One of the first things you get taught in business school is the 4 stages of a business: Introduction, Growth, Maturity/Plateau, Decline/Renewal.
Business and innovation always go hand-in-hand. Many start-ups who create their own company or build their own brand tend to think that there is a finish line to it. That they only need to “work on their business” up to a certain point and everyone lives happily ever after past that.
This cannot be further from the truth.
Business is a never-ending cycle of learning, unlearning and relearning. Companies need to continually innovate and do things that will keep pushing the needle forward. While it is said that companies profit most during plateaus, you also can’t stay stuck in one place for very long. This is because what comes after a plateau is a decline, and if nothing is done about it, it could eventually lead to the end of a business.
Here are four obvious signs your business needs to be re-optimized asap:
Your Sales Isn’t Going Down But It Isn’t Going Up Either
In the world of commerce, steady numbers are not always a good thing. While it keeps you from going in the red, it also means that your business is likely not attracting new interest (read more). If no new opportunities are created, it’s only a matter of time before things go south.
Your current patrons are not going to be around forever. If you want your company to survive the test of time and be around for generations to come, it’s important that you attract new opportunities while also maintaining the current ones. Product demand, for example, only has a certain life span. You have to reinvent them time and time again to keep consumers engaged.
A prime example of this is the fast-food industry. While Mickey D’s and KFC have staple items on their respective menus, they also introduce seasonal items to keep people happy and more importantly, curious. This is what enables them to remain the fast-food giants that they are today.
Your Company Has A High Turnover Rate
Another sign that your company is not going to last for very long is if people are leaving left and right. It doesn’t matter if they are clients or employees, retaining them both is equally important to a business’s health.
If your turnover rates are high, it’s a grave sign that something is misaligned in your company’s environment.
If client turnover is high, then there’s probably a product quality or service delivery issue. Here’s how to calculate it: https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/16027-customer-retention-rate.html. On the other hand, if employee turnover is high, then there’s likely an operational or work culture issue. Both are equally important for the survival of a business.
If you want to address this, you first need to find the root of the problems. For client retention, you need to reassess the entire client’s journey from acquisition to onboarding, delivery, and offboarding. You need to identify where the ball gets dropped and which areas can be optimized more.
For employee retention, you need to zoom out and look at your internal operations from the perspective of an employee. Is your company a place you would personally work for back when you were an entry level employee? Are there opportunities for personal and professional growth and development? What is it about the company that personally appeals to you?
If you can’t come up with straight answers for these questions yourself, then there’s likely a problem.
Your Systems Are Outdated
Speaking of internal operations, apart from the HR aspect of things, there may also be other internal processes and procedures that no longer align with what the company is trying to achieve.
It could be that your client relationship management systems are outdated, and it no longer provides you with what you need to really track lead opportunities and ensure that nothing gets left on the table. Your performance tracking systems may also be obsolete and the way you track does not completely reflect the company’s progress.
Take a look at your business’s operations and see where you can improve. There are tools like FacilisGroup software ‘Syncore’ that can help you optimize your internal operations and make sure that your business remains competitive with the current market. You can also seek the professional advice of mentors and industry specialists to ensure that your systems allow you to maximize your company’s potential.
You Have Not Maximized Online Revenue Opportunities
Lastly, if you have not taken the step to offer your products and services online, then you are leaving a massive opportunity to build a new revenue stream on the table. E-commerce is the way of the future and many companies have established (or are working to establish) an online presence to help them reach a wider audience. If you have not yet delved into e-commerce, it’s about time you should.
The good news is that the fate of your business isn’t sealed in stone. Many companies thrive because they adapt to the changing times; they introduce and reintroduce their products in a way that the current market understands and empathizes with. Innovation is what transforms companies into household names.
Just like how newspaper and magazine companies created subscription-based services online or how the company Apple reinvents the iPhone and releases a newer version every year, you too can recreate your products, branding, or revamp your business as a whole to keep up with the ever-changing trends in the world of commerce.