Setting Up Your Business To Grow To The Next Level
- April 12, 2022
- Posted by: admin
- Categories: Business plans, Business Strategy
Businesses all experience periods of rapid growth, a downturn in sales, and periods of stagnant results during which the business delivers a consistent but perhaps unremarkable return on marketing and sales efforts.
For some, a period of stagnant activity could mean a strategic change of direction or a period of investment and growth. Both internal and external factors could be contributing to what’s occurring.
The good thing is, smaller companies are generally better positioned to take quicker action to turn any flatline into an upwards line.
Spring-boarding up and away from these points of fall is essential to keep growing, so in this article we’re sharing how you can identify possible stagnant results before they happen and how to prepare and overcome it.
Identifying & Overcoming Stagnant Periods
Marketing & Lead Generation
The first sign of flatlining is right at the top of the funnel – the marketing activity and incoming / warm leads.
Whether you are an e-comms or online sales-based business with people on your website looking at your products, or you’re a service-based business connecting via email, digital marketing, networking or other lead generation outreach strategies, this activity right at the top of the funnel is where the first signs of flatlining are usually found.
If your marketing data shows a drop in either the number or quality of enquiries, this is where to look first.
The goal here is to have a consistent stream of warm leads at any one time, maximising your entire funnel and sales streams.
The second sign, impacted by the first, is no increase in sales – or fewer sales.
If your sales data shows a flatline, look at where the drop is coming from. Could it be a technical issue or a user experience issue on your website so fewer people are checking out? Could it be that you have regular customers, but no new ones? Is it that the product is no longer selling at the same pace? Is it that your product is right, but it’s visible to the wrong audience or prospects?
The goal here is to strengthen and optimise as much as possible the sales pipeline, sale to close and time to close rates.
By collecting feedback and data through the sales process it helps to better understand customer needs which in turn strengthens sales operations by feeding that insight back into business strategy.
This helps to diversify offerings so you build a suite of market-proven products or services that sell consistently, reducing the risk of having just 1 stream of revenue or multiple streams that cost just as much to manage operationally as they make in net profit.
Productivity & Efficiency
Flatlining applies to all areas of business and that includes the team, suppliers and providers, too. In a domino effect, low productivity or efficiency for any reason will in turn have a knock-on effect on incoming revenue, just as a drop in revenue can have a knock-on effect on how people feel in their roles.
Flatlining often comes with pressure and worry – but the important thing to remember here is that when a business is in a fall stage, there are things you can do on any budget to turn things around and try new strategies and tactics to get those revenue figures back up again.
The goal here is to maintain a connection between people and business, so when things drop, the team is on hand and ready to move forward together.
This can be done through channels like daily key stats and data updates in a stand up meet, a dedicated slack channel update, or weekly team meetings. This goes across the entire business so everyone is connected to the same goal, not just the sales and management teams.
Likewise for any new team members, incorporating an onboarding process then enables them to integrate into the team, culture and business smoothly, along with the training information they need to hit the ground running and flourish in their new role. A process for onboarding suppliers and providers also helps to improve project speed, accuracy and quality, too.
Keep investing in new software, new processes and reviewing competition for new activities.
What is working for business, customers and staff today may not work in the future, so stay developing and innovating alongside technologies, solutions and consumer trends. Innovation is essential to break through stagnant periods and to keep business development in motion.
The goal here is to mitigate against any deterioration of competitive strength by staying ahead of the curve and holding a competitive advantage that keeps the business growing and evolving.
If you’re unclear about the right data to track to get the numbers you need to tackle business flatlining, here’s our Essential Money Metrics guide with 9 money metrics to track for a scaling business.
Need expert advice?
Nuvem9 are more than accountants. We understand that finance is the lifeline in a business and our goal is to look after your lifeline and your business growth.
Get in touch to speak with a Chartered Accountant or Senior Advisor about your business goals and your cash and finance challenges.