Is your business really growing? I’m sure it is, growing and making steady progress but as slow as molasses, right? That’s the real question. Slow business growth could be pretty frustrating, but you need not worry. Here are four headwinds that might be stalling the growth of your business along with what you need to do to make a breakthrough.
Every small business with a unique product, excellent customer service, and a well-grounded foundation with room for expansion is headed in the right direction. However, if you are having some difficulty in expanding and you feel that you are just spinning your wheels, then it is time you rethink your business strategy.
While every business has the capacity to improve, not every business owner knows where to find the right strategies for improvement.
If you feel that your business growth has stalled and you are going in circles, here are the four common problems that may be stalling your company’s growth and what you need to do before investing more capital into the business. Implementing some of the solutions below could be just what your business needs.
- Poor Branding
This is a common drawback for new and growing businesses. Many business owners think they are done with their branding after they have come up with the perfect business name and an eye-catching logo. However, if you look at some of the most successful companies such as Starbucks, Apple or Microsoft, they all have a common thread: they are distinguished by their brand.
While these companies are industry titans now, it is important to remember that they were not always the giants they are today. They created a culture focused around their idea and connected their now-iconic brand to things that mattered most to their target audience.
To build a formidable brand, the first thing you must do is decide which audience you want to target. Instead of trying to appeal to everyone, focus on a few demographics and narrow your audience.
You can start building your brand once you are certain about your demographics and who you are targeting. Find out what matters most to these people, and figure out exactly why your product would help them most. Doing this can dramatically increase the product’s perceived value, and thus increase its demand.
2. Hidden Inefficiencies In Your Business Processes
As your business grows, so does the scope of your business operations and the data you need to monitor. Initially, keeping paper ledgers or handling your accounting with Excel spreadsheets, or using Outlook for all customer communications, or using a whiteboard or paper lists to track the inventory, may have been okay. But as more business starts rolling in, if you don’t automate repetitive and comprehensive tasks, your development and profitability will be minimal.
Industry publications and apps and productivity articles can help you find tools to automate and/or streamline business processes. If you don’t have much of a budget for software solutions, search Bing or Google for terms such as “Small business customer service app” or “low-cost project management software”. You can also enquire from others in your line of business about the tools they use to improve their efficiency.
If you are a sole proprietor or have a very small staff, employing a virtual assistant who is specialized in handling administrative functions is another solution to consider. Relieving yourself of some of the day to day responsibilities will let you focus on the big picture goals for the future of your business.
3. Lack Of Collaboration/Partnership
Another stumbling block that business owners face is a fear of collaboration and hesitance to release control. It’s understandable; your business is your baby, and you feel as if you’re the only one who can “do it right.” However, this mindset will lead to burnout and stalled numbers very quickly.
Collaboration really is a great way to increase your long-term traffic. By partnering with companies that complement your own, you’re free to focus on specializing in one particular area. Creating the market niche for yourself is another way of significantly raising the perceived and real value of your product. Additionally, partnerships allow for shared clientele, which will give both you and your partner a short-term boost.
4. Lack Of Goals For The Future
Every new business comes from a great vision. All entrepreneurs have a long-term dream of success. Unfortunately, dreams alone are not sufficient to maintain the positive growth that you desire. A common problem that new business owners run into is a lack of specific planning. In order to achieve the success that you have envisioned, you need short-term and long-term ideas.
The best solution for this is to sit and write down your company’s long-term goals. Once you have a specific list, the next step should be to prioritize these goals by deciding which ones need to be accomplished first and begin with those.
You can use your long-term goals as an outline for determining short-term goals. For each long-term goal, you will need several steps to reach it; those steps will be your short-term goals. By sitting down and planning out both the day-to-day and yearly activities, you are setting yourself on the fast lane of growth and expansion.
The first step to growing your small business is identifying the headwinds you are facing or are likely to face in the cause of running the business. When you know what your problem is, you can put these ideas into practice to help maximize your potential and achieve your desired end goal.