How do I know when it’s time to reinvent my services or products?
Here are some warning signs of business stagnation and decline:
Feedback from Customers/Clients. When you start hearing questions like: Do you have anything else? When will something new be in? Are you offering any more services? Have you thought about branching out? Clue after clue, the writing is on the wall. If you don’t reinvent your business in some form or manner, you will not have a demand for you to supply much longer. Take feedback seriously and begin to plan for and implement change throughout your business if you want to stay in business.
Decline in Revenues. A small business owner should always keep an eye on the bottom line. It could be fatal if you only compared sales peaks and valleys once a year in a 45-minute meeting with your accountant. If you use accounting software, you are able to compare sales from day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year. You can also identify the peaks and valleys and connect them with specific marketing efforts. You can even create an Excel spreadsheet to track sales trends. If you know that every year during June, July and August, your school supply business soars, but from September through December, sales are low, you can create special marketing events during the slow months. You can also use these slow months to participate in trade shows, conferences, or even create your own training program about how to purchase school supplies wisely. Even a blog on this topic will help parents—your primary buyers.
Entrepreneurial Intuition. You started your business based on intuition, knowledge, and ability. You knew the right time to launch, what to sell or provide, and how to drive services or products from the concept phase to the reality phase—selling them and collecting revenues. When you get that sinking feeling that you won’t be able to keep the doors open much longer, it won’t be when you’re ready to close the doors. It will be when you first recognize that you must shift your mindset and come up with more ideas to bring dollars in the door. Always trust your intuition. It’s what got you started and it’s what will help you move wisely to sustain your business.
Want more ways to build your business? Check out Rule of Thumb: A Guide to Sustainability for Small Business