Every problem has a solution.
You’ve probably already heard that small businesses are the backbone of the US economy. This is indeed true, and fortunately small businesses are currently on a growth trend. That being said, starting a business and keeping it afloat isn’t much easier than it ever was. It is important to keep a clear mind and judge your business objectively. Here are a few signs that your business might not be in an ideal place, and what you can do to turn things around.
Problem: You’re growing too quickly. If you are growing your business quickly without first having the infrastructure in place, you’re liable to burn out both mentally and financially. You can’t simply expand without having a system in place to handle an increase in volume.
Solution: Pace your growth and make sure you are dedicating a good portion of your profits back into the business. Buy what you need to buy, hire who you need to hire, but take it slow and steady if you’re in it for the long haul.
Problem: Your funding is not your own. If you’re relying too heavily on outside funding, you’re likely to face problems at some point.
Solution: Have a well-thought out plan for your funding, and stick with it.
Problem: Your target market is too broad. If you’re aiming too wide, then you are likely resting on an unstable foundation. While some goods and services may appeal to everyone (roughly speaking), there is always a unique angle a business or service can offer, or at least a form of branding which sets your business apart from the competition.
Solution: You can’t please everyone, but you can make a few people really happy if you narrow down and focus on specific market demands. While making these kinds of changes will make your business less broadly appealing, it will provide you with a more reliable customer base.
Problem: Your business plan is too complicated. This can be a serious problem when a business is growing and it can cause all sorts of headaches.
Solution: Make your business plan as clear and succinct as possible. You can try shortening it, but a simple one-or-two page plan can suffice.
Problem: You are failing to evolve with the market. You don’t want to go the way of Blockbuster…
Solution: Stay on top of your field, keep up with all developments and apply them in a practical way.
Problem: You are working too hard and not achieving results. Working hard doesn’t do much unless your efforts are directed in the right area.
Solution: Focus on working smarter, not harder.