As an entrepreneur, putting the grit and sweat into your business and growing into a 6-figure earning business is an incredible milestone to achieve. You had the passion, the business plan, and the competitive pricing model to get you here. Perhaps, you even grew further than you anticipated. But then you find yourself in a strange situation. You have the clients, the sales, and the business is moving- but no growth is happening. Your company is not declining, but you're not closing any new deals. It can be scary for an unseasoned entrepreneur to reach this phase known as a business plateau.
When you're in a business plateau, you experience little to no progress. It's a natural phenomenon and one that triggers an essential question. How can you overcome a business plateau? Here are five key ways to move your business plateau from 6 to 7 figures.
What's a Business Plateau?
Stagnating in business doesn't represent or indicate declining. In fact, stagnation tends to occur when you've attained business maturity- hence the 6 figure returns. However, it's unsettling to watch your business slug. You want to keep things in motion and get to 7 figures. You may be in a business plateau if:
- You're not closing any new deals. The numbers are stable, and the clients are consistent.
- You're struggling to keep up with customer demands or new changes in the market. A good tip is to check your customer complaints. Are they on the rise?
- You feel that you're no longer in control of your business and are trapped in a previous vision for the company.
1. Redo Your Business Plan
Re-writing your business plan helps you re-lay the foundation for the next growth phase of your business.
Your initial business plan works as a blueprint for your business. It guides your business decisions and helps you establish objectives for your operations. However, when you've hit a 6-figure business plateau, it's safe to say that you've achieved your business objectives and should now establish new ones to push you to the next level.
Think about how long it's been since you reaccessed the market to understand your clients, the new competition, and pricing models. The market changes over time, and your initial business plan doesn't capture the changes. Re-writing your business plan helps you recreate the ideal prospect to chase for that 7-figure return.
Revising Your Business Plan
As you revise the business plan, take time to evaluate new market trends. There's a high chance that your product demand has shifted over the years. Perhaps one of your significant products is no longer in demand as you initially thought. Your product may be in high demand in some cases, but you're not reaching the correct production level to satisfy your customer.
With fresh research, updated sales forecasts, and new market and competitive analysis, you can make calculated predictions and plan for your future. You can avoid flying blind and write down what you to get to the next step. As you revise the business plan, you'll also recognize that it's time to make organizational changes. Some roles may be redundant, and others not adequately managed, funded, or staffed.
Before re-writing your business plan, step back and analyze the problems in your business. Note each of them and specifically the departments with the largest share of problems. Once you have a clear understanding of what needs solving, create a plan with effective solutions. Take note of the inefficiencies that cause high turnover, poor billing and invoicing, and manual labor. What are the best practices that align your entire business and reduce inefficient practices?
However, even as you lay out your strategy for the months or years to come, remember to be flexible. The business world changes rapidly, and being able to endure disruption is critical.
2. Get a Team
The one-person mentality is a sure way to remain in the 6-figure bracket.
When you start your business, you have to wear many hats as your struggle to keep everything in check, reduce costs and handle every aspect of your business individually. Indeed, you have a great understanding of your business and can easily switch from one role to the other.
However, as your business expands, it becomes more challenging for you to stay on top of all matters. Tasks as invoicing and billing, tech support, and customer service become challenging to handle alone or with a small team. It's time to let go of perfectionism and delegate. You need team members to perform different roles, cover for you when you're unavailable, and free your time for thought leadership.
Moving to the 7-figure business plateau means embracing your role as the CEO and not the 'Chief of Everything.' Your primary goal is to lead while your employees follow. Let go of the primary functions you're handling in your business, and hire new teammates capable of handling the tasks. You might even find that your new managers and employees are more skilled than you are. Take advantage of these skills and use them to propel your business to 7 figures.
If you have a hard time letting go of a specific role in your business, ask yourself the following:
- How much time do you have to juggle responsibilities? Do you have enough time to meet clients for a meeting, brainstorm, write reports, and oversee new employees while still managing your sales department? Another person has a whole workday to handle some tasks for you.
- Can you risk losing clients due to poor customer experience? Your clients are loyal to you for various reasons, including a competitive pricing model, customer service, feedback, and turnaround time on projects. However, when any of these aspects begin to suffer, customers find new businesses that can satisfy their needs.
- As the CEO and founder of your business, you have the know-how about running a business. However, are you an expert in everything? Maybe you're an adept salesperson but have trouble handling your marketing. Who will keep your marketing in line if you don't have the skill?
3. Find New Ways to Sell
Your current customer base is consistent and reliable. However, they're not going to bring in more sales. If you want to make more money, you need to find new clients and new ways to sell your products and services. The first step is rethinking your sales or business strategy.
You might think to yourself, "Perhaps I should lockdown my sales and marketing efforts because business is doing well."
However, a business plateau is the best moment to increase your marketing and sales efforts. You can afford to take new risks and take up new opportunities while staying afloat. Create a new strategy that eliminates current bottlenecks, leverages your team, and sets you as the main leader to get over $1 million. First, take time to go through your existing numbers.
- What are your past annual sales?
- What are your sales patterns?
- How many customers do you have?
- What are the sales and marketing costs that affect your revenue?
- What ads do your customers respond to?
Once you know where you are, you can focus on moving ahead by revising your sales and marketing strategies.
Re-Evaluate Your Customer
Your customers have likely changed in behavior since your last analysis. Events happening internally and externally change customers and consequently affect the relationship with your business. Perhaps your clients have moved to new locations, but you haven't set up a distributor or delivery line.
Maybe, your clients are now worried about different issues in their lives? How does your product help them solve a problem? How can you change your product or service messaging to empathize with the current prospect and encourage them to trust your business? Be relentless and find new ways to get your customers' attention and engage them.
Challenge Your Customer
You need a strategy that challenges the customer to engage you. Find a new vision that establishes new ways to differentiate your offering from the competition and sell you as essential. Associate your business and brand with strong values that your customers can relate to. Assure your customers that your product and services solve a critical problem in their lives and that every dollar they spend maximizes their value.
Sharing your narrative gives a prospect that final nudge, which is crucial to make more sales. Some people don't know what they need or where to find you. They may not understand what they're buying or how much it costs. When you create a narrative that answers all your customers' questions, they can trust you and purchase from you.
Give Value for Value
First, you need to accept that your customers have changed. Their motivations, purchase decisions, and sales cycles are different. Let go of the idea that you can keep presenting the same product packaged differently, and your customers will accept it. This is not to say that packaging and presentation don't matter. They're essential, but you need to dive into the peaks and valleys of the sales cycle.
You have customers that are buying and others that aren't. Why? Perhaps your current customers have the financial stability to afford your product regularly. Maybe others purchase the product because they understand the value. In that case, what can you do to lure in more prospects? Perhaps it's time to introduce a new package for clients that value your product but have a different purchasing power. What are some of the best practices you can share with your prospects to help them purchase your service?
Build Better Customer Relationships
Whether sales, marketing, accounting, or customer follow-up, all aspects of your business should work towards building improved customer relationships. You need to dig deeper and understand your clients better. Genuine phone calls, emailing, and messaging (with permission) establish a personal connection between your business and customers. Be expeditious in your responses and keep your customers' overall experience fantastic. Follow up on complaints and provide feedback whenever required to show your customer that you're available for them.
Things move fast in the marketing world, and one sure way to lag is to refuse change. You need to rethink your marketing strategy to fit the new 7-figure goal for your business.
Ethical and Inclusive Marketing
Your business may be missing out on a significant customer segment because your marketing strategy doesn't cater to them. Do you know what barriers some of your customers face to access your marketing? Things such as videos with excellent audio quality and captions are essential to ensure information access for all people.
Look at the pictures and images you publish with your works. Do the pictures represent your diverse clients? If not, it's time to look into acquiring new photos to market your brand. Take time and analyze your business brand, vision, mission, and content. Are the words inclusive?
Remember that you're also expected to be truthful through your marketing. Be transparent about your products and services, including the terms and pricing.
Revise Your Customer Segments
Your marketing needs to reach the consumer that needs it. As such, it's important to realign your market according to the latest customer insights. What are their behavioral patterns, motivations, and purchase powers? Do they want personalized communication? What kind of complementary services should you be providing? What is your customer persona?
Invest in Your Tech and Digital Platforms
You can never go wrong in improving your digital marketing strategy. Your customers are online, and you need to be there too. Find out where your prospects spend most of their time and gather knowledge. Suppose your leads turn to website research before making a purchase decision. In that case, your website needs to provide an excellent user experience across multiple devices and provide all the information they need. If your customers engage you on Facebook, your business page needs to be accurate and reliable. It would be best to have a social media manager and customer care representatives handling clients coming in from your active social media platforms.
You may be tempted to invest in all types of digital marketing to push your business. However, it's better to improve the channels that are working. For example, if your customers respond to social media ads, improve them and have a call to action that converts sales.
5. Invest in Technology
Technology is part of the world we live in, and investing is essential to move forward. Investing in the best tech for your business can help you lower costs, reduce manual labor, streamline business operations, and scale your business at a fraction of the cost.
Invest in software that helps your business automate operations such as data collection and management, sales and marketing, accounting and finance, and overall organizational management. Automation not only reduces your workload but also provides greater accountability. Better technology also improves communication inside and outside the organization. When all your employees are on the same page, you can better align your goals and reach 7 figures on your business plateau.
Investing in the latest information technologies also boosts your cybersecurity. In the current business world, you cannot afford to ignore your online security. You need to secure all your digital assets to ensure that once you reach that 7- figure business plateau goal. You won't get derailed by a debilitating cyber-attack.
Better technology also gives you a competitive advantage and enables you to provide a better customer experience. Clients expect prompt communication due to high device use and excellent internet services. You can't secure more clients if your clients are struggling to reach you online.
Lastly, technology helps you analyze your data and become adaptable and reliable. Thanks to advanced data analysis, you can predict your business patterns and make data-based decisions. You can take calculated risks to get to 7 figures.
6. Be a Leader
As the CEO, it's time to invest in your leadership knowledge. A mentor, a coach, and business lessons are excellent at this stage. Attend business webinars and learn from those that came before you. How did they move from 6 to 7 figures? How did they successfully scale their business and acquire new leads? What are the billion-dollar firms doing that you aren't doing?
Seek out people that have walked the entrepreneurship path and have them on your board of directors. These people will advise you and put you in the right mindset for success. They'll push you beyond your imagination and re-energize you.
Invest in your personal skillset. How you talk, dress, and address others ultimately affects your success. Put your personal life in order, and you'll find it easier to show up every day and keep pushing. Remember that your leadership affects employee motivation and productivity. Bring you're A-game to keep your employees inspired and focused on the goal.
Show up for meetings, find out what's happening in your business, read the reports, and know the numbers. Be respectful and diligent to cultivate similar values among your employees and shape the business culture.
If you're attentive to your business, you'll have an easier time being a decision-maker. Combine your leadership knowledge and information to take the next risk and secure new deals.
If you're ready to move from 6 to 7 figures, you have to make changes about your business plateau now. Join the Bold CEO Deal Flow Accelerator and move your business to the next phase.