Owning your own business is hard work. Regardless of how successful you may be, you are always going to encounter some slumps or slow periods that test your motivation.
The good news is that there are many ways to combat these slumps and there are usually solutions to most, if not all, of your problems. All you need to do is be open to the possibility of change, and you will quickly see how easy it can be to turn a struggling business into a booming one.
To help you overcome some of those hurdles, we’ve got 5 simple ways you can tackle the more common issues business owners face.
So, let’s get started.
1. Rewrite Your Business Plans
When things aren’t going as they should, it’s time to go back to basics. Remember that business plan you wrote right at the start that you haven’t looked at for ages? It’s time to revise it.
Get together with your partners, directors, and board members to write a new plan for the future. Where can you save money? What areas could benefit from more money? What’s your aim for this year, next year, five years’ time? Lay it all out and detail how you will get there.
Planning out your vision will help galvanize everyone in your business and its investors. Your employees will have a renewed sense of purpose knowing where their work is headed and any exciting projects they’ll get to join, and your investors may be keen to financially back your new goals to push you forward.
2. Cut Costs
Nine times out of ten, businesses struggle due to lack of funds. Now is the time to take a hard look at what you’re paying for and get rid of everything that isn’t bringing in value in return.
Maybe you have a bunch of software subscriptions that you could do without. Perhaps you can look for cheaper, more local suppliers for products and materials. You may have to make the hard decision to let go some employees whose jobs can’t be justified under your new plans. If you can’t find a new place for them elsewhere in the business, or cutting their hours won’t fix the problem, it’s time to lose those positions.
Cutting costs will likely be the hardest part of your new action plan, but once the tough decisions have been made, you’ll feel much lighter and can start the process of building back up towards your new aims.
3. Take a Look at Your Team
Your team is your most important asset and can either make or break the success of your business. Now is your chance to really look at who is working for you and identify the gaps in the collective skillset. Call a meeting and ask them: what do you think we’re missing?
A team shake-up is always hard, but often necessary. If no one in your current team can step into a new role that needs filling, you should look at bringing someone in. Employing new people to fill those gaps will help you get a lot more done, even if it’s a scary commitment (especially if you’ve just had to make redundancies). You might need an in-house designer, marketing executive, accountant, or even just an office manager to keep things running smoothly.
Now you’ve decided to overhaul your personnel, it’s time to advertise and interview for new roles; although it may be a better option to offer them internally first. If you’re hiring externally, remember to implement background checks through companies like scoutlogicscreening.com and find the types of workers who are best suited to fit in with your company.
A drastic change like this can pull your business out of hardship if your current team isn’t large enough or lacking the skills to push it forward.
4. Up Your Marketing Efforts
Although it may be hard to justify any new expenses while your business is struggling, this may be just the thing you need to pull through.
By increasing your marketing efforts, you are more likely to see a direct return on your investments and will have your company name in the eyes of many new potential customers.
Consider recruiting an SEO team at this point. Especially if your business is fully online, you need to make sure you’re being found in search results, although SEO is imperative for any business. Even small local stores can benefit from search optimization.
If funds are especially tight, you can take the reins on this effort and work really hard to up your social media presence. After all, social media is a free tool that many business owners fail to use to their advantage. Do some research and see which platform would be best suited to help your company thrive.
5. Branch Out with New Ideas
When your business is on the verge of failing, it is not the time to play it safe. Try to get creative and see if there is anything missing in your current business model that may make a big difference in your success rate. The best ideas save your customers money, make their lives easier, and fulfil needs they didn’t even know they had.
Are there new products or services you can offer that your competitors don’t? Look for new niches, and ask your customers if there’s anything they’d like to see from you. Maybe you can pull off a PR stunt or completely rebrand to get your company back in the spotlight.
The Bottom Line
Most business owners will struggle at some point in time. It is how you choose to react to these hardships that will set apart a business that succeeds versus one that fails.
It is up to you to make the necessary changes to the way things are being done right now. Try out a couple of these suggestions and see if they can help you to save your company and build it up to be better than it ever was before!