In the early days of your business, you probably looked at everything through rose-coloured glasses. You thought that your product would always be relevant and the demand for it would never fall. In your unshadowed dreams, your revenue always grows. However, when you run a business, you gradually begin to realise that not everything is so smooth and successful all the time.
No one can guarantee that you will always be ahead of the rest. Even if for several years your business has been going uphill and at one point everything collapses, sales begin to fall, and customers leave – this is not a reason to give up.
Every problem has a root. If you notice that your revenue has dropped sharply, you should think about what happened and what caused it. There may be several reasons for this. Perhaps it’s the low season. Perhaps a larger competitor has emerged that is successfully gaining the trust of your loyal customers. Perhaps your strategies are no longer working.
In any case, you don’t have to leave things to chance. However, for some business leaders, this may be an appropriate strategy when they decide to wait out uncertain times in the expectation that things will soon return to normal. Others are not ready to accept the fact that their businesses cease to generate income.
Self-flagellation and depression are not the best helpers in this situation. Instead, you should think about how you can maintain a growth mindset. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. So, you can take control, even if it means you need to fundamentally rethink how you run your company.
What could have caused revenue loss?
All successes and failures of a business must be analysed. It’s not for nothing that companies collect a lot of reports on the work of all departments. It helps companies identify problems, strengths, and weaknesses, and get new ideas that can be applied.
You need to take a look at what kind of company you run and what kind of environment your business is in at the moment. Depending on what market you sell to, what industry you operate in, what country you work in, and so on, you may find a couple of stumbling blocks that are stopping you from reaching new heights.
Let’s look at the most common reasons that influence a significant decrease in profits.
- Use of outdated technologies. Take a look at what tools your employees use. When was the last time you implemented new technology, software, or other modern solutions? This may be one of the problems holding your business back from thriving. Let’s say you see that the work of your sales department leaves much to be desired, and you see that the software you use is not promoting your sales, but rather slowing them down. It may lack advanced features. For example, your employees make calls from New York to San Diego and customers simply do not pick up the phone from international phone numbers. In this case, you need a phone service that offers the use of local business numbers. Thus, it will not cause confusion or fear amongst your customers. The reason can be hidden even in such trifles.
- The emergence of more powerful competitors. Keeping an eye on your competitors is extremely important because you can learn a lot of useful information. If you don’t do this, you may miss the fact that your company has a powerful new competitor that is attracting the attention of your customers. The emergence of a new big player, or even a small player with a new concept, can mean you have to work hard to get people to pay attention to what you have to offer again.
- Fluctuating demand for products. It all depends on what you offer to your clients. For example, if you sell summer products, you cannot expect winter sales to be as successful. You may be selling online courses for school children, so in the summer you are also unlikely to notice a surge in profits. In such situations, you may find ways to improve your performance, which will require new ideas and a willingness to work twice as hard.
- Consistency of strategies. Everyone is trying to find some key to success that will constantly lead to new heights. Companies can spend years developing successful strategies regarding marketing or how their people attract people to buy. However, no one will tell you that the strategies you choose will bear fruit for many years in a row. As the years go by, technology and human behaviour change, you cannot expect your course of action to always be successful.
Perhaps now is the time that signals that your business needs dramatic changes. Yes, this may mean new investments and expenses. It may be that to get back on track, you need to invest even more of your capital to revitalise your business.
These are just the most common reasons that could lead your company to a point where profits are no longer impressive. You should collect all the reports, and arrange a meeting with the heads of all departments to analyse what led to the loss of revenue.
How to focus on business growth
In such a situation, there are several options for what you can do. You can sit still and wait for everything to work out, or you can focus on business growth. If the first option doesn’t suit you, here’s what you need to do to maintain a growth mindset:
Calmly accept what is happening
You don’t need to jump out of your seat and start doing at least something to return to previous business metrics. In a fit of desperation, you may make bad decisions that will cause an even greater blow to your business. Instead, you should take time to analyse everything and get your thoughts in order.
Take some time to determine the reasons for the loss of profit. This will help you generate ideas that you can use to help your company thrive.
Listen to your employees’ opinions
It’s not just senior managers who may have an idea of why things are going wrong. Employees in your business who value your company’s culture and core principles are also motivated to grow with you. They may have good ideas about what is holding your business back from growing.
You can hold meetings both online if you work with remote teams and offline to get feedback from your colleagues. You can get valuable advice from them about what needs urgent change.
Develop a new training plan for your employees
Your people are, to a large extent, the engine of your business’s progress. They are your biggest investment, so you should not lose sight of the fact that you need to engage in their ongoing training.
You should reconsider what materials and training methods you use. Perhaps everything you use is already outdated. Therefore, you need to update your training plan. You can start innovating with webinars, inviting professionals to speak, creating step-by-step video tutorials, and so on. This applies to training not only newcomers but also those who have been working in your company for a long time. They will keep their finger on the pulse and implement new strategies to operate with up-to-date information and insights about your industry.
Start working on your new unique offer
Take a look at how you position your product or services. Try to look at your offers with an open mind to assess whether they are relevant and attractive to customers. People’s needs change from time to time, so the problem may not even be in your product, but in the way you present it.
If your unique proposition is no longer relevant, check how your competitors are presenting their products and services. Don’t try to copy their ideas, but instead, try to find inspiration based on their strengths and weaknesses.
Show your clients your expertise in your industry
The worst thing is to create illusions around your business. Sooner or later, your clients will find out that you are far from professional in your environment. This does not in any way contribute to a growth mindset. You must be a professional not only in words but also in deeds.
When you are good at something, it will be noticeable to the naked eye. You won’t need to use fake methods to attract attention. People will be drawn to working with you. To do this, you need to engage in your professional growth. In addition to training your employees, you should also invest in your training.
You can do the following:
- Attend webinars;
- Develop leadership qualities;
- Keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your industry;
- Make new connections;
- Study new technologies;
- Attract partners, and so on.
Stop focusing on failures
What can slow down your growth is that you constantly think about your failures. Focusing on bad decisions will not help you stay motivated to grow your business. The best method is to analyze failures, but not focus on them. Everything that doesn’t go according to plan is only something that can teach you something good and useful. A period of loss of revenue is just a new way to learn about your company’s weaknesses.
Set new business goals
Maybe you initially chose the wrong path when setting your business goals. You may have set unrealistic goals, making you feel like everything you do is a failure. You should also not set easy goals, since they will not motivate you to new successes.
You shouldn’t just choose your goals at random. When setting them, you should generate ideas on how you will achieve them. Perhaps you should set goals for a shorter period so that achieving them will give you more energy and motivation to move on.
Don’t let revenue loss keep your business from growing
Loss of revenue can lead to suffering and loss of desire to move towards new successes. Experienced business leaders clearly understand that there is no success without failure. When faced with sales problems, you need to understand why they occur. These can be either reasons that depend on you or global crises that you cannot influence in any way.
Either way, you need to maintain a growth mindset. There are a few changes you can make that will freshen up your processes. You can also make drastic changes if you notice that your business needs to move in a new direction.