Is your business feeling ‘hard’ lately?
As in, what was once working is now not so great?
And, what you thought may have been a result from the pandemic, seems to have stuck around for a while and now your business growth has stalled?
Good news is, you can re-invigorate your growth.
First you need to determine what’s going on – why your growth has plateaued.
Growth phase vs Development phase
In truth, there’s two key phases that your business may be in at any one time… and they are equally important because each helps you move forward and reach your next level of growth.
You’ll find your business alternates between a growth phase, or a development phase.
The trick is to learn how to recognise which stage you’re in and then what you should do to get to your next level of growth.
Your growth phase
The growth phase is when your strategy is totally aligned with where in the market you want to be positioned, who you’re wanting to attract and your service offering is exactly what they need.
At this point you’re on the up in all areas, and where you feel like you’re winning.
You’ll know you’re in the growth phase when:
- You’re working more on client service delivery than on new programs
- You’re consistently getting more clients and more revenue
Everybody loves being in the growth stage – it’s where we see our hard work pay off and revenue increase. We feel in the flow, and it’s very motivating!
But when we hit the end of the growth, it all begins to feel hard and we start to question the future.
This is where I see many business owners throw money at ads, in the hope of injecting stimulation.
However, it’s much more likely that your current strategy is simply out of alignment. No amount of budget thrown at ads is going to solve that problem.
So, to continue to grow, you need to begin your next development phase and get your strategy realigned to your “next level” destination.
Your development phase
The development phase is when you’re working on building your business.
This is when you turn your attention back to your business strategy and realign to kickstart your next growth phase.
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes at this time and you won’t be seeing the results straight away. It’s where your resilience and determination are tested to the limits!
You’re in development phase when:
- You’re working more on your business than in it – like developing new services, adjusting existing ones, building new revenue streams
- You’re reviewing your positioning, your target and your pricing
- You’re investing in knowledge, support, systems and resources
Your goal in this phase is to get your strategy aligned so that you reach your new goals and targets without burning out.
This means to generate the higher levels of revenue – without you needing to work more hours.
4 signs your strategy is out of alignment
So now that you understand the difference between the growth and development stages of business, what could be causing your strategy to be out of alignment – and therefore stalling your growth?
Here’s 4 of the common signs:
1. You’ve lost your laser-focused niche.
This is something that’s bound to happen as businesses grow.
It tends to happen organically as you take on new clients (or clients that aren’t the exact fit of your customer avatar), and you end up adding new ways of servicing people based on what they’re asking you to do.
You become a generalist lost in a sea of same-same-but-different providers.
You’ve ended up with a plethora of services that you’re offering, which means your focus is divided in all sorts of different areas and topics, and not all of them are your speciality!
It’s a drain on your energy and resources and it also means that you’ve lost that strong niche identity you’ve worked so hard to develop in the first place.
The first thing you can do is ask yourself what is the niche that you should be in and how are you going to define that for your next phase of growth.
2. You’ve outgrown your offers.
This means that the services you have aren’t the right fit for the next growth phase. You’ve probably maxed out on your time and capacity so you aren’t able to take on new clients – therefore your revenue stalls at your current level.
What got you here, won’t get you there! And now it’s time to reassess what you’re putting out into the world. As your business grows it will naturally mature and evolve. Because of this, you may need to redevelop your services to achieve your next level of growth.
That’s okay, it just means that you’ve evolved to that point where your initial set of services have served their purpose by getting you to where you are now and that’s come to an end.
Remember that when you first started out, you developed your services with a vision to get you to where you are now, so it’s time to take another look at what that is.
Ask yourself, is what I’m offering now able to get me any further? If you’re at that point where you aren’t growing, then you’re likely to answer no.
When this happens, it’s time to revisit who you’re targeting and what services you need to offer them, including your pricing and how you’re packaging up your offers.
If you’re already maxed out with your time, you might take a small hit on your revenue to invest that time into your development phase but that’s ok!
You’re investing in your next growth, not decreasing your revenue.
3. You’re focused on marketing tactics instead of strategy.
Your marketing tactics are your vehicle for how you’re talking to your customers to attract them to your business so you can sell to them… for example posting to social media, emailing your list, implementing SEO on your website and PR.
Your business strategy sits at a level higher than that. That is, who it is that you’re targeting and what you’re going to be selling to them.
Instead of focussing on tactics that keep you on the wheel of busy-ness, focus on your strategy.
If you haven’t done that core strategy work then that’s a sign that you need to do that. Once you’ve nailed it, then you can build your tactical programs for how you build your marketing channels to generate the results you need.
4. You’ve stopped investing in growing your business.
What I mean by this is, you’ve stopped investing in your own self development, whether it be mentors, coaches, or even service providers that can help you to create a new path for growth.
When you’ve stopped investing in yourself, your growth is going to stall because you’re not able to clearly see the way forward.
Seeing your business through someone else’s eyes, or applying a new strategy, is going stop you from stalling, and ultimately give you the confidence to head into your next growth phase. For example, I recently spent 8 months investing in growth. I took a few courses, including working with a coach who offered a big course and program.
I also expanded my knowledge with free education, such as business focused podcasts that I could listen to while running.
The result from this investment was huge, I ended the year with a bang! 300% increase in my annual revenue from the previous year, and in the first month of the new financial year I had already recorded revenue equal to 20% of the last year’s revenue.
And that’s because I invested in the growth that I knew was going to get me to get me there.
Wrapping it all up
Understanding that your business goes through growth and development stages is important to its long-term success.
While seeing growth is an exciting time, it can only happen once you’ve nailed your strategy in the development stage (or, the behind-the-scenes stage of your strategy).
During this time, it’s important to know that because you’re putting energy into building your foundations for your next level of growth, that your outward facing energy may take a dip.
This is perfectly normal.
So, have a think about where you are at right now in your business. Do you feel like your growth has stalled lately and you can’t quite put your finger on why?
It may just mean that you’ve reached your next level of business and need to take time to work on your strategy.
Ready to work on your strategy? Get on the waitlist for the next round of Business JAM
OR, book a 15 minute chat with me to explore your business goals and coaching options.