Wondering why business is slumping? Why new customers are hard to come by? Why it seems to take longer to get momentum on growth again?
You stopped advertising
This is a big mistake made by smaller businesses who are more susceptible to cash flow problems than bigger ones. Business was good, so you stopped advertising. You didn’t seem to lose any momentum for months, so you assumed that the advertising wasn’t what helped you grow in the first place and you never took it again. A year later, business is trending down again and that’s because you stopped actively promoting your business. Advertising isn’t some vending machine where you put in a coin and out pops a customer. It takes time between seeing an ad and someone acting on it. So it’s hard to track that customer who came through the door back to where they found out about you. Even if you ask them.
You stopped talking about your business
At some point in the journey of having a small business, you stop talking about it to friends and acquaintances. And that’s quite natural. You don’t want to be THAT guy who is always repeating the same stories over and over.
But when you stopped talking about your business, you stopped that valuable word-of-mouth in your network of friends, family and various acquaintances. We’re not talking about hard selling to your mates. We’re talking about dropping in mentions about what’s going on in your business. After all, I guarantee they’re talking about their jobs.
You stopped being excited about what you do
It’s the usual course for a business owner. At start-up, things are nuts, you’re about to go broke and you are loving the rush. After a few years, the rush dies down and you’re in business-as-usual land. There’s nothing new happening and nothing to get excited about.
Business has become about fixing broken things, seeing accountants and paying bills.
There is no single way to get excited about your business. But you can try adding a new product, expanding in to something you don’t do now, or even just trying out a new concept for advertising or marketing.
When it comes to getting yourself back in to the game, you may need to do some reading of books, articles and magazines to get ideas for what others are doing to reignite the momentum in their business.