According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there were 32 million small- and medium-sized companies in the United States in 2021. 1 yet 20% of these businesses close within the first year and almost 50% within five years. 2 Stagnation is a key factor in business failure.
Imagine an entrepreneur who launched a business and found success. They have been busy with their operations and expanding their customer base throughout the initial phases. However, they begin to notice a plateau in year 2. To be included in the remaining 50% by year five, Entrepreneurs need to put in a lot of effort to improve their businesses.
Small business owners need to plan ahead in order to avoid a stagnant business. Any entrepreneur can with the right strategies in mind can help improve your business and overcome slow growth times. It’s easy to find the right place to start.
How often should you look for ways to improve your business?
Every entrepreneur wants to achieve sustainable growth. It takes hard work and dedication to continuous research and improvement. This means that you must have a clear understanding of your current situation in order to determine where you need to go.
- Know your cash flow and where you can cut back.
- Connecting to your customers and the social media platforms they use
- Know your weakest points and where you can get support
Sustainable growth is about continuous improvement and willingness to try new things. If you are feeling out of your comfort zone with this startup-like mentality, quarterly thorough reviews can be a great place to start.
1. Organize your processes and workspace
Your business can get more complicated the deeper you go into it. There may be paperwork scattered across your business, unsorted Google Drive, and subscriptions with outdated payment details. It is easier to achieve your business goals if you have more organization and efficiency.
Reviewing your technology and streamlining it using simple digital services is a great place to start. You can get rid of any applications that you don’t need, transform paper files into digital ones, and add relevant team members to your platforms.
Prioritize learning from your mistakes and taking stock of where you are at the moment. Although you may have tried many different strategies to get your company off the ground, what got you there won’t get you there. To avoid repeating the same mistakes, review your past experiences, identify what worked, and make changes to your business strategy.
2. Revisit your finances
You need to be able to count on financial information to improve your business. This covers everything, from cash flow to your business’s credit score. With 46% of small businesses leaving with unreliable cash flows, cash flow is an important indicator of growth and early failure.
Reexamine your finances and pay attention to how accurate the numbers are. This will help you identify where you might be spending too much. Are you spending money where you could be saving? Knowing your numbers is the only way to identify financial improvement opportunities.
3. Get connected to your community
Do you recall how hard you worked to find customers back in your early days? There is a good chance that your enthusiasm has dimmed and you have lost touch with customers in order to concentrate on other aspects.
Engaging with your customers is an important and rewarding way to improve business. 86% of loyal customers will recommend a business to others, furthering the community around the brands. 4 There are many ways you can tap into this potential by connecting with customers in new ways, such as:
- Virtual meetups with loyal customers
- Tables for farmers-market customers
- You can watch live social media videos, share tips and enjoy fun content
- Customers receive monthly emails with updates
Building relationships with customers is key to building a community around your brand. You can connect with customers more easily if you are able to see them as individuals.
4. Connect with your employees
Employees are an important part of your business’s success. Creating a positive work environment encourages creativity, motivation, and productivity, and fresh ideas.
Employees look for workplaces that make them feel valued and respected and you can implement strategies to create spaces for intentional celebration and conversation This could include anything from an open-door policy between you, and your employees, to quarterly team feedback meetings or birthday or holiday greetings.
5. Consider acquisitions and new development
Looking around is a great way to concentrate on business development. Your market is rich in inspiration and valuable data. You might be looking for a new niche or a trend. A struggling business may be a good candidate for a buyout or a chance to gain new clients.
You should diversify your product lines based on the results of your research. Social media has made it easier to keep up with trends, particularly TikTok’s 1 billion users. This is a great way for your business to stay relevant in the social media conversation. And remember, staying on trend could be as simple as marketing or branding a product in a new way.
Also read: 15 Best Growth Marketing Tools for Growth
6. Know when you need support
Some business owners may find it difficult to learn the final way to improve their business. However, you must be able to recognize when you are out of your league and seek guidance.
As you develop your business, try to create an advisory board. This can be formally or informally. You should identify people who are familiar with the industry and business that you feel comfortable with. It makes a big difference to have a group of people you trust to give advice.
However, taking a break is the most important thing you can do for your business to grow. A plateau is a good time to take stock of your business’s progress, and what you envision for its future.
How can I improve my business credit score?
Your business credit score works in the same way as your personal credit score. This means that you have some experience with maintaining it. There are several ways to improve your score. Limit credit usage, pay bills on time, and avoid closing accounts. Regularly review your business credit report and notify us if there are any errors.
How can I improve Google Search Results for my business?
Search engine optimization is a key component of improving your Google search results. SEO refers to a marketing strategy that places a business higher in search results when it uses certain keywords. To get better placement, you must select relevant keywords and create content that is compatible with the ones on your site. Then, optimize said content to increase relevancy.