Small Business Not Growing? Here’s Why

If the business you’ve started is small, the only way to go from there is up, right? If you put in the work, you’re bound to grow from a tiny seed of an organization to a flourishing one! Unfortunately, it’s just not always that simple. And you might be thinking, “I don’t need (or want) to be the head of a huge corporation, so do I really need to worry that I’m not growing as much as I’d like right now?” Well, here’s the thing: if you’re not growing, you could end up stuck in an uncomfortable spot between being the owner of a very small business and a very large one. Being wedged in there means that you’re probably going to be doing all the work to keep things running, while still not seeing much of a return. So it might be time to examine why you’re stuck where you are, and look for solutions to your problem of stagnant growth.

Going in Without a Plan

empty agenda page in a book
If you do not have a plan, then your business is bound to fail.

When experts tell you you need a solid business strategy, listen. Your business strategy should include a clear set of plans, actions and goals that outlines how your business is going to compete in your market – and it needs to be written down! If you haven’t done this, you’re basically jumping in with a “fire, aim, ready” approach, hoping that you’re somehow going to achieve your goals. 

And speaking of goals, it seems like a lot of small business owners are treating them as simply a buzzword, which can be a huge mistake. According to the Staples National Small Business Survey, 80% of small business owners don’t keep track of their goals! And, you know what, it turns out that, according to some studies, 77% of small business owners fail to achieve their visions. Think those stats might be related? 

The solution, according to a Dominican University study, seems to be writing down your goals and making yourself accountable. In the study, 5 groups of business owners set goals and followed increasingly detailed steps; for example, group 1 only thought about their goals, while group 5 wrote their goals down, rated them, formulated actions, and sent their plans to a supportive friend along with weekly progress reports. The result? 76% of participants in group 5 achieved their goals, or were at least halfway there. 

“Growing” It Alone

We’ve already covered how you should never ignore advice about creating your business strategy and setting goals, but the same goes for any advice that you’ve sought from trusted sources. We get that you’re protective about the way you run your business, but sometimes you need to hear straight talk from someone who’s been there.

And ignoring sound advice isn’t the only problematic way for you to go it alone. There’s a whole community of entrepreneurs out there, all at different stages of their business journeys that you could be speaking to. We’re not saying you have to seek out and fraternize with the competition; what we are saying is that interacting with like-minded business owners in any field can foster creativity, help you identify blind spots, and build self-confidence.

Not Having the Right Team

illustration of two people with graphs in front of them
Having the right team is important in order to grow your business. You can’t do it alone.

Not seeking advice from pros or talking to your peers can hold you back, and so can trying to do all of the day-to-day work of your business alone. You might be a one-man band when you first start your business, but if you want to grow, you’re going to need to hire a team, or at least outsource some of your tasks. No one can do everything – and even if you think you have 25 hours in the day to get everything done, remember that no one can do everything well! You’ll need to set up a process for hiring and training high-quality employees, and you’ll need to be comfortable with making changes in your team as needed along the way.

Lack of Investment

Growing businesses are like cash vacuums. As you grow, you might need to invest in new technology, a bigger space, more employees, or more equipment, and that means constantly finding ways to pump cash into your business. That could mean seeking out more investors, applying for business loans, or using up any cash you have on hand. If that sounds exhausting, well, it can be – and if you choose to jump off that hamster wheel for a while, you could find that the growth of your business slows down.

Cutting Corners

Yes, it’s tough getting the constant flow of cash that your business needs. But that doesn’t mean you should be pinching pennies at every opportunity. For example, hiring inexperienced vendors, not investing in necessary technology, not putting in the resources necessary to hire the right staff, or skimping on health and safety can all come back to bite you, and could end up costing you more in the long run. Instead, try cost-cutting (not corner-cutting!) strategies like negotiating with your landlord or vendors or outsourcing or making some employees remote.

Having the Wrong Attitude Towards Customerswoman with a blue button up with a rude look on her face

Since we’re talking about cutting corners, another thing that should never fall by the wayside is customer support. No customers, no business, right? But it can be easy for them to get lost in the shuffle with all of these other considerations. Make sure that everyone associated with your business always treats customers with respect and never dismisses them as impossible to please. Because you know what? Even “difficult” customers have lots of friends and family, and word can travel fast. Remember, dissatisfied customers will tell between 9 and 15 people about their negative experience!

Ignoring Branding, or Failing to “Look the Part”

One more thing you shouldn’t skimp on? Branding. And that’s not to be confused with a marketing strategy; you need to think about branding your business, or establishing a powerful message surrounding your business, before you can begin spreading that message. Remember, your messaging will determine if your message actually gets seen. You need to have a compelling message that proves to your prospective clients or customers that your product or service is the solution to their problem.

Looking the part goes hand-in-hand with creating the right brand and message. And what do we mean by “looking the part?” Well, think of it this way, if you want prospective clients or customers to take you seriously, you have to project the right image. That means not making your business look amateurish with a poorly designed logo, a low-quality, DIY website, or inactive social media accounts. 

Once you’ve gotten a handle on your brand, then you can begin to implement an effective marketing strategy, which should include social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, and email marketing. 

Undervaluing Your Product or Serviceprice tag on a lap top screen

If you’re afraid of overpricing your products or services, you could end up underpricing them. Sure, when you first start out you might want to competitively price your products or services to attract customers, but as you get more established, you should reflect your know-how, experience, or the quality of your products in your prices. Overcome fear-based pricing; remember, when you declare the value of your products or services, that is the value people believe it has. 

When it comes to small businesses, growth is never a guarantee. It takes hard work, reaching out, and taking risks. It also takes constantly evaluating what you’re doing, recognizing the mistakes you’re making and having the ability to change course. Use the above tips to help you get that critical eye, and move forward towards your goals!

You’re Growing Fast! Now What?

You probably had a lot of dreams for your small business when you started it. Was one of those dreams rapid growth? We can’t blame you: who doesn’t want to see their revenues soar as their vision comes to life? Hopefully that dream is coming true for you! If it is, though, you need to be careful not to fall into certain traps, and see your growth begin to plateau. Rapid growth can be just as much a curse as a blessing for small businesses, so use the following tips to keep yourself on the right track.

person in  a suit pressing a button with the words "grow, learn, explore" next to it
In order to keep up with your rapid success of your business, you will have to examine exactly why it is growing.

1. Examine Why You’re Growing

Ok, you’re excited. Business is booming! But you can’t assume that this influx of customers – and revenue – is going to last forever. You need to take a step back and really examine the reason for your growth. If you don’t, you risk collapsing after the rush.

Why is the risk of failure higher after a period of rapid growth? Because that growth not only means more revenue, but it also means more expenditure. The growth slows down, and you’re stuck with more expenses than you can support. Understanding why you’re suddenly getting so much more business is critical. Knowing this will help you to plan for how much of your product you should have on hand at any one period in time, what your staffing needs will be, as well as the most important thing: when the growth is likely to slow down. 

2. Make Sure Your Customers Are Still Number One

Don’t be blinded by the dollar signs in front of your eyes! What’s the one, most indispensable thing that has gotten you to this point of rapid growth? Your customers! And that means the one thing you absolutely shouldn’t skimp on is customer service. After all, nobody likes being put on hold, shuffled around, or generally being put on the back burner, especially if your customers are used to a high level of service. hand with the pointer finger pressing on the 5th star of a review.

To keep on top of what your customers are thinking, ask for their feedback with surveys, as well as on social media. Believe us, they won’t hold back in cyberspace! It’s best to be proactive when it comes to what you’re customers are saying on social media: remember, according to studies, 47% of people have used social media to complain about a business, 50% of customers will boycott a brand if they get a poor response to a complaint, and a whopping 92% of customers will call you out on your poor customer service. If you start to slack in the customer service department because of your rapid growth, you will most certainly pay the price. 

You might also need to put more resources into your customer support team, which brings us to the following tip.

3. Figure Out What Your Staffing Needs Really Are

Has your rapid growth left you feeling short staffed and scrambling to stay on top of everything? It’s time to reassess your staffing needs and figure out what you really need. That can be tricky, since you don’t want to make the mistake of hiring too many people, because you could end up in trouble if your growth does level off. But not having enough staff could stall your growth or lead you into the trap of not being able to provide enough customer service. 

What to do? First, critically assess your current staff and make sure that their responsibilities are being assigned in a way to meet the increasing workload. Next, consider hiring temps. Not only will this help to keep the cost of hiring down, but it will also give you a good feel for how big of a staff you’ll actually need as you settle into a more leveled off period of growth. Another option is to go with freelancers: they can do tedious work that can be done remotely, like data entry, while you and your permanent staff focus on the bigger picture. 

4. Adaptability Is Key!blocks that says old way with the word new on top of the word old

They say, you can’t grow if you don’t change. We would add to that, you can’t handle that growth if you don’t change. Even if you feel like your way of doing business has brought you to this stage of rapid growth, it would still be a mistake to keep doing things the same way you were before this rush hit. After all, that growth is changing your business, so you need to change with it! 

It’s your job to make the big decisions, so step up and test out different strategies, accept new expenditures if need be, and inspire your team to innovate.

5. Look Outside of Your Business

Nobody does anything completely on their own. It’s ok to ask for help; after all, this is the first time you’re going through this! While we fully advocate for learning from your mistakes, you might not want to take the chance this time and at this critical juncture. Find a mentor who is an experienced entrepreneur, or look for a community of your peers to join. Getting advice from a wiser head or bouncing ideas off of people who have been there and done that can make all the difference.

It’s great that you’re growing so fast, and you should take pride in having brought your small business to this exciting stage. But this period of rapid growth can be full of pitfalls, so watch your step, and don’t lose your head. Be ready to make the big decisions, and we know you’ll come through this volatile period with a stronger business and a bright future.

EZ Puts You First, That’s Why Customers Rate Us #1

Ever work with a company and feel like they are doing the bare minimum? We have been there, which is why EZ.Insure goes out of our way to make sure our customers come first, always. We value your needs before ours, because it is more than just making money. That is why our services are free!

It is all about your journey and experience. EZ aims to help you find the best insurance with the highest rate of savings. How? With a lot of research, our highly trained agents, and a secured site.

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EZ.Insure puts our customer’s needs before our own.

Educated Agents

One of the ways we look out for our customers with the best experience, is by providing educated, trained agents that know their stuff. Our agents know all about the insurance companies and plans within your area. You will receive your very own agent and will not be  bounced around from agent to agent. Your agent will listen to your needs and make sure you get what you are looking for and need. You will not be steered in the wrong direction just so they can make a quick buck. 

You will be provided with the best plan for less. No need for confusion or mistakes, we will take care of you.

It’s All About You

EZ.Insure was solely created to provide for customers like you. We were tired of seeing people get taken advantage of, and scammed. Your needs are important to us, as well as your feedback. We want your experience to be the best, which is why you are provided with your own agent. They will find a custom, form fitting plan that meets your needs. And if there is ever an issue, the agent will make sure to fix it to meet your standards. 

Speaking of standards, your privacy is high on our list. We value your privacy like it is our own. No need to ever worry about other people getting your information, or being hassled by telemarketers. Ever. We secure your information with state-of-the-art technology, so it’s just between you and us. 

coins growing with plants on them.
We promise to help you find the best plan, while saving money.

Our Promise To Our Customers

Our service is focused on each customer and creating an atmosphere of support during your insurance shopping journey. We offer instant results along with our custom service. 

We promise: 

  • To make your shopping experience pleasurable.
  • To find you the best plan that meets your needs.
  • That you will never have telemarketers calling you after using our site.
  • That our services will always be free.
  • Your own personal agent to compare quotes for you.
  • No headaches, no hassles.