It happens to everyone; you start a solid business and initially growth is solid. But after that first rush things begin to slow down. How you react to a slow down in business growth may determine your long term viability.
When you first begin a business, there’s usually lots of growth right away, because you’re brand new. But over time, it’s common for this growth to eventually stagnate.
It’s okay for this to happen for a bit while you catch your breath or take some time off, but you will need to find ways to make it pick up again.
Here are four things to do as soon as your growth starts to flag.
One of the best ways to get your venture steaming along again is to spend more time on sales.
Make sales calls or send emails each day to try to build new relationships and generate new business. Think about additional customers you can target or interesting offers you can make to those you’ve approached before.
Also, follow up with previous clients, too. This is something not enough people do, but that can make a huge difference to results.
After all, the people who have already used your services are already interested in your offerings, and were, hopefully, impressed the first time they dealt with you.
Follow up with people to see where they’re at now in their line of work, and if they require your assistance in any way.
It can also pay to attend networking events and to otherwise see people face-to-face where possible, too. While you can certainly forge and cement relationships over the phone and digitally, there’s nothing quite like connecting in person to help kickstart things and remind people what you offer.
Another strategy is to learn something new.
As the leader of a business, regardless of whether or not you’re supporting full-time staff, it’s up to you to keep bringing new things to the table that you can offer current or potential clients.
Take a course, find a mentor, join business clubs and associations, read books and magazines, or do some low-paid work in an area where you need to improve.
Once you have new skills, this will likely lead to new service offerings for customers, and more business as a result.
You might decide you want to learn new things where it comes to being an entrepreneur, too. If your business has stagnated, it may be because you don’t know enough about running a venture to help it keep moving forward.
Learning more about accounting, finance, recruitment, analytics, marketing, creating and streamlining processes can only benefit you in the long run.
Strengthening your abilities will also make it easier for you to spot opportunities for growth, which is another plus.
The reason why your business may have slowed down lately may be because you simply don’t have enough hours in the day to take on any more work. If so, remember that you don’t have to do everything by yourself.
Bring on an assistant to help you get more organised and productive, or a staff member who can handle some client work for you.
Alternatively, outsource tasks to contractors who can handle time-consuming administration work while you focus on what you do best, or pay specialists in areas where you don’t have the necessary skills or the time to learn them, such as IT or marketing.
Once you can free up more time for yourself every week, you’ll be better able to cater to your clients, which should lead to more repeat business. You’ll be able to work with more customers each month, too. Plus, additional time can be used for planning and big-picture strategising, which is always important for growth.
Having a focus on innovation can help you to grow your business. If you’ve hit a wall when it comes to the people you’re able to target with your services, or the types of offerings you provide, it’s time to get creative.
Come up with a new and exciting offer which will get current customers hiring you again, or enable you to target new people and organisations altogether. You may even want to plan some events to get customers and the media interested.
Be innovative when it comes to the running of your business, too. If you can find ways to cut out annoying tasks, decrease costs significantly, or reach more customers at once, for instance, you will soon boost growth.