Owning a business is a rollercoaster ride, to say the least. You’ll experience months of growth and success and then at other times you’ll be in a complete slump. Surviving the low points is difficult. But, just because your company has hit a lull doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Just take a look at Apple. In 1997 the company failed because of its huge product line. But, once Steve Jobs slashed the product line, the company experienced tremendous growth and success. In fact, this year the company exceeded a value of more than $900 billion.
If your company has taken a turn for the worst, don’t be quick to give up just yet. There are plenty of ways to turn your business around and to get back on a path to success and profitability. Here are 5 ways to save a failing business.
- Address the Real Problem
As a business owner, chances are you aren’t too down in the weeds with the day-to-day operations. But, before you can turn the train around, you’ll need to know the true cause behind your business’ downfall. While you may have inklings as to what we wrong, it’s always best to confirm rather than assume. To get the real scoop, ask your employees for anonymous feedback. Go undercover as a customer and get a true feel for the customer service your company provides.
While you may want to blame a faltering economy or a badly timed business move as to why your business has taken a turn for the worst, more often than not it’s an internal issue that’s caused the turmoil. Take the time to dig deep and understand the big picture of what’s going on inside of your company.
- Work with a Business Consultant
While it’s important to get insight from your employees, sometimes advice from an outsider is best. If you’re looking for a truly unbiased opinion about your business, you’ll want to hire a consulting company. A business consultant will take an in-depth look into your company to determine inefficient processes, internal issues, and other factors that may be problematic. More often than not, employees are too close to problems to know how to acknowledge them, better yet how to address them. A quality consulting agency can help with:
- Customer and employee retention issues
- Inefficient business processes
- Marketing and business plans
- Goal setting
- Analysis and metrics reporting
By working with a business consultant, you can implement best practices, improved processes, and a new business plan to get you back on track now and in the future.
- Cut Costs
Funding issues are often part of the cause of a business’ failure. If your business is in trouble, one of the first steps to take is to cut spending and eliminate unnecessary expenditures. Take a day and look through your operating budget.
Get rid of unnecessary costs and find ways to save money on must-have expenses. You may even want to cut redundant positions. By trimming the fat from the budget, you can better position your company financially. Once you’re back on the path to success, you can consider adding in the “nice to have” expenses.
- Reconsider Your Business Model
Overhauling your business plan is a tough task, but sometimes starting from scratch is the best option. What worked years or even months ago may no longer be the best option. As technology advances and marketing trends come and go, it’s important for your business model to reflect these changes. Your business model should be flexible and accommodating of existing needs as well as future ones.
- Rebrand & Remarket
Customer retention and gaining new leads are two of the toughest parts of owning a company. If you’re finding it hard to maintain your customer’s interest, now may be a good time to rebrand and remarket your company.
The key to being successful in today’s highly competitive business world is to know how to connect with your customers in the best ways possible. Take the time to redesign your company’s website. Launch a social media campaign that draws new buzz and interest in your company. You may also want to consider drafting a new slogan, logo, or mission statement and values.
To get quality insight, talk with your customers. Send email surveys and offer responders a coupon or some other incentive. Knowing what’s working and what isn’t working for your customers is a good first step.
The stress of dealing with a failing business can be enough to make you throw in the towel. But, if you believe in your company and the service you offer, you too can make it through this rough patch. By nurturing your business down its lows, you can experience higher highs. If your business is on a downward slope, keep these 5 options in mind for breathing new life into it.
How have you brought your business back from a rut or major hardship? Share your story in the comments.