Starting a small business is exciting, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. It takes work to build your dream into reality, and sometimes you’ll find yourself working harder than you thought you would or struggling with challenges that your business model isn’t built to handle. If this sounds like you, don’t worry! There are ways to fix these issues and help your business run more smoothly—you just need to know what they are. Here are seven signs that your small business needs a change and tips on how to solve them so you can continue building your dream.
1. Clients Are Asking Questions You Don’t Know the Answers To.
This is bound to happen when you run a small business. When it does, don’t panic; it’s not necessarily time to overhaul your entire operation. But if clients repeatedly come to you with questions that should be easy for them to answer, it could be time for an internal audit. What information do customers need to accomplish their goals? How can they find that information more efficiently? These are some of the questions you might consider asking yourself. You may discover that a website revamp or even just more straightforward language on your website can make all the difference.
It’s also worth considering how tech-savvy people outside your target audience are. Be sure everyone in your organization knows whom you serve and what those customers want from your company. If that sounds like it would be complicated or expensive, there’s good news. In many cases, today’s small businesses already have what they need to reach potential buyers in new ways (such as leveraging social media). And if small-business owners take advantage of emerging technologies early on, there are plenty of rewards to reap down the road.
2. Everyone Is Unhappy.
If nobody in your company is happy, it’s probably time to make some changes. While running your business on a tight budget is essential, you still need to allocate money for employee motivation. Reward your employees and give them plenty of praise when they do something great. Happy employees are productive employees. And good employee morale can only lead to success for your small business. As soon as we stop enjoying what we do, our personal lives start suffering because of how much time we spend at work; that should be our cue to change things. Sometimes it means stepping away from being involved with our business—and other times, it means pivoting what kind of work we do or refocusing entirely on your company’s objectives.
3. Competition Has Changed.
When you started your business, there may have been other businesses in your niche, but most likely, there weren’t as many, and they weren’t as well-established. Thanks to globalization and easy access to information online, it’s much more challenging to stand out. You may not know where you fall in the industry or how to market yourself alongside these new businesses. If you’re interested in discovering new ways to present your business uniquely, check out Moving Forward Small Business’ blog on how to do so using social media!
Stay one step ahead of your competition by identifying their weaknesses and figuring out how to exploit them or change what you do so that they no longer apply. Open your eyes to new possibilities—and new ways for prospects to engage with you.
4. The Way You Work Hasn’t Changed.
New businesses need innovation to function successfully. The same is true of those that have been around for a while: if you’re doing something in 2022 that you did in 2013, there’s likely room for improvement. When was the last time you looked at how you were working and whether or not you could improve? Are all members of your team up-to-date on their skills and experience? Start providing opportunities for your team to advance their skill set.
Hire a consultant who can help point out what needs improving, whether formally or through a personal connection. Entrepreneurs are often too close to their businesses to see their limitations—but that doesn’t mean these problems won’t catch up with them sooner rather than later. Just because you can do everything yourself right now doesn’t mean you should.
5. Technology Has Changed (Or Will Soon Change).
For many business owners, technology can be a scary thing. Having control over your current processes and systems can leave you feeling safe and secure, but it can also result in archaic systems that are no longer viable in today’s market. If you find yourself losing clients and money due to outdated or improper tech, it might be time for an overhaul. Redesigning your website or creating an app is one way of making sure your business stays on top of its game.
Whatever direction you choose, remember to prioritize research and planning; if you don’t have a clear idea of where your company will go with new tech, you may waste time and money pursuing something that won’t work. And, yes, even though you know how important it is to be on social media, it still pays to ask questions before diving into digital marketing. Questions like, what does my audience want? Where do they hang out online? Which tools should I use? Getting answers now could save you from major headaches down the road. And remember, change doesn’t happen overnight. Make sure you pace yourself when looking for ways to improve your small business! It’s imperative that you understand how fast things change – both inside and outside your office. Technology has changed how the public views businesses nowadays, so make sure the view they have of yours is a positive one.
6. Culture is Outdated.
It’s really easy for culture in any organization to become outdated. Nobody has been tasked to update it, nobody cares if it’s out of date, and nobody notices until they stop getting results or running into roadblocks they can’t overcome. When culture within your organization becomes outdated, you need new ideas or concepts injected into it to avoid wasting time on past ideas that are no longer effective.
A good tip is to rotate employees from one department to another regularly; such rotation allows employees to grow as professionals by seeing things from multiple perspectives and understanding how things work. If you find yourself in stagnation, step back and think about what’s keeping everything stuck; change might be exactly what your business needs to get moving again! Remember, nothing stays still forever; we fail to make progress without movement!
7. Everybody Has Cool Jobs, and I Don’t Feel Happy About Mine.
You may be working hard, but you might not see your work as rewarding compared to your friends or colleagues. If you find yourself constantly daydreaming about what other people are doing with their lives and how nice it would be if they had your job instead of you, then the chances are good that your job is not working for you. Make sure you’re happy. Take an honest look at how your career contributes to—or detracts from—your life overall. Once you get some clarity on your concerns, think about ways to make your current situation better: Don’t wait until something drastic happens before course-correcting! Everybody wants to control their destiny; take steps now toward achieving that goal.
One Step at A Time.
Whether you’re feeling stuck in a rut or experiencing roadblocks along your journey, recognize that obstacles mean you’re growing. They may be challenging but persevere. Approach them one step at a time and use your skills and knowledge to overcome each one as it comes. Once you clear them all out of your way, you’ll get closer to success!