Small business owners go through phases of development and growth. Starting a small business is about finding customers for a product or service that the business provides.
Once a business is up and running it is easy to get in a rut because managing the day-to-day operation eventually, unintentionally, transitions into maintenance mode. Small business owners need to make a conscious effort to get over this kind of hump in order to grow and take the business to the next level.
9 Things Small Business Owners Can do to Get Over the Hump
1. Revisit the Vision and Mission
It is easy to lose sight of the vision of the organization when managing day-to-day responsibilities. Take some time to stop and think about what the goal is and refocus efforts around the original vision and mission of the organization.
2. Reassess Business Strategy
Strategy is a moving target so it is important to revisit how the organization plans to achieve its mission. Do this by stepping back and looking at the strategic plan and determine the best way to prioritize efforts to get you where you want to go.
3. Do a Reality Check
Stop and take a cold hard look at the data that runs your business. Gather as much information as you can and look at trends and facts about revenues, product sales and customer satisfaction.
4. Confront the Brutal Facts
Confront the brutal facts! Jim Collins coined this phrase in his book Good to Great. It simply means to look at the facts of your business and tackle them head on. For example, if there are declining sales, find out why and develop a plan to reverse the trend.
5. Assess Employee Performance
Organizations are only as successful as the employees who work for them. Take a good hard look at the performance of your employees and determine if you have the best people on your team. Reward good performers and either train, transfer or terminate the rest.
6. Assess The Customer Perspective
Customers pay the bills and if they are not having a great experience with your business there are tons of competitors who are willing to take them off of your hands. Understanding their experience, and creating products and services that wow them, is the key to developing a loyal customer base.
7. Look at Your Facility
Whether you operate a storefront business or have employees in private office space, it is important to look at your facility and make sure it is clean, updated and functional. Customers don’t enjoy a service experience in a dirty and outdated facility and employees don’t enjoy working somewhere that has old and tired looking furniture and equipment.
8. Budget for a Profit Margin
Make sure you budget for a profit margin so you have the resources available to reinvest into the business. This is one of the biggest mistakes small business owners make which results in them waking up one day and having unfunded capital needs.
9. Seek Objective Help
Bring in a small business coach to help develop a plan for turnaround and growth. An objective outside consultant can bring clarity and a structured approach to getting over the hump and growing your business!
Small business owners can become discouraged by the weight of responsibility they carry and the best way to fight discouragement is to take a 50,000 foot view of the business and strengthen its infrastructure. Simply having a rekindled plan and specific action steps can produce the excitement and passion that drove the inception of the business!
If you are interested in a free business coach phone consult, simply fill out the form below! I’d love to talk you through your challenges and help you come up with actionable steps to get over your business hump!
photo by: Florian