For many entrepreneurs, it’s not uncommon to experience a period of stagnation after a growth spurt.
Sometimes the market has changed and we haven’t adapted. Other times, new products or services have replaced our offerings and attracted the attention of our customers. It is a pivotal moment for you to make a decision that will determine whether your business will survive or thrive.
Here are three ways to redefine your business.
Define Your “Why”
When you started working on your business, chances are you set out to fill a need in the market.
You may have had an idea to develop a product or service that was better, could be delivered faster, or cheaper to meet existing demand. Perhaps, you were laid off and you became an entrepreneur out of necessity or to remove yourself from the corporate grind, forever.
Now that you’re operating and you have a customer base, you may ask, “What’s the next step?” I’d suggest you list three of your most important professional and personal goals and how you will achieve them through your business. Would you like to improve your community or build wealth for your family?
These things are not mutually exclusive but you want to be clear on what you really want and why you’re building this particular business.
Learn, Unlearn, and Relearn
Business owners wear a lot of hats, especially in the emerging growth stages of their business. You have probably accumulated a broad skillset from previous jobs, freelancing, volunteering, and through self-employment.
One thing is for sure, entrepreneurship demands continuous learning. Whether you’re learning a new software platform to help streamline your business processes or a new way to market to your customers, you need the capacity to acquire new skills.
Warren Buffet reportedly reads 500 pages every day. Taking the time out to learn new ideas, approaches, and technologies can only add value to your business and personal life.
Leverage the data
Your enterprise is one of the best sources of business intelligence. Ask your customers if you are meeting or exceeding their expectations. If not, you’ll have the opportunity to address their concerns and provide better a new customer experience.
If you have employees, the insights that they can provide are invaluable. From your workflows, to pricing, to marketing, their feedback is critical to understanding what works and what needs improvement.
Another source of data, and the most important, is your numbers. It is here that you are going to find out where you stand. When you benchmark your firm against your competitors, are you leading or lagging? Do your margins fall below or exceed your industry averages? By leveraging this data, you can make more informed decisions to push your business into a new growth phase.
Assessing your current position in the market is the first step towards redefining the vision for your business. When you take appropriate actions to move in a new direction, you can reinvigorate your entire business model and create tremendous value for your employees, shareholders, partners, and customers.
(Levar Haffoney is a 2016 Network Journal 40 Under Forty honoree. He is a principal with Fayohne Advisors LLC. You can connect with him at www. fayohne. com, LinkedIn and Facebook.)