Business owners and entrepreneurs, during the life cycle of their ventures, often fall into a rut because of routine and conducting business their way. If you’re facing possible business failure, it’s easy to resort to complaining or lamenting on the challenges instead of seeing the positive and exciting opportunities in front of you.
Ideally, entrepreneurs desire to learn every day, including from others, with the core goal of growth. In this article, we look at five essential tips to help business owners take action immediately.
1. Ask yourself, where you and your business currently stand.
For small business owners and entrepreneurs who are genuinely stuck, your first move should be taking a step back to evaluate why you are in the position you are in.
Perhaps you’ve been doing the same thing for too long, or you’ve been unable to adjust to the market? Just because you’ve always done something a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s how it should be done. Perhaps it is fear that is restricting progress, or being too focused on what you are doing to watch how your industry is innovating. For many, it could even be a matter of pride.
In many cases, it boils down to entrepreneurs not knowing what to do in order to move forward. However, the reasons mentioned might simply be obstacles stopping you from achieving your goals.
In today’s business landscape, it’s notably easier to find resources from government programmes, corporate-funded programmes, mentors or coaches - as well as Google of course.
2. Explore the available possibilities.
Being effective when working on your business will afford you the time needed to study potential challenges, as well as adjust to the market. Your next step should be to find the appropriate help. It’s no secret that a lack of skills and funding are the main reasons for many small, medium-sized and micro enterprises (SMEs) failures. Ask yourself whether you’re seeking to up-skill yourself and whether you’ve considered all the available options?
There are several options available for entrepreneurs, and most often, you just need a fresh objective opinion. One of the first places we recommend exploring is a networking group. Sign up for business lunches or attend talks presented by industry experts where you’ll have the opportunity to meet mentors, coaches, other business owners and guest speakers. Of course, during lockdown restrictions, face-to-face networking seminars are not possible, but many companies have started conducting these kinds of meet-ups online via Zoom and other online communication tools.
3. Re-evaluate your business plan.
Many business owners opt for recruiting professional help when drafting their business plans. However, we recommend revising these business plans once you truly know where you want to take your company. “Why”, you might be asking yourself?
Firstly, as many as 42% of failed businesses failed to properly plan and research whether there was a market for their products or services. Never believe that having a great idea or product is enough to ensure that your business thrives.
Effectively re-evaluating your business plan will provide you with the opportunity to glean perspective on your situation, and remind you why you set out on your venture in the first place - as well as where to go next. Lastly, doing this should reignite any lost passion for your goals and dreams.
4. Develop a new plan.
Once you’ve revisited your original business plan, solicit expertise and aid in putting a new plan of action together. Your plan might include strategies for finding new clients, new suppliers or even a new market. Companies who have a sound business plan and continuously revisit it are more likely to increase their profit margins and scale as opposed to those who fail to do so. Use this as your motivation.
Maybe you need to diversify or simplify? Whichever direction you decide on taking, ensure that you do it with a new, robust plan in place. Craft your plan with clear action points of what you’re planning to do, with specific dates for each, so you can hold yourself accountable and stay on track.
5. Do it.
Once you’ve addressed the first four steps above, it’s time to take action. Go out and find the clients, conduct interviews with your suppliers, develop your product range, and discard any products or services which are no longer working. Consider adding new colours to your ranges. Expand your current offerings and products. Develop new products to retain your existing customer base and give them a definite reason to come back.
Often when entrepreneurs and business owners get stuck and start stagnating, all they need is a reality check which pushes them to become more tenacious and innovative. We strongly advise pushing any boundaries restricting your growth and taking risks to try new things.