No matter how good your ideas, no matter how hard-working your employees, tough times can befall any business, big or small. Particularly in an age of continuous global economic downturns and a slow, staggering recovery, keeping your business afloat for the long haul can be extremely tough.
So whether it’s due to your trip ups or mitigating circumstances, you might find your business stuck in a rut. So what are your next moves? Here are a few ways to help you get your business back on track.
Make Sure You Have the Right People on Board
If it helps you to find the silver lining in the struggles of your business venture, remind yourself that hardship is a good way to weed out those on your management team who are not loyal to your business or adequately motivated behind its success. The people who you can trust down the line are the ones who stick by your side when the going gets tough.
Remind yourself and your team that 3 out of 4 startups fail. If your business is in a rut but you’ve managed to stay afloat, it’s actually quite impressive. And even if you do flop entirely, you’re certainly not alone. Remind yourself that these obstacles will teach you invaluable lessons that will help make you a more successful business down the road. Every company has setbacks, but it’s the ones that learn to cope with them that ultimately succeed.
Get Back to your Roots
Part of the difficulty in growing a business is navigating the difficult waters of alteration and adjustment based on market realities. You start your business with a fantastic entrepreneurial idea that you are really passionate about, and what so often happens is that your ideal gets derailed once you make it to the marketplace. Maybe there are more competitors than you’d previously thought. Maybe your sources of funding are demanding things that weren’t in your original plan.
We as businessmen and women so often makes these sacrifices because they seem necessary in the moment to the survival of the company. But if straying from your primary goals has led you astray—and it almost certainly has if you find yourself stuck in a rut—then you have a golden opportunity to reassess your primary motivation and make sure that you get back to your roots.
While ensuring that your management team consists of the right personnel is a good first move, of equal importance to injecting life into your business is to reassess your employees. This is not to suggest that you go on a firing spree, as that could be unethical and definitely would be bad for company morale. But there are things you can do with the employees that you have to make sure everyone is doing their jobs properly and at maximum competency. It could be that a lull in productivity has led to the rut your business finds itself in. A mixture of exciting new ideas for office culture and more rigid accountability could spark a resurgence in business growth.
Incentives for workers could help a great deal. “Employee of the Week” honors or bonuses for outstanding performance could generate a stronger work ethic amongst the ranks.
It’s also very possible that you’ve fallen behind the constantly accelerating curve of the market’s advancement. There may be new systems in place, new methods that you aren’t utilizing properly and thus lagging behind your competitors. Bringing in sales trainers or other training professionals is not a bad idea if you think your setbacks are due to a lack of knowledge about a particular industry niche.
As you can see, although it may seem like it at times, all hope is not lost if your business is stuck in a rut. The fact that you’ve managed to make it this far and still be viable enough to utilize any of the above suggestions means you’re better off than most. Take some time to reassess your objectives and plan a direct course of action. Success is just around the corner—it’s time to make your move.