When you set all your hopes and dreams on becoming your own boss it seems like every day will be a reminder of your newfound success and a validation of your innovative ideas. Sometimes things don’t go as well as we planned, however, and you find yourself watching your business struggling to survive. While it might seem like you have nowhere to turn, you’ve already made the first step to getting back on track by acknowledging that something needs to be done instead of putting your head in the sand. Try implementing some of these ideas to jumpstart your success and get your business back on top.
1. Refocus on Your Purpose
It’s time to stop and take stock of not only where you are, but who you are. It’s an easy trap to begin associating your company identity with the products or services that you sell, and if this has happened to you, take a moment to reconnect with the true purpose of your company. For example, if you’re an IT company, your purpose isn’t to sell storage or cloud solutions, it might be to help companies achieve their goals with technology. This attitude can also help you to adapt to changes and stay relevant when what you’re selling is losing relevancy.
2. Cut What’s Not Working
If you’ve already slashed business expenses, it might look like there’s nowhere else to save money without laying off staff or issuing pay cuts. Before you resort to those measures take a look at your offerings and be willing to sacrifice services or products that are no longer generating revenue--even if they were once your most popular and lucrative items. That way you can focus much more on your most relevant items and get the most sales from them.
3. Learn From Competitors
If your competitors are experiencing success try and figure out what they’re doing right. Learning from the businesses you’re trying to beat doesn’t mean you have to do exactly what they’re doing--it might not work for your individual situation anyways--but instead put your energy into figuring out the reasons their tactics are working. If you can make an educated guess about this you can customize your own solution that fits this criteria.
4. Evaluate Marketing Strategy
In lean times it seems like cutting back on all your vendors and expenses is the way to make ends meet. Quality marketing is important to the life of your business now more than ever, and optimizing it can make sure you’re getting all the customers possible. Reevaluate your messaging and invest in content marketing, SEO, and paid search that aligns with that messaging.
5. Refinance Debt
If creditors are coming after you over debt, the worst thing you can do it hide from them. Instead, try to work with them to increase the terms of loans or reduce interest rates to get more manageable monthly payments. You can also try asking them to waive any penalties or interest you’ve been assessed. Those who don’t ask don’t get, and the worst thing they can say is no.
While watching your business plummet into dire straits is scary, don’t let yourself feel like a failure. Instead, take proactive steps to get your company back on track knowing that plenty of now-successful ventures have faced this kind of crisis and come out better and stronger than they were before.