that word-of-mouth is the best way to grow your business but fear of rejection holds a lot of entrepreneurs back from asking their best customers for referrals. If the direct ask makes you uneasy, explore whether satisfied clients would like to be featured on your website or would be willing to post feedback on a social network such as Facebook or LinkedIn or review sites including Google+ Local.
3) You’ve camouflaged yourself
Very, very few small businesses stand out — maybe 1 in 10,000. Instead, they opt for the fake safety of being just like their competitors. Playing it safe. This is why we find that when we look at the providers in any industry, they seem so similar. You could swap them around and no one would notice.They offer a similar range of services. They make similar promises. They charge similar fees. In effect, they become invisible — almost impossible to tell apart. They have camouflaged themselves within the masses. If you want to stand out, do something outstanding. Something remarkable. Something uniquely valuable. Find a new service, which your competitors don’t provide. Develop a new pricing model.Just don’t be like all the others, if you want to get noticed.
4) Tracking down overdue payments
Along with prompting awkward conversations with customers, chasing overdue payments costs valuable time you could be spending on more profitable tasks.Two ways to improve the speed and efficiency of payments without causing a negative brand experience with your customers is to use automated reminders that gently nudge clients when they’re past due and enable them to pay online using technology such as PayPal, PayTM.
5) You’re networking with the wrong people
In business, it’s extremely important to build great connections with influential people. This is the exact opposite of what the typical small business owner does. They go for numbers instead and look in the worst possible places.Think about it: We’ve all met business owners who struggle to find new clients, even though they’re members of a networking group and have hundreds, maybe thousands of LinkedIn contacts.The most successful business owners use the exact opposite approach. I recommend you do the same. It looks like this: They deliberately target the most influential people in their marketplace and put a strategy together, to connect with them. They do this months before they ask anything from them.
6) Reluctance to outsource tasks or partner with complementary businesses
If you’ve built your business around your own expertise and don’t have team members or partner companies you collaborate with, you’re limiting your growth and can find yourself on the fast track to burnout. Look to LinkedIn, Meetup, local chapters of national industry associations and online marketplaces to source talent. There’s no obvious reason to choose you over the competition. It used to be that “location, location, location,” was the small business mantra, but now that everything you need is only a click away, entrepreneurs need to differentiate their business. (Think “branding, branding, branding!)Define your differentiators by analyzing the competition, stating what makes your business a better alternative and sending a short survey to your best customers to learn why they prefer you.
7) You’re starving your business of the marketing it needs
No matter how great your business is, unless you market it correctly, no one will know. Sadly, it’s a fact that an average business that’s marketed correctly, will outperform a wonderful business that has ineffective marketing. This is why some lousy businesses make a fortune, whilst some great little businesses really struggle.By starving your business of professional marketing, by default, you’re relying on amateur marketing. This makes no sense. If you’re going to try DIY on your business, this is not the place to do it.In a nutshell: If you want great marketing results, invest in great marketing.
If your business hasn’t grown the way you want it to, it’s likely that several or more of those points apply to you. The question is, what do you plan to do about it? In my experience, people who identify their business needs help fall into one of two broad groups.
- People who find the information interesting, but start looking for excuses to do nothing about it. They will say they lack the time, the money etc., etc. Sadly, this group is the largest by far.
- People who also find the information useful, but look for reasons to improve things, rather than excuses not to. They will then work on making the improvements required and their businesses will grow accordingly. Cause and effect.