When your business gets stuck at a certain point, you have to do something about it, regardless of how ‘good’ that point seems to be. Plateauing is often followed by a decline, and unless you act now, you may very well be on your way to a point lower than where you are now.
The annual growth you should expect depends on your industry but on average, business growth should be around 5% per year. If you don’t seem to be reaching this point or are consistently stuck at only 5% year after year, here’s what you can do to ramp things up again:
1. Hire some outside eyes
Business consultants provide an outsider’s point of view on the various aspects of your business and offer valuable insight on what you may be doing wrong and what you should be doing instead. You can find a business consultant in any area that you may need help with, be it finance, marketing, or operations. But if you are aiming for growth, the best type of consultant or agency to hire is one that specializes in enterprise growth strategies.
Aside from being an impartial pair of eyes, a business consultant can also possess expertise that none of your current employees have. If you are not in a position to hire an employee with that kind of expertise, having a business consultant temporarily on board is the next best (and most cost-effective) option.
2. Look back at your goals
Goals help you get to where you need to be by pointing you in the right direction. That said, the goals you set must be clear, actionable, and realistic. You probably already have a set of goals from where you first started as a business, but when was the last time you revisited them? Most of the time, companies feel ‘stuck’ because their goals are not clear, or worse, they don’t have any established goals at all.
Take a look at the goals you set back then. How far have you come in achieving these goals? Are they even clear to begin with? If not, it is probably high time to rewrite your goals and re-evaluate your business plan at the same time. For instance, if one of your goals is to reach a certain percentage of sales growth in the first five years of operations, determine where you are right now. From there, identify the actionable steps you need to take the business further on that goal.
3. Gather feedback
Customer feedback should be your main source of inspiration for growth strategies. If you haven’t been listening to what your customers are saying, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you’re stuck. They may have needs or wants that you are not paying attention to, and this is something that can cause you to drive them away and fail to bring in new ones.
If you don’t know where to go from where you are now, take a look at your customer feedback. What do they want from your business? What expectations have they set for you? What don’t they like about your business? Gathering feedback from the people that keeps your business running is paramount if you want to stimulate growth. Apart from that, it also makes customers feel heard, and making them feel valuable is an important part of forming great relationships with them.
4. Have more involvement
Every business owner is extremely hands-on when first starting their business. But over time, they begin to loosen their grip on the reins as they hire more people to keep things under control. While this is often a normal part of business growth, business owners shouldn’t become too lax on their involvement in the company at any point in time.
If this is the case for you and you’ve somehow ended up in the dark about how your business is running, then it’s time to step back up again. Show up at the office more often or every single day, if necessary. Have longer conversations with the people you’re trusting to run your business. Take back the reins that you have since passed on to other people. More often than not, it’s the only way you can get your business un-stuck from its rut.
Getting your business out of a plateau is one of the hardest things to do as an entrepreneur. However, keep in mind that there are only two ways you can go from here: up or down. If you want to go up, then it’s time to make some changes, starting with the strategies we’ve mentioned above.