It’s a scary statistic in a recent study from Gallup that stated nearly half of all startups will fail within their first five years. It’s easy to get so into the aspect of managing day-to-day happenings, that you don’t at first notice your business has hit a plateau for growth or sales, or you keep hoping things will improve. Here are five ways to manage your way through a business slump and kickstart your business.
Regularly Review Your Direction
The market changes. The taste of the public changes. Technology changes. If you’re not keeping your finger on the advances in your industry, you’re going to get left behind. On a regular basis take an honest look at the direction your company is going and change directions if you need to in order to stay viable and competitive. It’s important to learn to fail fast and pivot in the direction you see is working.
You may have put a lot of thought and work into your logo and the idea behind your company. If sales and growth are getting stagnant, it’s time to look objectively at your brand. The projections of the segment of population you thought would be your main target group of buyers may in reality be a different demographic entirely. For example, if you’re marketing to 20-somethings and your majority demographic is proving to be an older segment, it’s time to leverage your brand to attract the group most likely to buy.
Focus and Target
Once you go over the direction of the market, and look carefully at the buyers investing in your brand, it’s time to market directly to those people. Learning to laser-target your brand takes time but you’ll save a lot of unnecessary advertising expenses if you know exactly who you’re trying to reach. Look at the products and services your company currently offers. Narrow those down to a list from best to least performing, and choose one to focus on.. Once you establish your main product, and truly become the best in your niche, elevate another.
Revamp Your Marketing
Think bigger than outbound marketing methods such as print ads. Forget about discounts and coupons, those don’t build brand loyalty. Harness the power of inbound marketing such as blogging. Also use social media as a way to promote your brand. If you’re not utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to shout your brand to the world, you’re missing out. A well-done Youtube video or meme on social media that relates to your company in some positive way can go viral and make your company a household name all over the world.
Sometimes you’re too close to the situation to see new ways to leverage your own market. That’s when it is a good idea to pull in a fresh pair of eyes. Pull in a partner to help you find creative ways to market, and see opportunities for your brand that might otherwise get overlooked.
Those are just five ways you can jump-start a business that seems to have flattened sale or growth. Take a deep breath and look objectively at your business model and make changes. If necessary, partner with an outside agency to help identify opportunities for growth that might otherwise be missed.