As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you have a lot riding on the success of your company. However, over the years, you may find that you are at the helm of a stagnated business. Once you come to that realization, you need to wake up your company and get back to sustainable growth.
Has Your Business Stagnated?
It can be difficult to realize your company’s growth has stagnated. When entrepreneurs and CEOs take a hands-on role, working in the business on a day-to-day basis, they can often lose sight of the larger picture for their company. It can take months, or even years, of your company not reaching its growth projections for you to admit that what you are doing isn’t working. Even worse, when entrepreneurs jump into business without a clear strategic plan for growth, they may find they are losing money without any plan for how to turn the company toward profit.
Stagnation can be especially difficult to detect in industries with high turn-over rates and seasonal demand. While some businesses simply stop growing, others have periodic booms and busts in sales and profitability. If you find yourself hiring and firing workers at the same rate year after year and never turning those seasonal workers into part of your year-round team, you may be running a stagnated business.
Waking Up a Stagnated Business Starts at the Top
The good news about getting from stagnation to growth is that you, as the business owner, have the power to make the changes your company needs. The shift from doing the work to growing the business starts at the top of your organization. Until you commit to grow your business, your employees will simply maintain the status quo. To move away from stagnated business development, you may need to:
Create a Strategic Growth Plan
If you want to move from stagnation to growth, you will need a plan for how to get there. Far too many small business owners operate based on an initial business plan without any clear strategy to grow once the doors are open. A business consultant can help you, your leadership team, and your board of directors to lay out a strategic growth plan based on where you are now and what you want for the future of your business. These models help you create achievable goals for your company, identify tools and training you and your employees will need to get there, and set benchmarks you can use to measure your success.
Develop Leadership Skills Within Your Management Team
You don’t need any business training to open a business. Often service professionals like lawyers and accountants have certification in their practice, but very little training in how to run a business. Whether you have an MBA or have never attended a business development seminar, you can always benefit from developing additional leadership skills. Leadership coaching can help you develop better management strategies for your employees, financial skills for handling the company’s accounts, and executive skills to help push your business from stagnation to growth.
Delegate and Hire Consultants
Often, entrepreneurs launch their business with a personal commitment to do whatever it takes to make it a success. However, once the doors are reasonably assured to stay open, this Jack-of-all-trades mentality can keep you from focusing on your own unique contribution to the company. If you want your business to grow, you must learn to delegate tasks to your employees and managers, and to hire consultants and service professionals for tasks like janitorial services, marketing, and accounting so you can focus on other priorities.
Steering Your Team Toward a Growth-Focused Culture
Business development may start at the top, but if you want your company to grow everyone needs to buy in to the firm’s new priorities. Your strategic plan should be broader than just a professional development plan for your top managers. It also needs to include training, incentive programs, and other strategies to invite your employees to buy into the newly developed growth-focused culture. By engaging everyone in your push for growth, you can turn your back on stagnation and the status quo.
David Stanislaw is a leadership and executive coach with over 30 years’ experience helping entrepreneurs and business owners grow their businesses. Through one-on-one executive coaching, David helps small and medium-sized businesses thrive and move away from stagnation and meet their growth targets. Contact us to meet with David to start creating a strategic growth plan today.