Do you ever feel like your business is ‘stuck in a rut’?
Well, today I want to talk to you about 6 TELL-TALE SIGNS that are saying perhaps it’s time for some changes in your business…
TELL-TALE NUMBER 1. Are You marketing in exactly the same way as you did six-months or a year ago, or more?
Well, this is a fast-changing world. Almost every day brings a new tool, a new technology, and a new challenge for your prospects and customers – and if you’ve got your eyes open, this means new opportunities for you.
For example, maybe you’ve got a web site, but have you changed any of the headlines or copy or featured product or service on any of the web pages recently? Have you added any new testimonials or case studies?
Maybe you’re running pay-per-click ads or doing mailing campaigns, but have you tried a different incentive for prospects to take action or sign-up to your database?
What’s one new thing you’ve implemented in your business marketing in the past month?
TELL-TALE NUMBER 2. Perhaps what your customers want to buy from you has changed, but your offerings haven’t.
Can you imagine going to your favourite clothing store, or book store, or bistro, week-after-week and seeing the same products displayed the same way? It wouldn’t take long for you to say “What’s the point of coming here anymore, everything is always the same?”
Your customers and therefore your market is changing. So if your marketing and your messaging is exactly the same as it was 6 months ago, your business is very probably losing ground. When was the last time you actually researched and asked your prospects and customers exactly what they’re struggling with, and what they’re looking for?
What new things are you offering your customers? Are you continually bringing exciting products into your business, or launching new services? It doesn’t matter what you sell — whether it’s physical products, or professional services — you have to continually introduce new offerings into the marketplace in order to keep up with what people are buying now.
TELL-TALE NUMBER 3. Your business model isn’t a viable business model.
I’m a firm believer that you can’t be successful in your business without a passion, or purpose or interest. But that doesn’t necessarily mean “do what you love and the money will follow”.
If you love mountaineering and want to build a business selling mountaineering products, but you live in the south of England, and you don’t have a really good internet presence — you very probably don’t have a viable business model.
If you’re selling specialist cleaning services for dentist surgeries, but you don’t have national (or at least regional) service centres, then it’s probably time that you considered adding some form of franchising or licensing or joint venture operation to your business model.
And many times your business model and your numbers don’t add up. For example, say you love hand manufacturing childrens’ soft toys that sell for £20, but you also want to make a consistent £10,000 a month in your first year, with no additional staff…
Then there won’t be enough hours in the week to turn out the stock required to make that kind of money on your own. Even with staff, you would probably be working for free.
Passion, interest and optimism are core when running your own business. But a viable business model is an essential requirement.
OK LET’S HAVE A LOOK AT TEL-TALE NUMBER 4.
Are your sales lagging behind your budget or your desired life-style?
If your sales are not what they used to be, it’s most likely to be down to increased competition, either from more suppliers entering your market, or lower prices being offered to prospects.
And before things get any worse, you need to re-visit your marketing (or perhaps acknowledge your lack of marketing) and figure out a way to change what isn’t working, or to start afresh with a really effective set of strategies, and some compelling messages that your prospects can’t ignore or resist.
If you’re business is not growing, it’s dying. But don’t let it get to that point before you decide to refresh and reinvent it.
TELL-TALE NUMBER 5. You haven’t grown as a person and neither has your business.
The person you are when you make your first £1,000 is not the same person you’ll be when you make your first £100,000 or £1,000,000,000.
In fact, it’s impossible for you to remain the same and make more money. If you’re not growing as a person, neither is your business.
I believe it was the famous motivational speaker Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones who said that “you’ll be the same person you are now in five years time, but for the books you read and the people you meet”.
That’s why it’s vitally important that you continually expose yourself to new ideas, new approaches to your business management and marketing, and meet new people who can share valuable experiences with you.
Only by stepping out of your comfort zone can you expect to be stretched and grow as a person. And when you grow, your thinking grows, your expectations grow, and providing your actions change and grow, then so will the results you experience in your life and in your business.
FINALLY, HERE IS TELL-TALE NUMBER 6.
Perhaps you’ve lost the passion or interest you once had in your business?
This one is tricky. Because there is a fine line between temporary boredom or frustration in your business, and a true loss of passion or interest.
And of course there are a whole slew of emotional reasons why we may think we’ve lost passion in our business, but we haven’t. Things like fear of failure, fear of success, wanting to “have fun” and not work, reluctance to adhere to a schedule, perfectionism, and so on.
But don’t kid yourself. You know in your gut if you’ve truly lost your passion for the business you’ve been running. And if you have, the time to sell it or reinvent it is now.
Don’t wait for it to die on the vine so that you have an “excuse” to shut things down. I see this happen surprisingly often.
Instead, take an empowering and proactive approach by saying “I’m ready to move on” and then sell the business or reinvent it while it’s still profitable. Don’t wait until it’s on life support to make changes. It’s a lot easier to sell or reinvent a business when it’s still profitable.
But, let me emphasise, the passion you once had for your business will return like a shot, as soon as you start to make prospects and clients take notice of your offering, then appreciate the value you can deliver, and willingly engage with you to become loyal profitable new customers.
That’s when your sales curve starts on a never-ending upwards trend, and you can see the evidence week after week in your bank account.
Remember, Einstein once said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Any thoughts, reactions or experiences you’d like to share below?