Every once in a while, you may find yourself in a business rut. Perhaps your profits have begun to plateau or even decrease. Maybe you have suffered a setback, which in turn has negatively affected your inner drive. Whatever the circumstance or the reason, it’s not too late to turn your business around by starting over again. The following are suggestions to help you do just that.
- Embrace and evaluate mistakes. If you had never started your business in the first place, you wouldn’t have made the mistakes that will help you learn how to succeed. So the first step in starting over is to reflect on those mistakes. Ask yourself what specifically it is about your business that is preventing it from flourishing. Once you identify the problem, you can work on how to solve it.
- Set a goal and develop a short-term plan. If your goal is to increase your client base by 25% by the end of the year, create 3-4 steps you can take within the next seven days to begin reaching that goal. It is also a good idea to make benchmarks for yourself along the way. This not only keeps you on track, but also allows for self-accountability.
- Reconnect with past clients. When you got your business off the ground, you worked hard to acquire your customers. Don’t hesitate to reconnect with them; they may appreciate a quick phone call thanking them for their past patronage. Along with that, you could offer a special promotion or incentive exclusively for past clients. You’re showing them that you value them as your clients, and you’re also offering them an opportunity to rediscover what makes your business special and beneficial for them.
- Reinvent yourself. This can apply to your brand, your product or service, your marketing strategy, or any aspect of your business that isn’t working for you right now. These are tough economic times, and it may do your business a world of good to consider how things have changed since you first began. Have your customers’ needs changed? Has your product been overshadowed by a newer, shinier version elsewhere in the industry? Is your social media presence a time-sucker that hasn’t positively contributed to your business? Focus on one aspect that needs a makeover and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
- Get educated. Millions before you have started small businesses both successfully and unsuccessfully. Not only that, but these people have also written about their experiences. So fire up that e-reader or take a trip to your local bookstore and do a little research that is relevant to your business. Furthermore, a fresh perspective may be just the boost you need to recharge your batteries and spark the idea plug for your business venture 2.0.
- Reward yourself. Let’s face it: owning your own business is hard work. Once you have reached a short or long term goal, enjoy it! Something as simple as splurging on that super sweet frozen coffee drink you love or taking an afternoon to go see a movie will help you stay focused while keeping the end in sight. Care to make it really interesting? Put one small reward on a post-it note and throw a bunch into a hat. When you meet your first goal, reach in and enjoy! Most people stay the course when they know there is some form of compensation awaiting them upon completion.
What steps have you taken in the past to start your business over again? Why have they worked or not worked? Please share with us in the comments section below!
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