Every business wants to grow and a steady growth curve is the ‘holy grail’.
Most SMEs experience growth in their first 3 to 5 years; but a business will inevitably face challenges that will invariably slow and stop this pace and, in essence, cause them to plateau.
They may have great products, exceptional customer service, and a good customer base, but their business growth has stalled. Why?
There a number of factors to consider such as market dynamics, new competitors, workforce and Brexit to name a few. These all point to one of the most common factors; where aspects of the business model have reached or expired their current capacity on a number of levels.
So, to break your plateau, you need to focus on identifying reasons for this plateau and then create growth focused change. Let’s run through a few areas you should consider:
If your business Is performing well, don’t stop scaling your marketing budgets or stop bringing in new talent. You should do the opposite; if you want to sustain and grow further.
Many businesses lock their marketing spend down (or at the same spending level) because the business has grown and ultimately achieved its short-term goal.
If you want to keep this momentum; don’t lock it down. Instead, increase it as the business grows.
In an ideal world, to be constantly feeding your business growth, evidence suggests that 10% of gross profits should be allocated to marketing spend year on year.
Don’t forget about other areas that need reinvestment too such as technology, infrastructure, and new talent.
As a business, you want to be reactive rather than responsive. By this I mean you need to be up to speed on the market and the challenges ahead, in a nutshell- it’s about knowing what’s around the corner so you’re prepared. From a business growth perspective, responsive reactions happen through a lack of clear vision and planning.
To truly grow a business, you need to be visioning and planning the next steps for your business consistently with a 360-degree approach. This will not only keep you on your toes but also allow you to capitalize on opportunities as they occur.
Referrals are great but let’s be honest, you want leads and not just any leads, but quality and relevant leads. Mass emails and cold calling still happens. I know scary isn’t it, but we’ve come a long way in the past few years.
Understanding, planning and executing a lead generation strategy is fundamental any business and this is strategically imperative when it comes to growth and breaking through the plateau.
Take the time to understand your buyer and their journey. Focus on this first rather, than the sales process and adapt it to meet your buyer’s journey and needs.
To back up the strategy; consider investing in automation tools that can give you a steady flow of inbound leads as well as business intelligence. Although this will not change your world overnight, it is an essential kit to further enhance your lead generation strategy.
I’ve covered a few of the common challenges I’ve seen over the years from dealing with businesses that hit their growth plateau. But, in a nutshell, to be that lean business that is continually progressing and growing, you need to adapt and identify change.