In business, it can be frustrating when your all-time highs turn the newest ceiling to shatter. It’s important to remember that exponential growth isn’t typically sustainable. Plateaus are a natural phase of the business life cycle. That said, if sluggish growth is to blame for your latest flat line graph, there are a few symptoms you can investigate.
Here are five common causes of slow business growth.
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A disregard for your brand image
You probably wouldn’t dream of showing up for a crucial meeting in last night’s sweatpants. That’s because you know that your image matters and that disregarding it is one of the worst things you can do. That said, you might be hurting your brand’s image in ways you don’t even realize are harmful.
A common mistake that many small business owners make is to list their home address as their business address. When customers discover that the address you have listed is a home address, it can lend the impression that your business is an amateur operation. A home-slash-business address isn’t professional, and it doesn’t look good for your brand image.
An easy fix for the home address mistake is investing in a virtual business address from providers like iPostal1. A virtual business address is an actual location that intercepts mail on your behalf and whose address you can use to register your business. That way, you project a professional reputation, and your privacy is secure.
What’s another example of disregarding your brand image? For starters, companies that have let their social media presence go dormant are overlooking their brand image. Consumers and investors like to see that your brand is alive and well, and you can show them that vivacity by posting or blogging regularly.
Maintaining an active social media presence directly impacts your business, which is why you should stay active on multiple platforms regardless of how many followers you have.
In addition to staying active on social media, you should also pursue an aggressive content strategy that involves link building and generating plenty of guest posts. By doing so, you will steadily increase your presence and reach more customers.
Lack of vision
A lack of vision can slow a business because serious growth requires a solid plan.
Without a unifying vision for your business, you won’t be able to create tangible goals. Where do you want the company to go? How fast do you want it to grow, and how do you plan on getting there? If you don’t have a good idea of your future, you’ll be selling yourself short.
You’re unwilling to take risks
There’s no reward without some sort of gamble, and there’s no growth without growing pains. Every great leap forward needs some kind of risk, or else you’re just taking baby steps. After all, risk creates innovation, and even failure teaches lessons you wouldn’t have otherwise learned. If your business growth has been treading water, it may be time to adopt one or two more aggressive strategies.
You completely ignore SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is something that no company should ignore. Without an effective strategy, your business will grow slowly indeed. That’s why it’s so crucial to know the critical parts of SEO.
The more you know about SEO, the higher you can get your website to rank on popular search engines like Google and Bing. The higher your website is in the search rankings, the more exposure you’ll get. Many small business owners overlook SEO, but it’s vital to present your business’s name to your leads.
Inefficient business methods
Nothing kills growth like ineffectual business practices. For example, it’s impractical to maintain hand-written records in today’s uber-online business environment. Going digital increases efficiency, which gives more time and energy for the company to expand.
Conversely, there are ways to slow down business growth on purpose as a means of controlling the value of your company and increasing efficiency. For example, you can make your business more valuable and exclusive by scaling down services. This reduction can make you more efficient as a company by focusing on the core of what you do best and also allow you to increase prices due to exclusivity.
The faster you take action and make adjustments, the faster your stock can shoot for the stars.