If your business has hit a plateau and you're struggling to get to the next level, here are five steps that will help you to reignite the flames of growth within your business.
Step 1: Fan the fire not the smoke
Firstly, you need to figure out why growth has stalled. Do not guess, find out!
Talk to your staff to get a holistic view of how the company is going and to identify the root cause of why things have slowed down. Ask "why" about everything.
Also ask your current customers about their experience with you. This will give you a clearer idea of where your focus should be. Do you need to improve your customer service or focus on innovation and product development?
Step 2: Can you picture the bonfire?
A strong vision for your business helps guide your employees towards tasks that will help drive the company's overall success.
Evaluate your vision and check whether it is still relevant to you and your employees. If so, is everyone focused on achieving it? If not, talk to your team and re-evaluate the vision so it provides a sufficient challenge to achieve more, while illuminating a bright future.
Write down your vision. Think about your personal goals first. Most successful companies are those where the business goals are working towards helping the business owner achieve their personal goals. Use this Personal Goals Template if you need a structure.
Step 3: Check you have the right fuel
Different stages of growth in your business will require specific resources; as well as individuals with specific talents.
During the early stages you will need to look for entrepreneurial individuals. However, as your company grows, different types of personalities are needed.
When you experience a slow-down in growth, evaluate the team members and their current roles. Consider running a DiSC assessment to understand their working style and strengths.
Consider what kind of strengths are needed and if you are missing some, then acquire new people to fill those.
Step 4: Create a proper structure
When companies first start, one of the tools to success is the ability to adapt. However, if you want to grow, you will need to re-evaluate your organisational structure.
If your structure currently places you, the business owner, in more than one critical position in the company, then you could be inhibiting growth.
As your business gets larger, you will need a clear organisational model in order to allow processes to flow effectively. This allows each employee to have clearly defined roles and accountabilities, so they can perform effectively and understand how they fit into the larger picture.
Step 5: Make sure you watch your fire
Testing, measuring, tracking and reporting. These are critical for business growth; I've rarely seen a business grow to great heights without a clear tracking system in place.
Sometimes the reason a business is not growing is because there isn't a system in place to measure that growth.
As the leader of the business, it is up to you to consider and define the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your employees. What is the primary metric that determines their performance? How are you tracking this?
You can then get a clearer picture of who is in the right roles, and where there is room for growth - and then adjust your growth strategies so they are aligned with the metrics where your company is currently weakest.
That fiery growth that you experienced in the initial stages of your business may begin to wane. So get it back by taking these five steps and you'll reignite the flames of growth.
Copyright © 2016 Shweta Jhajharia, principal coach and founder of The London Coaching Group.
Related articles and resources
You may find the following articles and resources useful:
- How to take your small business into the big time
- Have you got what it takes to grow your business?
- Strategies for growing your business