Many small-business owners are essentially in the process of launching a startup, it is an exciting time for them. They are currently bootstrapped, hustling for every penny of revenue and trying to unlock the secrets to consistent growth. The harsh reality is that many startup’s plateaux. Therefore, I am going to give you some reasons why your business has stopped growing and hopefully you can work on avoiding these.
Deciding not to Grow
Some small-business owners get to a certain point where they feel like they are in a state of stability. They kick back and relax a bit, feeling like they have “made it”. They lose some of the hunger they initially had when they started their business. Externally, it looks like the company is stable as well with the internals of the company getting enough custom to keep the lights on and stay busy.
This kind of attitude can get a startup in a whole heap of trouble. I think there is any difference between this mindset and avoiding any issues altogether. You might think that it is a smart idea in the short term, but it sucks as a long-term approach.
You will be in trouble if you lose sight of the fact that there are more new companies waiting to steal your market share. While you are resting on what you have built other companies will be ready to snatch away your customers and bring your business to its knees. Complacency is a killer for businesses.
Leaning on Referrals too much
Referrals are great for a startup, no one can deny that. As you are working to get established and make a name for yourself, referrals can act as a way to legitimize you and your business to those naysayers. They bring in new revenue and boost your reputation in your industry.
But referrals are like a warm sea breeze on a cold coastline. They are great when they happen, but you will be so disappointed if you only expect warm sea breezes forever. One thing that many entrepreneurs and startups overlook is that even if people really like you and your business, they are under no obligation to tell everyone how great of a job you did for them. People are busy and often do not have the mental bandwidth to share the goodwill around all the time. They probably are not thinking about you.
With this in mind, understand that while referrals are great and you should be asking for them, the responsibility to grow is all on you. No one is going to carry your business for you. You have to take charge of your company’s growth.
Entrepreneurs launching startups are so used to doing everything themselves, they can often forget to get the help they need to build their business in the direction they want it to go.
Business owners who get caught up in regular operations of the company are probably not taking the time to learn from people. This is a huge mistake and will limit your ability to grab the right opportunities when they arise. If they have the attitude that they will just “wing it”, there is likely a lot of time and effort being wasted.
More then ever, there is a lot of support out there if you are willing to request it. Do not be shy about relying on the experiences of those who went before you. Experience is an amazing resource in any business so take advantage of it. Best of all, most love sharing their experiences and wisdom. It is a win-win for everyone.
To summarize, there could be many reasons why your business has stopped growing, so take the time to be honest with your own practices and get other people’s opinions on the trajectory of your business. In times like these, every business needs to be pushing forward. If they are not, they are going backwards.