Every business at some point, will hit a bump in the road – and that’s perfectly normal.
Businesses life cycles follow these stages – start-up, growth, maturity and decline. The transitions can be difficult but with good planning ahead, you can avoid most obstacles. If you’re starting to experience a few more ups and downs than you’d like, here are a few things to try as you navigate through different phases, according to business consultant Neil Debenham.
Step back and review
You surely set up a business to make money doing what you enjoy. And it can be that way again. Remember you can invent your own day, so cancel anything in the calendar and don’t accept calls on that day. It’s important to take time away from the job so you can see what your rut is all about.
Consider what the original vision was and whether you’ve achieved it yet? Is it something that needs to change to move with the times? Do you need to change what products you are offering or the service being delivered?
Ask a professional
If you’ve got complicated challenges that you don’t know how to deal with, you could approach a business coach, accountant or a different professional to help. If you think this kind of frustration could be the root of your problem, then get that weed pulled up! It’s got to be worth the money to have a consultant take the worry off your hands.
Outsource what grinds you down
Starting out you probably tried to do everything yourself. Tie has gone on and you’re still doing it. Why?
Neil Debenham adds: “Far too many business owners waste time doing the things that they hate – and because of this they probably do a poor job of it anyway. You will be stunned at how your outlook is once you’ve delegated work. If you haven’t got a PA, consider one for all the admin jobs you never have time to do.” Make a list and delegate those jobs!
Picture and plan for success
If you’re not achieving everything you wanted in allocated time slots, maybe you’re being too harsh or aiming too high. Fear of failing, or worse still actually failing, can being about a whole host of mental health problems that you really won’t have to deal with on top of the usual business worries.
Put any long-term plans on hold and concentrate on taking small steps to reignite your passion for your business – the one you put your heart and soul into setting up.
Start small and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Share the problem with a friend who runs a business or ask at a local networking event. Others will have been in the same situation plenty of times.
Set goals but think about how pleased you’ll be when you’ve met them. Thinking in this way can put an end to negative thoughts which can lead you back on a bad spiral downwards.
Invest in marketing
Perhaps you’ve been trying to do bits yourself as to be honest, you’ve just set up a new business and well, you’ve got to run it! So, marketing has probably been the last thing on your mind.
Neil Debenham says a fresh pair of eyes can always help. “Quite often, businesses spend too much time looking for new customers and not looking after the ones they’ve already got.
With new products it’s always more profitable to sell to the existing group as your marketing costs will be significantly less.”
However, if you’re finding you’ve hit a stumbling block, it may be time for a marketing team to step in and look at other avenues to get that cash to your bottom line. It could be they set up a new social media campaign or look at new ways to get people noticing your company.