10 Signs Your Business Has Stopped Growing
Posted: 03/10/2021 | Author: Jim Lochner for Creatives On Call | Tags: Thought Leadership
If you’ll pardon a horticulture analogy, businesses are like plants. They need attention, regular maintenance, and room to grow. When the sales are drooping or customers are dropping off, sometimes you need to dig deep to get to the root of the problem. Here are 10 signs your business has stopped growing with suggestions on how you can spur new growth.
1. YOU’RE DOING EVERYTHING YOURSELF
Whether you’re tending the garden or you’re down in the dirt managing the day-to-day operations, don’t try to do it all yourself. Ask for help from the right gardeners. Trust in your employees and coworkers, or hire freelancers or contractors to alleviate some of the tasks you don’t have time for or simply don’t want to do. You’ll get more done by doing less.
2. YOU DON’T HAVE A CLEAR VISION
The most attractive gardens have order and planning to them. But sometimes life happens and nature gets in the way. Take a good, hard look at your business, prune what doesn’t work, and convey your vision throughout the company. Weeds can overtake a garden and cloud the view.
3. YOU’RE NOT BEING SMART WITH YOUR GOALS
Your business will grow faster with concrete, measurable goals. One of the most effective ways to create a growth strategy is to set your goals first and reverse-engineer your marketing plan from there. Pay attention to measurements and KPIs with regular check-ins, updates, and group accountability, and make adjustments as necessary. By making sure those goals are SMART—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely—you’ll be 70% more successful in achieving them.
4. YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR COMPETITORS
Plants need plenty of sunlight to grow. But if your competitors have a more aggressive marketing strategy or capture more of the market share, they’ll throw the proverbial shade over your business, robbing you of the nutrients you need to grow. Get a clear understanding of the competitive landscape and market accordingly before your competition blocks out the sun.
5. YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS
Your garden will die on the vine if you don’t know how to take care of the various plants that already inhabit the landscape. The same goes for your business. How much do you know about your customers? Dig deep and gain new insight into your customers by talking to them, gathering data, and asking for (and responding to) reviews. The more you know, the more you’ll grow.
6. YOU’RE NOT TAKING CARE OF YOUR CURRENT CUSTOMERS
It’s 5–7 times cheaper to retain an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. While reducing churn by 5?n increase profits by 25–125%, only 18% of businesses focus on retention. As a rule of green thumb, you want your churn rate to be 5% or less. Take care of your roots because, unfortunately, churn isn’t just for butter anymore.
7. YOU’RE DOING REFERRALS THE WRONG WAY
The best advice comes from gardeners we trust. That’s why the average value of a referred customer is 16% higher than non-referrals. But in a study of over 1,000 financial service customers, while 83% of clients were comfortable providing a referral, only 29% gave one. Waiting for referrals won’t work; you need a system in place. Let the marketing team manage the referral program and you’ll be 3 times more likely to hit your goals.
8. YOU’RE NOT GETTING NEW CUSTOMERS
As essential as current customers are to your business, you need a healthy batch of new buds to grow. If you find yourself spending all your time satisfying your current customer base and not enough time bringing in new business, refocus your efforts on lead generation so that you always have a flow of potential clients to market to. If you need help, consider hiring one of our top-notch creatives to bring in some fresh soil.
9. YOU’VE STOPPED INNOVATING
If you haven’t introduced anything new in the past few months or more, or offered updates on current products and services, you’ve stopped listening. Look at the emerging trends in your industry, engage with your customers and find out what they’re asking for that you’re not currently offering, and streamline and increase efficiency. By continually offering something new, your business will continue to bloom while keeping your employees and customers engaged.
10. YOU’RE STUCK ON REPEAT
So you’re working towards SMART goals, nurturing your customers, and pruning away the competition. Great! But if you repeat the same procedures and actions every day, week after week, year after year, you’re stunting your growth. Author Rita Mae Brown (not Einstein) said it best: “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” Leave it to a writer to best define insanity.
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Just as it takes time and care to cultivate a healthy garden, a healthy business requires care and maintenance. But by paying attention to warning signs and with careful planning, you’ll stimulate new growth so that your business continues to develop and blossom. Our talented creatives have the right tools to help.
This is a time for marketers to step up to the challenge and get creative in meeting current demands and behavior changes. Creatives On Call supports your business through this. Contact us here. We have Marketing professionals ready to start in areas including:
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Learn more here.