Want to know what is more frustrating than negative business growth?
It's hitting a business growth plateau!
If you're currently sitting at the foot of a plateau, then you understand why.
Hitting a business plateau is commonly unexplainable, comes on fast, and is often aggravating enough to make people want to drop kick something. In fact, many entrepreneurs are working their very hardest right when they hit a plateau!
It often leaves business owners feeling helpless and like they are in a fog (to say the least)!
If you're one of the many entrepreneurs fed up with sitting at a plateau when you know your business has so much potential, know that we are here to help!
We are sharing 10 simple tips to help you get over a business plateau and get growth back on the upswing.
Whether you are a large or small business owner, or how long you've been sitting at a plateau, implementing at least one of these tips will do you well.
No more feeling like you are in the middle of a dense fog. Get clarity on your business, overcome the plateau, and live up to your full potential today!
What is a Business Plateau?
Also known as a business growth plateau, a business plateau occurs when business growth stagnates.
While there are different kinds of business stagnation, by far the most common one is a stagnation of sales growth.
By that, we mean that you stop making more and more sales from week to week. Instead, you start to flatline.
On the journey of entrepreneurship, almost every business owner will experience stagnating growth.
And, while it can define one of the most frustrating and challenging phases in their career, it can also be one of the most rewarding and beneficial!
That being said, the key to overcoming a plateau isn't necessarily to work harder. Instead, it's about using simple, straightforward tactics that have been proven to work, time and time again.
Here are the 10 Best Ways to Get Over a Business Growth Plateau
Hitting a business growth plateau sucks.
But, the good news is that you can restore your same level of growth prior to the plateau, or even elevate it, by making simple changes to your business.
Here are 10 of the best, most simple ways to overcome a business plateau!
1. Revisit Your Vision Statement
If you want to take your business forward to the next level, you need to begin the process by looking back at your past.
More specifically, you need to look back on your company's vision statement.
Think back to the day you first decided to jump off the cliff and take the risk of becoming a business owner.
What motivated you?
What internal pull to make a difference in the world did you have that was so strong it made you want to take an external leap of faith?
Whatever it was, that motivating factor to serve people is more powerful than you probably understand!
Unfortunately though, when business owners get their wheels turning and growth starts heating up, they often lose sight of that service-oriented vision.
All of a sudden, their days are crammed with meetings and phone calls that they no longer have service at the forefront of their mind.
Before they know it, their business begins to plateau because it's no longer functioning to serve others. Instead of being fixated on that vision rooted in service, they become fixated on the pointless day to day crud of business.
To put it simply... When you're not focused on the service-oriented vision, it's easy to plateau because your focus shifts from making a difference to simply making money or getting by.
While that may work for a little while, it can't forever. Because, when your focus shifts out of being service-oriented, so do your business operations.
And no business ever succeeds in the long term when it isn't operating from a service-oriented perspective!
Therefore, the first place to begin is to reflect on your company's vision.
Think about what motivated you to begin in the first place, and ask yourself whether your business model has shifted from being one of service to one of self-service.
Then, make the necessary internal shift back to one of service. Follow that up by making external changes in your business model.
Changing your perspective can make all the difference in getting out of a period of stagnation.
2. Craft a New Business Plan to Fit Your New, Higher Level
Here's the thing: If you've reached a business plateau, then it's proof that you are capable of achieving business growth. Because, every plateau is preceded by a growth phase.
However, perhaps the business plan that helped set you up on that initial path of growth is no longer viable.
Maybe you've grown out of your start-up phase and your original business plan no longer supports the new size of your company.
Or, maybe the business landscape within your market has recently changed. Perhaps new competition has entered the market, or your pricing model no longer fits customer's needs.
As a result, trying to apply your old business plan to your new conditions doesn't work out and you hit a sales plateau!
With that being said, consider updating your business plan to fit the new level that you've reached. You need to establish new objectives for operations to help keep your business growing at that new level.
By doing so, you will have a new blueprint to keep growth going into the future.
In short: Trying to use old objectives that worked when your company was smaller won't work the same way once you've reached a new, higher level!
What helped you initially grow in the past will not help you sustain that growth in the present.
3. Try New Sales Outreach Tactics to Gain New Customers
At the root of almost every business plateau is slowing sales growth.
Therefore, a potentially simple solution to your plateau is to simply make the shift to using more effective sales outreach tactics.
And, we're not saying to completely eliminate tactics like cold calling and cold emailing from your business strategy. Instead, we're saying that you should simply take those tactics to the next level.
What's the best way to take cold calling and emailing to the next level to break through a plateau?
Consider trying the ultimate 1-minute cold emailing strategy that works almost every time.
If you follow this strategy, you will reach through to more new customers in less time!
Trying out new sales outreach tactics is the most obvious change you can make to break out of a plateau. Give it a try in your own business to see just what it can do!
4. Check Out New Markets
Another one of the most obvious changes you can make to overcome a business plateau is checking out new opportunities in new markets.
Perhaps you've underestimated the power of your business solution to be effective in other markets.
Or, maybe your current target marketing just isn't the perfect group of people for your business solution.
A good sign that you need to check out opportunities in new markets is that your conversion rates are lower than what they should be, or your lead generation process is a major stumbling point.
If either of these sound like you, then consider getting together with your marketing team to redraw who your target market is.
Sit down and ask one another if either:
- There is a group of people out there who could use your solution but isn't getting it
- The people you're currently trying to sell to aren't the perfect fit for the solution
The goal is to come up with a new picture of who your perfect sales lead is.
Once you know who that perfect lead is, it's easier to sell to them.
As a result, you will break out of that seemingly never-ending plateau.
5. Empower Your Team Members With Sales Training
Here's a big question... Have you ever seriously asked yourself why the broader education system fails so many people who have so much potential?
While there are many possible answers and there's probably more than one right answer, one that we keep coming back to is this... The way we 'educate' ourselves these days is more about teaching people what to think instead of teaching them how to think.
As a result, you end up with a lot of people who have a lot of knowledge but don't know how to apply that knowledge.
The same can be said for many entrepreneurs and salespeople!
While they may be very educated, applying that education to real life scenarios is a serious challenge that often leads to business plateaus.
So, what's the solution to this education gap?
The solution to the poor education system is to go from teaching salespeople and business owners factual information to empowering them with tools to know how to solve problems.
The key word here is empowerment.
Empowerment is what really unleashes someone's potential! When someone is empowered, they may not have all the answers to a problem, but nonetheless figure out how to overcome it because they are equipped with problem-solving tools.
With that being said, you might be hitting a business plateau thanks to a lack of sales education.
Therefore, the solution is to empower your salespeople with knowledge on how to think for themselves and solve problems.
And, we're not talking about just a simple webinar or online course. We're talking about a full-out sales training program centered around empowerment.
Again, you can have all the knowledge in the world, but it means nothing unless you know what to do with it. Is your sales team empowered to help you dig out your plateauing business?
6. Invest in New Technology
Like we mentioned above, plateaus usually occur almost immediately after a period of rapid growth.
In some cases, business owners hit a growth phase that is greater than what they originally anticipated it to be.
As a result, they run out of resources to help sustain that growth rate, and resultantly find themselves at a plateau.
In short: If you're coming off of a growth phase, then, congrats! You've successfully scaled your business up a notch. However, you now need to invest in additional resources to support the larger size of your company.
If this situation sounds like it could be happening in your business, then you should consider making investments in new resources.
More specifically, technology resources that assist you with optimization and automation.
By doing so, you can quickly restore a high level of growth!
7. Change Your Sales Strategy to Make Prospects Feel Good
Quick! Answer this question... Think about the most memorable person you've ever met... What was it about them that made them so captivating?
Was it what they said/did? Or, was it the way in which they said/did something?
More likely than not, it was the way in which they said or did something that made them so memorable.
This comes down to the fact that, memorability and ultimately sales success is most significantly impacted by the way that you make your prospects feel. Make them feel bad or give them no feeling at all, and they're unlikely to remember you, and choose you for their solution.
On the other hand, make them feel good about themselves, and they'll always have you at the forefront of their mind!
That being said, one grave mistake that often leads to a sales plateau is using a sales strategy that isn't honing in on making the prospects feel good about themselves.
Therefore, if you're sitting at a plateau, consider changing up your entire sales strategy to be one of making your prospects feel good about themselves.
If you can do that, then expect to get back to a growth phase!
Bonus tip: Want to make prospects feel good about themselves during the sales process? Take advantage of top sales psychology tips!
8. Simplify Your Marketing Strategy
Unfortunately, when businesses start to grow, their marketing strategies often become ambiguous and over-complicated.
By that, we mean that their marketing content stops clearly portraying their primary business solution.
Why does this happen?
A lot of times, marketers get the sense that, if they make their marketing more grand and exciting, it will be more effective and lead to even higher levels of growth.
However, it only ends up being overly complicated and not resonating with their potential customers.
The truth is that, the more overzealous you try to make your marketing, the less effective it usually becomes!
Because, the more zeal there is, the less likely your target market is to know exactly what it is that you are selling! Instead of making the marketing all about the product or service, marketing teams make it all about zeal.
In the end, this waters down the effectiveness of the message and leads to a business plateau.
If this sounds like it could be the culprit for your plateau, the simple solution is to pull back on your marketing efforts.
Clarify your messaging so that prospects are able to look at your marketing content and know exactly who you are, what you sell, and what makes you special!
Always remember that, just because something looks complicated doesn't mean that it is effective. And, that is especially true for marketing.
9. Get Referrals From Your Customer Base
Sometimes getting out of a business plateau has little to do with looking on the outside for answers and everything to do with looking at what you already have.
Perhaps the greatest example of that is turning to your current customer base for help by asking them for referrals!
Now, you might be saying to yourself... Is it really appropriate to reach out to your clients for help?
And, the answer is that it's absolutely okay!
Always remember that when you are working with clients, you're not just there to give them what they want and then walk away. Rather, you're supposed to be fostering a relationship with them!
What makes a relationship work is when both parties have their needs fulfilled. In your case, that's both getting the financial reward AND referrals if you so wish.
However, you'll only get referrals if you ask for them.
Therefore, when you hit a business plateau, check your relationships with your current customers. Have you been fulfilling your half of the relationship so that you can reach out and ask for referrals in return?
If your answer is yes, then go ahead and ask for any potential connections they may have.
Your existing clients can be the thing that helps cannonpult you out of the plateau and back to growth.
10. Step Up As a Business Owner
What is the biggest difference between an entrepreneur and an employee?
While there are certainly many differences, the biggest one is that the entrepreneur takes full accountability for the state of their business, while the employee does not.
Whether things are going uphill or the opposite, they take full ownership of the state of their company.
With that being said, if you're a business owner standing at the foot of a plateau, the WORST thing you can do is push the blame on your employees or some other factor.
At the end of the day, it's your business and you must take accountability for it if you want to see it improve.
While it might be extremely challenging for you to completely own up to the state of your stagnating business, doing so actually empowers you to improve!
Think of it like this... When you say 'I take responsibility for what's happening', you're putting yourself in control of your growth.
On the flip side, when you say 'It's not my fault, but their fault!', you've minimized yourself to that of a victim who is at the mercy of factors out of their control.
Furthermore, while it might sting a bit, you must step up as a business owner and be accountable for the state of your company.
Only after doing so will you be able to make the necessary strategic or organizational changes required to move forward.
Final Thoughts on Overcoming a Business Growth Plateau
Now that you know how to overcome your business growth plateau, the question is... Are you going to let your short term plateau turn into a long term one? Or, are you going to step up as a business owner and do what's necessary to get back on track?
Overcoming the plateau is all in your hands!
Just because you are in the fog right now doesn't mean that you need to stay there.
Keep going while implementing our tips, and you will see business growth begin to climb again!