What to Do When Your Business is Stuck in a Rut

No matter how much growth you’ve had, at times business will feel like it’s slowed to a trickle. During such periods, you may become discouraged and concerned for your future. However, there are some effective strategies to get you through the lean periods. Let’s see what you can do to get your business back on the right track.
Detect Problems

When your volume of business consistently fails to meet objectives, it is time to admit something’s wrong. Tracking down the source of the problem is critical to get you started.

Create a list of key internal factors, and analyze the contribution they’re providing. Are you offering a quality product or service at a fair price? Do you have adequate tools and technology? Are your employees trained and motivated? Externally, take a look at your competition and your consumer base. Are you keeping up with industry news and competitor strategies? Are you marketing on social media?

When you’ve discovered the underlying issues, start planning steps to correct them. Sometimes you may have to find an outside perspective, devise a bold new marketing campaign, or add more value to your offer.

Create Engaging Content

Sometimes businesses that stick with a proven strategy can find themselves stagnating or falling behind. Consumers can eventually become bored. The way to engage audiences is to keep providing fresh content that’s of practical value and helps to build relationships. Remember – there’s a difference between marketing and merely advertising.

Find ways to deliver your message that audiences will form attachments with, such as storytelling. Consider using your brand history, or a character your target market can identify with. You can also provide added value through information, such as how-to videos and articles. People also engage with customer testimonials and success stories.

Promote Your Business 24/7

Business success is about brand awareness. Bring attention to your brand online, with charities, events, sponsorships, and any other opportunity. Sometimes marketing must be a little aggressive, but it should never be boring. Find the right measure of professionalism and excitement that fits the character of your brand.

Don’t overlook the feedback you can gather on social networks – this can tell you a lot about how people really perceive your company. Grow your customer base and improve the customer experience by using social media as a service channel. Stand behind your product and resolve any issues. You can use this to grow your reputation. Digital audiences provide a wide reach through sharing and commenting about their experiences.

Consistency is important – frequent or dramatic changes in tactics will leave audiences confused and reduce their trust, so make sure to have a recognizable voice.

Educate Yourself

Remind yourself that there’s always more to learn. Professionally, you should know your company intimately and your niche industry with expertise. Developing your personal knowledge provides benefits to your professional life as well. This might be just what you need to get your business out of a rut.

Educational opportunities are all around you. You could use webinars, instructional videos, eLearning apps, or take up a course. Learning from the knowledge and experiences of others in your niche, or business in general, empowers you to make progress with your own company.

Cultivate the Right Mindset

It’s important to view business with the same mindset as any of life’s other challenges. You are bound to make mistakes along the way, and you need to develop patience. Success rarely happens quickly – it takes time and patience to build a market following and an efficient operation. As a result, there will be periods of low activity.

It’s important to stay focused, keep self-developing and learn from errors. Even though you may experience strong negative emotions such as guilt, fear, and self-doubt, the only sensible course is to keep trying. Even if your task is overwhelming, you can persevere by setting priorities and tackling each step. If you assess the risks and rewards at every juncture, and remain focused on achieving progress, you can have confidence you’re making the right decisions.

Ask for Help

Listen to recognized experts and learn what your top competitors are doing. Ask the most successful people in your industry for advice. Email online influencers, and network with industry leaders. Often, established leaders will be happy to mentor or form alliances with promising entrepreneurs. There are always gurus and consultants you can call in to help with problems, but choose wisely. Look for help that can provide new contacts as well as expert assistance.

Seeking help or fresh insight makes more sense than losing control.


Final Thoughts

To sum up, pushing past the tough times requires that you raise your head and take action. First of all, assess your current position. Deliver engaging content to your audience and promote your company continually. You also have to maintain the right mindset for success by educating yourself and asking for help when necessary. If you plan a course of action, execute it, and stick with it, your company will inevitably grow.



BIO: Natalie Smith, a Seattle-based freelance writer and copywriter, enjoys writing about marketing, social media, and customer service. She is also an ardent follower of the new trends in the business world, as well as on the Internet. You can reach her @Natalie Smith




IMAGE SOURCE: Image courtesy of pexels.com, licensed under CC0 Public Domain