I hear this often from business owners I come into contact with.
Businesses can sometimes grow despite themselves, with a great deal of sweat equity invested by the business owner, lots of DIY marketing, word-of-mouth sales growth, customer acquisition via referrals, etc. The challenge is that after a certain amount of time (it could be 5, 10 or 15 years) things may start to change in your business or in your external environment, which cause a ripple effect in the way you do business.
Perhaps there are changes to rules and regulations in your industry, perhaps your ‘bread and butter’ client closes shop (or goes to the competition) or your offering becomes redundant to them, you might become tired of spending money on marketing activities that aren’t producing the results you’d hoped for, or maybe your brand image is starting to look and feel disjointed and unpolished (just to name a few).
Things may also begin to change within the heart and mind of the business owner. After working so hard for many years to build a business for yourself, perhaps you have grown tired of servicing your non-ideal client and are looking to attract the type of client that really gets you excited about your work again. Maybe you feel like you’re a hamster spinning in a hamster wheel, with too many ideas and not enough resources.
Whatever the case may be and whatever your situation, you resolve to make changes because what was working well before, is no longer working. Now what?
Here are 10 tips for realigning your business from where it currently is, to where you want to go.
- Re-calibrate your compass. Set the direction for your business with a Vision statement.
- Reconnect with your purpose. Why are you in this business in the first place?
- Let your passion lead you. What would your ideal workday feel like?
- Get out your map. Create a plan of action outlining how to get from where you are to where you want to go.
- Identify what is not working in your business and troubleshoot ideas for turning challenges into opportunities.
- Understand the value you provide your customers. Uncover the key factors that make you successful (and understand which ones might cause you to fail).
- List out the activities that are producing results in your business. Find ways to piggyback on those efforts to multiply the results. (Dump the ones that aren’t working.)
- Get to know your ideal client well. Knowing what pain your service solves for them will allow you to effectively communicate your offering to attract more ideal clients and weed out the less-than-ideal.
- Dig deep for your unique differentiators. You’ll have a better chance of attracting business if you ‘uniquely’ stand out in the crowded marketplace.
- What do you want your customers to say about you to others? Work backwards from there; determine how to move forward with the end in mind.
Resolve to make changes in your biz when what was working well before, is no longer working.