6 Effective Ways to Keep Going When Your Business Seems Stagnant
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Operating your own private business is no easy task. It requires plenty of hard work and perseverance to maintain clients, market your business, and generate enough income to pay off expenses, much less make a profit.
Even if your company has found success early, there will be times of stagnation and perhaps even regression.
Here are 6 ways to step back and try to bring some life back into your business.
1. Diagnose mistakes and take action
Stagnant work can be an important indicator of a flawed business structure. These problems oftentimes don’t present themselves until after a business has already been functional for a while. When that happens, however, try to identify any issues and trace the source of the problem.
Analyze the internal factors of your work. Do you have hardworking and satisfied employees? Are your products and services meeting the desired quality? Does your business have a presence on social media? Take the time to also make an analysis of the external factors present. Are you targeting the right audience? Did you research the competition?
Perhaps you’ll find that you need to make an additional hire or cut costs of your product or services. Maybe your marketing methods need to be reevaluated. Whatever the problem may be, it’s important to find it and address it immediately.
2. Revive your content marketing
A strong marketing campaign is an essential part of a successful business, and content marketing is an absolute must today. Maybe your problem is too little content? Too few people know about your company and you have slow website traffic? If so, start publishing valuable online content, giving customers the opportunity to learn and develop interest in your company.
Create free content people can use such as how-to articles and useful lists and tips. Post interesting images and video. Provide accounts and quotes from clients you’ve helped. Don’t be afraid to make your presence known on the web, and spend a little time each week extending your reach. Hopefully, it will attract viewers and turn them into consumers.
3. Be a marketer 24/7
Newly established businesses in particular require constant attention. Successful companies are already doing well because they are widely known and recognizable to the public. If you are experiencing a period of stagnation, you need to start promoting your brand wherever you can.
Share important information about your business on your website, in business meetings, with your customers, and at social events. Use the power of social media to consistently market your brand, but be savvy about what is shared. One post can go viral and either improve or ruin your reputation.
You need to be consistent in promoting your brand to make it known; be careful to strike the right balance between engaging with others about yourself and your business. You don’t want to come across as pushy – it puts people off.
4. Commit to learning
The more educated you are in your field, the more likely you are to be successful. Sometimes stagnation is caused by a mere lack of knowledge, so don’t let that happen – commit to lifelong learning instead.
First off, put in the effort to know your company inside and out, otherwise you will not be competitive. Secondly, you should know everything about your industry, so stay updated with all the relevant trends. Thirdly, decide to learn not only professionally but also privately – it will sooner or later reflect on your work.
And the great thing is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money –the Internet abounds in cheap (or even free) educational resources. So, carve some time out of your schedule to read, attend webinars, visit educational websites, watch videos, enroll in an MOOC, and learn from others. Learning is an ongoing process and knowledge will empower you to attract employees, track niche information, and make customers trust you.
5. Be determined
Remember this – failure is inevitable on the road to success. Fortunately for you, it is about how you recover from failure rather than avoiding it completely. No matter how stagnant your business may seem at the moment, it’s important to cultivate the right mindset and never give up.
Be patient during setbacks and with slow results. Staying optimistic will drive you to always keep going even when experiencing fear, self-doubt, guilt, and criticism. Take one step at a time and don’t overwhelm yourself with work. Be willing to take calculated risks, but be disciplined and persistent. Believing in yourself is the first step toward encouraging customers to believe in you too.
6. Seek help
Don’t ever be afraid to get a second opinion or seek out a more knowledgeable mentor. Try to learn from the best, identifying what successful people in your line of business have done in the past. Sometimes reaching out to an industry leader in your field by email or phone can pay off. They started off as a young business and were helped once at some point along the way, so they might be willing to help you too.
Hiring a guide or mentor is another option and might be worth the cost. Remember, asking for help isn’t weak, it is the mature and responsible thing to do, and the success of your business will depend on it.
Slow business doesn’t mean you have failed. It might just mean you need to reevaluate your business’ structure and make a few key changes. Customers will come to you if you seek them out, show them that you are knowledgeable in your field, and offer quality work. If you choose to take action, make an effort, and never give up, your business will blossom.
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.