It’s important to keep your business alive and flourishing, but the truth is that most businesses experience stagnation at one point or another. Business owners need to be able to spot the warning signs of stagnation so that they can take action and get the numbers moving in the right direction again. The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one, so let’s discuss the warning signs that your business has stagnated.
1) You No Longer Have a Clear Vision
When you first started out, you knew exactly what your purpose and vision were. However as your business evolves, your vision should too. If you no longer have clear goals beyond making money then it’s a sign that your business is stagnating.
2) You’re No Longer Going All Out for Your Clients or Customers
When you first started your business there was nothing that made you happier than exceeding the expectations of your clients and receiving great feedback. You would go above and beyond to make sure they were happy, but now it seems like it is all about making money. If this is beginning to happen then it is a sign that your business is stagnating and you need to find a sense of purpose again.
3) You’re Not Celebrating the Wins Anymore
When was the last time that you celebrated with your team? Business owners often get so caught up in making sure everything is running smoothly, they forget to take some time out for themselves and their team. If you no longer celebrate the wins, then it is a sign that your business isn’t thriving anymore and needs some TLC.
4) You’re Hiring for Skills Instead of Cultural Fit
When you first started out, hiring was all about cultural fit rather than skill sets because you were still small enough to know everyone on your team personally. If you’re now hiring based on skill sets rather than cultural fit, it is a sign that your business needs to go back to the drawing board and reevaluate how it’s running.
5) You Struggle to Find New Customers or Clients
When was the last time you had an influx of new customers? If your answer is anything other than “recently” then it may be a sign that your business has stagnated. If you have lost touch with how to market yourself or communicate the value of what you do, now would be a great time to outsource some help.
6) You’ve Lost Your Enthusiasm
You used to love going into work every morning and now you dread it. As a business owner, your energy filters down to every single person involved in your organisation, so if you’re struggling to find motivation then it’s a sign that there is something fundamentally wrong and it may be time to change direction.
7) Your Employees Aren’t Engaged
Similarly, if your employees no longer care about anything beyond their paycheck then it’s a clear indicator that something is amiss. Morale has a direct effect on productivity and quality of output, so if your employees are disengaged it will be apparent in your business.
8) The Numbers Just Aren’t Moving
Last, but certainly not least, if your numbers are stagnant or dropping then it’s a clear indicator that something needs to change. Ebbs and flows are normal but if you have experienced a prolonged drop or plateau then it’s a sign that action is desperately needed.
The Next Steps
If your business is stagnant, then it may be time to stop asking “what should I do?” and start asking “who can help?”
Hiring a consultant/advisor can make all the difference and get the needle moving again. It can help you get out of your own head and gain perspective on the situation. Moreover, the right consultant/advisor will have seen cases like yours before and know exactly how to kickstart innovation and get you back on track.