There's no better feeling than being at the starting gate of a new year. Your engine is revving and you're raring to go! That is, until you don't! No matter how much optimism a new year brings to your business, it doesn't want to budge. Your business is stuck in neutral.
You know the signs well. You can't seem to bring in enough customers, your overhead continually dwarfs your profits, you're working longer and harder hours, there's more to manage and less resources to do so, and your business has no more room to grow.
With your foot on the gas and your hand on the wheel, its time to shift into drive with these five proven strategies:
- Stop doing what doesn't work. Every small business owner has a good idea what's not producing results. However, if you're tracking your metrics, you can't lie about what's working and what's not. The numbers loudly give you insight into what needs to go — and what needs to stay.
- Select goals that fire you up. Boredom with your goals is a good indication that your ladder is leaning against the wrong wall. Nothing will shift your business out of neutral more quickly than focusing on goals that excite you.
- Raise your prices. A common reason for small businesses to be stuck in neutral is related to an ineffective pricing strategy. We all understand the need to reinvest back into the business to get off to a strong start. However, with time and hard work, you want the assurance of solid, sustainable business that can only be accomplished when “the price is right”.
- Eliminate 15% of your clients — the bottom 15%. Every small business owner, at one time or another, works with clients that aren't always the best fit. It's in the best interest of your client — and you — to help them move on to a vendor who is a better fit. It's much more electrifying to do — and be — your best with clients that fit.
- Reboot your thinking. Is your own thinking keeping your small business stuck in neutral? According to Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck, talent or intellect does not determine business success. Rather, business success depends upon our mindset — the degree to which we believe we have the capacity to cultivate our intelligence and grow our abilities.
Is your business stuck in neutral? Are you ready to grow? If so, I'd love to hear what you're doing to keep you moving forward.