Save my business
Updated: Apr 18, 2019
If the title of this post is something that brings up a familiar feeling, it's time to take a hard look at your business. Business bankruptcy is the obvious last resort but there may be a few things that you overlooked before even thinking about throwing in the towel. If your business is in turmoil and spiraling out of control, please take a moment to follow some of the steps outlined below.
Find the issue
Whether it be you, as the business owner taking a hard look to find the root of the issue or you decide to bring in outside help to objectively look to find the cause of the problem, the sooner this happens the better. In most cases, there are hand full of scenarios that could be taking place when you see a once thriving business take a downward spiral both suddenly or gradually. First, you want to make sure to look for any type of changes internally between how things used to be when business was booming and how things are now. Has there been too much changes in the process? Too much change in employees? Or rather, has there been lack of changes in your business to keep up with the ever-changing market. Another common scenario might be that your customers are leaving to one of your direct or indirect competitors. Especially if you have been in business for a long time, it's time to reassess your market and see if there are new competitors locally or online. Of course, if all else fails then simply asking the customers that are leaving wouldn't be a bad idea.
Refresh your process and product offering
If there aren't many changes in the business especially within a long period of time... it may be that it’s time for change. Whether you are in manufacturing, retail, restaurant, transportation, or construction staying as a dinosaur will not only deteriorate your business, but it will eventually destroy it. For example, if you're in manufacturing, investing in a new hi-tech equipment or machinery may take a big hit on your balance sheet at first, but the efficiency and the long-term return will not only get your business out of plateau, but it may even resuscitate it to a whole new level. It’s a certain that time bring changes in technologies, but it also brings change in people's desires and values. As such, there was a time when restaurants were viewed as a place for families to sit and take their time enjoying each other’s company. But today, many of these same restaurants have opted to have online ordering system to meet the ever-growing demand of convenient take-out option. Improving the process as well as updating your product offering is not going to be quick nor easy. There is necessary amount of time that it takes for ideas, research, brainstorming, and of course the execution. But with patience, and the right strategy you will start noticing positive reactions from your existing customers or better yet increase in new customers.
Improve your marketing
Nimble business owners adapt to changes that are necessary to keep the business growing and thriving. Marketing, which is a key component of almost every business, cannot evade having to change with the time. With ever changing technologies and competitors spending a lot of resources toward research and visibility, your customers may be grabbed without you even noticing. One of the first steps is understanding that newspapers and yellow-pages are of the past. On the other hand, online advertising can be costly and may not suit you in the current state, but there are economical ways to go about when starting your online marketing campaigns. Direct and targeted e-mails are not only cheaper but have shown to produce better results than mailing fliers. Another good start would be creating or broadening your business social media pages. Recent statistic showed that 77% of Americans had a social media profile, and people are spending more time on their mobile phones than ever before. Connecting with new or existing customers online is the future and quite frankly the best time to start is sooner than later.
If your business is in trouble, the best thing to do is to evaluate all the details sooner than later. If you catch it early enough, you may find that the sinking ship may have had just few holes that needed to be patched. If you have been pondering the phrase, 'save my business' please take the time to read some of the tips and take appropriate actions. Just keep in mind that if you do pass this hurdle, this invaluable experience and knowledge will not only make your business stronger, but it will also show you how much of a resilient individual you really are.