Huge numbers of new businesses start up every year. In the US in 2021 it is reported that there were 32 million small to middle size businesses in operation. However, the reality is that within one year 20% of these businesses will not be operating anymore and by the 5th year 50% of them will have closed down.
Reaching a Plateau
One of the key reasons why small and medium businesses do not manage to survive is inactivity. At the launch of a business, there is a considerable amount of activity, including developing and managing a customer base. At some point in the early years of the business, a plateau is reached and activity falls off. The businesses that manage to still be operating after the 5-year period are those where continual efforts to improve and build the company have continued. Check out this positive example: Sloto Cash
The founders of these small businesses need to keep the motion going when the company hits that plateau and things begin to slow down. There are things that the owners of these companies can do to improve the situation.
Ways to Improve the Business and Keep the Motion Going
Every business owner needs to be aware of their current situation and what they need to do to improve. It involves research and dedication. They need to be aware of the following:
Being clear and up-to-date with the company’s cash flow and how to reduce spending.
- Establishing a strong connection to the customer base.
- Knowing what your company’s weak spots are and knowing where to go for help.
Continual efforts to improve and be prepared to try out new ideas will better lead to sustainable growth.
The more you can get yourself organized the more efficient you will become and the easier it will be to focus on improving your business. All paperwork, including payment details, old and new, should be properly filed and in order. The first thing to look at is how your company uses technology and to make sure that you are taking advantage of the digital services that are available. Getting rid of all those paper files and moving over to digital ones is the way to go.
To benefit from today’s automation, you don’t have to be super computer savvy. For example, it doesn’t take a computer genius to respond to new subscribers with a short welcoming note which can have a big impact.
Reviewing your company’s progress at regular intervals is very important. Where are you doing well and what have been your mistakes? Review your strategies and make changes where necessary.
Go Over Your Finances
As a business owner, it is vital that you are fully aware and up-to-date with your business’s financial position. Your cash flow is a good indication of how your company is growing or the opposite. Being clear about the numbers will show you where you need to cut back on spending and how and where you are making improvements.
Interact with Your Community
When you first launch your company much of your effort is put into attracting and keeping in touch with customers. However, with time it’s likely that you became distracted by other aspects of the business, and connecting to your customers became less of a priority. This is a mistake. Reconnecting with your customers will boost your business. “86% of loyal customers will refer others to a business.” Connecting with your customers can be done in various ways:
- Sending out regular emails with updates for customers.
- Setting up farmer’s market tables where local customers can meet up.
- Social media videos and virtual meetings.
Developing relationships with your customers is actually building a community for your brand. Networking with other local businesses and business owners will also help to establish and grow your business.
Interacting with Employees
Being in touch with your employees and developing a good working relationship will encourage more productivity and keep your staff motivated. People are looking to work in environments where they feel appreciated. Look for ways to keep the communication going like regular meetings where feedback is encouraged, and birthday and holiday celebrations.
Obviously in order to attract the best employees you have to offer good benefits. People today are looking for flexible working arrangements, especially remote working. Offering the possibility of working one day a week from home could be very attractive.
Research New Possibilities
The market is chock-a-block with new ideas and new trends. By looking around you could spot an opportunity to develop your business further, perhaps, for example, taking over a struggling business that is open to be bought out – this could lead to a whole new set of consumers.
Research is really important today as is diversification. Keep up with what is trending especially by using social media, like TikTok with its huge number of users. Keeping up with trends can also be done by marketing the exact same product but in a new way.
Knowing When to Seek Out Support
A hard pill to swallow for many a business owner. But, knowing when you need some help and guidance is crucial if you want your business to succeed.
Help can be found in many places. In the US, the Small Business Association (SBA) has specific programs to help owners of small businesses. LinkedIn also offers support groups. It is definitely worthwhile to have a few trusted individuals who you can go to for advice.
Improving Your Credit Score
Make sure that you always pay your bills on time and try not to close accounts. Keep a constant check on your credit report so you can spot any problems.
Improving Your Presence on Google Search Results
It is worth investing in some SEO marketing. There are many professionals who deal with this if you find it difficult to do it yourself. It involves making sure that you rank higher on a search page by including specific words and content on your website.