By Emma Lakna
Most business owners want to invest in their business to help it grow. You can see exponential growth in the early stages of your business; people are seeing your business for the first time, they have positive first impressions, and the novelty of your brand is still fresh enough to help it spread.
It’s both exciting and heartwarming, as it opens up new revenue streams while supporting the existence of your business model.
But what happens when the growth rate slows?
Fortunately, there are a variety of small business development tactics you can use to reinvigorate your business and restore momentum.
Is your business trapped?
First, determine whether your business growth has slowed down or not. Most businesses go through business cycles, which include busy times and slow times. They also tend to fluctuate depending on economic situations; if the economy as a whole is experiencing a slowdown, it is natural for sales to fall or for growth to stall.
If you’ve been seeing a flattening of sales for more than six months, or if you’re seeing slowing momentum in a number of areas, your business may have plateaued. This is not a hard and fast rule as different industries have varying growth rates and paths of expansion, but it is always crucial to think about growing your business in the long term.
Techniques to try
So what strategies can you use if your business growth has stalled?
- Define your goals. Examine your existing goals and expectations and be open to adjusting them. It’s possible that your apparent stagnation is just the product of unrealistic expectations, backed by a goal that never made sense to your business to begin with. What is the ideal growth rate for you? Also keep in mind that if your business is growing too quickly, it could be a problem. Your plateau may no longer appear as scary if you have set more solid goals and expectations.
- Get a different point of view. Try to get outside information about your business. Depending on your resources and how long you’ve been in the business, this might mean talking to a mentor, hiring a consultant, or just bringing in some new blood. Outside observers will be able to provide you with a more objective perspective on how your business is working and what it might be missing.
- Swap leaders. To promote development and sustain operations, companies rely heavily on leadership. If things aren’t going your way, consider changing direction. This could involve hiring new managers and directors, or simply changing the views and attitudes of the executives you currently have. Either way, if you want to get your business back on its feet, you’ll have to adapt.
- Focus on innovation. Even a single meaningful idea can be enough to breathe new life into your business and propel it forward. Make innovation a priority for your business; encourage your employees to come up with new ideas on a regular basis and spend a lot of money on researching and developing new products and services.
- Research your competitors. Take a look at your competitors if you are experiencing slow growth. If you find that all of your rivals have similar issues, you may be dealing with an industry-wide problem. Try to figure out what a rival is doing differently in this context if they seem to be successful. While copying your competitors may not be the best strategy, you can at least learn something from them.
- Ask your consumers for advice. Ask your consumers what they think because they are the cornerstone of your business. Are they satisfied with the services and products provided to them? Is there anything else your business could do for them? Also consider getting a business phone number.
- Go to another market. You can also try jump-starting your business expansion by entering a new market. You can, for example, attempt to reach a new demographic with a new product line or physically expand to a new geographic location.
- Reassess your situation regularly. Take a look at your goals and how well you achieved them. In the business world, things change quickly, so you have to adapt.
These strategies might not be able to get your business out of a rut right away, and some of them might not be right for your brand. However, if you continue to innovate and move your business forward, you should be able to regain and renew the momentum that brought you here.