5 Things That Can Threaten Your Business Growth

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If you have embarked on a growth journey in your business it is important that you pay attention to the details and foolproof your plan, or you will face difficulties and spend all your resources and energy on putting out fires, instead of putting systems in place. Below you will find a few things that can threaten your business growth.

1. Industry Changes

No matter how good your business plan is, and how well it looks on paper, it is crucial that you test it in real conditions and the current market. If you are facing industry changes, or the priorities of your customers, your perfect business idea might fail. It is crucial that you keep an eye on your ideal client and change your approach according to their needs. Doing surveys and market research before launching can be a great way of making your plans bulletproof.

2. Competition

It is not enough to understand what your target market wants; you have to find a way to stand out from the competition and differentiate yourself in the market. You will need to identify a strong USP for your business that you can communicate through your social media and website content. After all, it is not what you sell, but the value you offer than matters to your potential clients. If you fail to research your competition, your offers will get lost in the white noise.

3. Regulations

Regulations are an important factor when it comes to carrying out any type of business. You should ensure that you are aware of the current and pending regulations, so new laws cannot put you out of business. For example, if you are planning on creating a new product, you will have to get it first approved and tested for safety in some industries, or you can be liable for any damage to the customer.

4. Reputation Damage

Many business owners make a mistake when creating a growth plan ignoring their existing customers. If you are planning on managing a rapid growth with success, it is crucial that you maintain the quality of service you are providing for your existing clients and the increase in volume doesn’t cause lower value or accuracy. When your reputation is damaged, you will not only reduce your chances of getting new clients, but your existing customers might leave you, too.

5. Unexpected Expenses

A reputational damage is often followed by financial loss, and if you don’t follow the regulations, you will even face financial penalties. Likewise, failing to deliver health and safety training, or ensuring that your vehicles and drivers are safe on the road can jeopardize your cash flow. Just imagine if one of your drivers was involved in a commercial truck accident and you had to pay compensation for the damage, how would your growth plan suffer?

There are plenty of ways you can ensure that your growth plan is not affected by things that are predictable or preventable. Take precautions and test your strategy on real life business scenarios.

Unexpected Things That Can Derail Business Success

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You’d hope that if you just have a good idea, work hard, and have a pinch of luck, then your business triumph is assured. Alas, this is not the case. While these things will guide you towards success, there’s no guarantee that you’ll experience long-term success. This is because there are many things that can derail your path towards glory. Some of them are within your control, while some are beyond your control. Below, we take a look at a number of somewhat unexpected aspects that can derail your company’s upward trajectory, as well as offer some advice on how you can prevent them from happening and handle them if they do.

Personal Issues

They say you should keep your personal life and professional life separate, but it can’t always happen this way. It can be relatively straightforward to leave your working side at the office, but keeping home problems from interfering with your work? That’s easier said than done. If you’re going through a rough emotional time, then you won’t be able to push through and work extra hard; it’ll be a case of taking care of what needs to be done, and waiting for your energy to return before taking on more tasks. If you have a personal crisis, such as being arrested for a DUI or something, then there’s no way that won’t impact your business in one way or another. The trick is just to limit the damage it can do.

A New Competitor

Everything might be going swimmingly. Business is growing, demand is high, and things are all-around looking rosy. But there’ll soon be a problem if a competitor moves in on your turf. Your profits will take a hit, there’s no doubt about it; but will it be a significant dip, or a manageable one? When a competitor moves in, it’s important to carry on doing what you’ve always done. If people loved you before, they’ll be happy to carry on supporting you even though there’s another option for them. If it’s a giant corporation who has opened up nearby, play up your small local business credentials. People are more likely to support an independent business rather than a big business than they were in the past!

Hiring the Wrong Person

Your staff is the bedrock of your success. You’re an important figure, for sure, but you’re only one person: your staff is a team, and when they all work together well, your business runs smoothly. When they don’t, the good times can be hard to find. While it shouldn’t necessarily be this way, one bad employee can have a hugely detrimental effect on the team’s success. Morale can drop. Communication can break down. As such, it’s important that you’re hiring the right person always. Easier said than done? Maybe, but you can increase your chances of success by developing a robust hiring policy. If you follow the guidelines that you yourself have established, you’ll be less likely to end up with a dud of an employee who brings everyone down.

Staff Leaving Abruptly

Hiring the wrong person can be damaging; losing your best employees can be even worse. You’ll have created a system that depends on your employees delivering their best work. If one or more of them suddenly leave, then it’s going to be difficult to get back up to the standards you were operating at before. There are a few things you can do to reduce the chances of this happening, however. For starters, you can treat your employees well; that means offering them a platform to grow professionally, and paying them well. You can also ask them to give you plenty of notice if they want to leave, so you have time to find a suitable replacement.

The Elements

It’s not just what happens inside your business premises that affects your success; what takes place outside has an impact too. Take the elements. After a heavy rainstorm, you could arrive at work only to discover that the place is flooded. On that day, you won’t be able to work, and you may have lost important documents and infrastructure that were critical to your success. Now, you can’t control the weather, but you can control how you prepare for severe weather. Start by working with waterproofing specialists so that your offices are unaffected by heavy rainfall. You can also keep any important documents and electrical equipment stored away in a waterproof container, especially when you know that there’s a lot of rain on the way.

Suppliers In Difficult

You’re not trying to succeed in business all on your own. You’ll be working with other businesses as you try to build your empire. If one of these companies falls into difficulties and has to stop trading, you could find yourself without the goods and services you need to operate.

Changing Moods

The world is ever in flux. What is current and relevant today could be obsolete in years to come. There really are no guarantees! Your business may be popular now, but what is the world moves on? If some of the world’s biggest corporations can be left behind, then so can your small business. The best way to prepare is to keep an eye on trends, and to not take anything for granted. If it seems like the tide is beginning to turn, then refocus your energies. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to have an open mindset about where you’ll be taking your business, rather than having a clear, unalterable vision.

Final Thoughts

Life is full of surprises; that’s what makes it so exciting. Alas, not all of these surprises can be good. Sometimes, you’ll be hit by something that causes your operations to stutter, or perhaps pause altogether. If you’re unprepared for them and they occur, then don’t panic. It might not be an ideal situation, but keep the bigger picture in mind: this is just a blip on what will hopefully be a long and prosperous journey with your venture.

The Best In The Business: How To Leave The Competition In Your Tracks

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Achieving success in business often boils down to being able to beat the competition. No matter what kind of company you run, you’re always going to encounter rivals who want to poach your existing customers and entice new clients. If you’re eager to be the best in the business, here are some golden rules to follow.

Make sure you have a USP

As a business owner, you’re always going to be competing for trade. There are no industries out there where it’s possible to launch a venture and dominate the market straight away. You have to work hard to attract clients and be able to persuade them that you’re different to every other firm out there. Whether you’re selling a product or you offer services, it’s essential to have a USP. What is that makes you stand out in a crowd? What can you offer that your competitors can’t? Why should potential customers choose you? Perhaps your product works in a different way, or maybe you offer a personalized service that others don’t, for example. Once you’re confident about your USP, up-sell it at every available opportunity. You want people to form a positive association between your USP and your brand.

Move with the times

Business is an ever-evolving field, and to compete, you have to be able to move with the times. Perhaps you have a consulting business, and you need to be familiar with the latest business software, or you own a construction company, and you could invest in more sophisticated equipment such as a trailer with increased belly dump capacity. Maybe you’re the CEO of a clothing chain, and you haven’t yet developed a mobile-friendly site or an app, or perhaps you own a restaurant that doesn’t accept mobile payments or online bookings yet. There are always ways of modernizing the way you work to reduce costs and improve the customer experience. Be prepared to invest in technology and machinery and respond to emerging consumer trends.

Put your customers first

Even if you think you’ve got the most magnificent business idea out there, you’re not going to make it a success if you can’t put your customers first. A customer in a store may love the products, but they might not visit again if the service is poor. An online shopper may want to buy products from you, but if the experience is frustrating or the fees are too high, they may look elsewhere. You have to focus on giving customers what they want, and you can do this by analyzing trends, asking for feedback and providing opportunities to engage with customers and ask them questions. How do shoppers want to be contacted about special offers? What kind of charge do they feel is reasonable for delivery? How do they feel you could improve the service you provide?

If you’re an entrepreneur, you probably dream of running a company that dominates the market. You want people to be aware of your brand and to sing its praises. It’s not easy to beat the competition, but if you can’t do this, you’re not going to reach the top of that tree. Be original, showcase your USP and be prepared to adjust and modify your business plan to stay relevant. Put your customers first, listen to them, and focus on providing the best experience possible.