Every business has it’s ups and downs but what to do when everything seems to stagnate?
There are a lot of reasons that can crush the growth of your business and today I’m going to introduce you to eight reasons that affect a lot of entrepreneurs and how to solve them.
1. A Poorly Executed Low-Price Strategy.
There is a common misconception with trying to be the lowest priced company:
Lowering your price doesn’t automatically make you the “lowest priced” competitor.
Think about this statement again.
It seems obvious, but many entrepreneurs think that comparing their own pricing with two competitors and lowering it accordingly, makes them the best alternative.
That’s not the case.
Unless you spent a lot of time with proper planning and executing a solid strategy, your clients will always be able to find the same product or service cheaper somewhere else.
There can be only one business with the lowest price and the conditions change daily, in some industries even hourly.
The moral of the story:
Unless you are really planning to properly execute the low-price strategy, avoid competing with prices and instead focus on delivering value.
If your product or service is valuable, it will sell at an price.
Competing with prices will result in the so called: “race to the bottom”.
A game which is not rewarding to win, as you will work for less than your actual worth.
Also, keep in mind:
If a customer was attracted to your business due to low prices, do you think he will stay loyal if he finds a cheaper alternative?
I don’t think so.
Tip: You can read more about the attraction of customers and the consequences in my most recent article: 5 Opportunities To Improve Your Business.
2. Your (non-existent) image.
Let’s face it. Unless you are a well established company which is known for their products, company slogans, advertisements or business philosophy, you have some work to do.
The only way for a potential customer to decide, whether to buy your product or not, is their first impression – and you know there is no second chance for a first impression.
Most startups make the mistake of paying too little attention to their marketing campaign.
Let’s figure out what you need in order to wow your potential clients:
2.1 A professional logo
No matter what you promise to your clients or what amazing services you provide:
If you want to be considered a professional, you also have to look professional.
It might not sound appealing to invest in professional photography or logo design when you barely started out but it will pay off later on.
2.2 Social Media Accounts (that represent your brand)
If you want to survive in today’s online market, you also need to know how to run professional social media accounts. Posting your latest product once in a month is not the way to go.
Apart from professional graphics for Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter, you also need to invest time into updating your content and engaging with your fans and customers.
3. Don’t Be A Copycat.
Let’s face the hard truth: Very few businesses really stand out.
Playing it safe is not an option if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Copying methods and designs from your competition might seem convenient but it’s not worth it. If it was that easy, you woudn’t be reading this article either.
Invest your own time, passion and creativity into your project and it will become a relfection of yourself. Become the best version of yourself and your clients will appreciate and trust your company.
How often do you think about offering services that your competitors do not offer?
There are so many options: Develop a new product, pricing model, service,etc.
Just don’t be like everyone else.
4. Your Network.
It is true that there is a direct connection between the people we associate with and how we feel. If you are selective about your environment, you will greatly benefit in the long run.
Not only is it inspiring to share the same work ethic and vision with others but furthermore it will make you grow as a person.
If you are able to surround yourself with people above your level, even better.
As long as you have a positive relationship with them, you will naturally strive to reach their level. This is the secret for personal growth.
The opposite is unfortunately true as well. That’s why you should always get rid of negativity and the people in your life that are not good for you.
As a business, you don’t just want to make a quick buck: You want to establish a client base, long-term customers that love your product so much, that they refer you to their family, friends and partners.
The big question is: Have you even thought about referrals before?
Depending on your answer, you will notice for yourself, whether you are chasing the right mentality of connecting with your clients or beeing stuck in the mindset of chasing new inquiries.
You definitely want to satisfy your customers to the point, that they would want to refer you.
Think of it this way: If you provide value for a reasonable price, why wouldn’t they?
Probably, because there is something wrong with the quality of your product or service.
It is vital to identify potential problems as quick as possible in order to avoid gaining a bad reputation.
Referrals, or the lack thereof, can be a good sign for business growth or stagnation.
Do you have a fear of failure? That’s completly normal but the idea of failing should never stop you from putting your ideas into action.
If you don’t try new ideas and methods, you can’t progress overtime.
Even worse: You are most likely going to stagnate eventually.
Our world today changes fast and you need to be prepared by having a finger on the pulse.
Fail more often and see where it takes you. Look at it this way:
As a new business, you can risk about everything easily unless you start your company with lots of money. If that’s not the case, consider new ideas more frequently.
However, once your company is flourishing, it doens’t mean that failure has to become a bigger problem than it was before.
Most of the time, we tend to over estimate failures. Imagining worst case scenarios, that may never happen, is not a solution.
Always remember that not taking action, because of the fear of failure, results in wasted opportunities.
7. Business Marketing.
Marketing is often underestimated, even though it’s one of the main catalysts of growth.
Have you ever wondered why a seemingly bad company generates more income than a company that provides more value? The answer lies within their marketing strategies.
Great marketing results require marketing in the first place.
Don’t waste this opportunity, it might become one of the reasons why your business stops to grow.
8. Your capital.
We all heard the phrase that it takes money to make money. This is especially true in business.
Depending on your type of work and the industry that you are in, you might want to save up a decent amount of money.
In case you are a freelancer, you obviously have an advantage in regards of money, since a home based business requires less capital than a traditional company.
You should still invest in yourself and your business though, as it’s mandatory in order to grow overtime.
It’s always important to calculate your expenses in advance. One of the main reasons why businesses stop growing, is the lack of capital.
There are many reasons why a business might stop growing. If you always keep an eye on your customer behavour and your relationship with them, you will have a great advantage.
Also make sure to analyze your own behavour critically and find out if you network with the right people and if you are willing to take risks.
As long as you are determined and passionate about your work, your vision will take you where you want to be eventually.