Growing your business
10 factors that could be stopping your business growth
When it comes to running a business, every business owner knows that growth is essential in order to survive. So what happens when you find that your business growth has slowed down or even stopped completely? You’re still offering the same great products and services, you have everything in place, but you’re simply failing to see any growth! There could be many factors that contribute to this and it’s important to take a step back and have a look at why this may be the case.
To help get you started we’ve put together a list of 10 reasons why your business may have stopped growing - and some simple solutions for getting it back on track:
1. You don’t have a strong brand
Branding goes far beyond creating a professional looking logo and a colour scheme (although this certainly helps). To strengthen your brand you should look more closely at the kind of values you want to be associated with and whether your current branding and messaging reflects this. For example, if you’re going for a family-friendly brand does your logo, design and messaging effectively convey this? Review all your different platforms - your website, social media accounts, marketing campaigns - do they consistency reflect the values you’re trying to push? Making sure this is clear, aligned and consistent will go a long way in creating a stronger brand!
2. You don’t have clear goals
It’s important to remember that when you initially set your goals for your business, you were likely in a very different place. As a result, many businesses often find that the goals they set them become too broad, irrelevant or simply outdated as they grow. That’s why it’s worth revisiting these goals and updating them depending on where you’re at with your business. Perhaps you need to narrow down some of these goals or make some new additions. Remember to also include your longer term goals in there too so you have something solid to work towards.
3. You don’t know your customers
How well do you really know your customers? If you haven’t already, it’s vital that you use data to find out more about your customers. This could be looking at sales history and data through your CRM or EPOS systems, or through surveys or polls that you carry out. This data will give you a more accurate picture of what makes your customers tick, what their preferences are and any pain points that they have. You should then be revisiting this data every few months to make sure you’re still catering to your customers’ needs!
4. You’re not acting on customer feedback
You may have previously gathered customer feedback through online surveys or social media. Now you need to ask yourself, what you’ve actually done with this information? If you haven’t already, gather the data that you have and try and look for any trends or patterns that you can act on. You might find it easier to split these into short-term or long-term actions and begin by focusing on the quick wins that you can implement now. This could be things like stocking more of a certain product or hiring more staff to speed up the customer journey. Either way, customers will be delighted to see you’re taking their feedback on board and be more inclined to give you their business!
5. You haven’t found your niche
It’s not unusual for businesses to cast the net too wide in the first instance and try to cater to a wider audience. However, further down the line it can be more beneficial to narrow down your offering and establish yourselves as the ‘go-to’ for what you offer or sell. Look at what your competitors are doing - are there any gaps you can fill? Use social media listening tools to see what your customers and potential customers are looking for - can you provide a solution? Once you’ve found your unique offering, you can start to use this as your selling point and watch your business grow!
6. You’re not marketing effectively
Even if you have the best products or services in place, it’s no use unless potential customers know about it! Effective marketing is key and you should explore a variety of options such as email marketing, paid advertising and social media marketing. Although this will require some budget, a small investment in online advertising could really increase your reach and allow you to target the right people! You can find out how to effectively market to your audience in this digital marketing guide. What's more, you can also look into Business Growth Funding if you need some Business Growth Funding options if you need some extra funding to put behind your marketing efforts.
7. You aren’t investing in your staff
The first step is getting great people in place. Having enthusiastic and hard-working employees who are genuinely interested in the success of the business will work wonders. Once you have the right people in place, create a culture of growth by rewarding staff when you hit milestones and targets and don’t forget to always celebrate successes. Another way to promote growth is by making sure your staff have up to date training regularly which could include educating them on industry developments, new processes and more efficient ways of working.
8. You aren’t making use of technology
It could be time to think about automating some of your manual processes or upgrading some of your technology. Whether it’s setting up EPOS systems on all of your tills, investing in a CRM system or upgrading to an accounting package, all of these things could help your business run more efficiently, cut down on manual time and free up more resource to focus on growing your business.
9. You’re too isolated
When it comes to growth, you don’t have to do it alone! Building the right connections and partnering up with other businesses can really help your business to excel. Reach out to people on LinkedIn, go to networking events, and join online groups and forums. You can also get involved with your local community to help with things such as cross promotion and visibility. These are all great ways to form mutually beneficial relationships with other businesses and stakeholders to help your business grow!
10. You don’t have enough referrals
Word of mouth still remains one of the most powerful tools and a good referral is your golden ticket to growth! If you don’t seem to be getting enough referrals then you may need to be a bit more proactive in nudging your customers to leave reviews. You could do this by offering incentives such as a discount off their next visit or a chance to win a prize. You should also make leaving a review as easy as possible by providing a direct link that they can visit either on their receipts, in email correspondences or through social media interactions. If you have regular customers that you have a direct relationship with, you could even ask them in person to go online and leave you a review!