A slacking business is something that seems to be catching on at the minute. It will most likely seem to be catching on without business owners even realising it. It’s just a stage where a business hits a sort of flat line, nothing seems to be moving forward. Or, it could be going one step further, and the business actually be in a little bit of hot water because profit is dropping. In our opinion, you’re going to want neither one of these to happen to you, especially during a time where it has never been harder for a business to trade. But it might be that you feel like you’re not sure what is causing your business to slack so much, and you’re just not sure what areas of your business need to be improved for things to work out. A lot of businesses are putting their slow period down to the economy, or down to the fact that there’s so much competition, when in fact it could just be that there are a few things wrong with the business. So, we’re going to try and show you some of the slacking areas that we think are commonly found within businesses, how you can change them or avoid them, and hopefully improve the daily running of your business!
You & Your Employees
We wanted to start with this section first, because we know that when thinking about the areas of your business that might not be the strongest, we know that you and your employees will not cross your mind. Well, your employees might, but we know for sure that you’ll still think you’re highly motivated and working hard for the company. But if you think about all of the effort you put into setting up the company, compared to how much effort you’re putting into the one you’re running now, what will the difference be? In the beginning, you would have spent the days working, and the nights researching about how you can make your company the best that it can possibly be. But if you’re now just spending the day at the office dealing with all of the usual day to day management of your business, then you’re not really have that productive vibe that you once used to. Being extra productive and always doing your research and looking for new opportunities, as well as doing your normal day to day tasks, is just one of the ways that you can keep your business alive.
Your employees are a whole new challenge to deal with. You might only have one employee helping you, and it might only be a family member. But that still doesn’t mean that you can’t target them if you know that their level of work is slacking. Your employees will have been brought in to do a job that you can no longer manage doing on your own, so you need someone who is going to put in 110% to the work that they’re doing. So try and make sure that you’re managing it through encouraging hard work. It might be that you’re offering them bonuses when they complete a certain amount of tasks in a month, offering a weekly lunch out. Whatever it has to be to boost morale and get them working harder within your company.
Your Marketing Techniques
Marketing techniques can nearly always be blamed for a slacking business, simply because small businesses either don’t invest enough money into it, or the same techniques are used continuously without switching it around to try something new. It’s pretty much only small businesses who make this mistake, usually because they think their budget will not allow the variety of different techniques, or they haven’t heard about it. So, if you feel like you’ve only been using the same marketing techniques for a while now, it’s time to try out something different. If the only thing you really use at the minute is your social media pages, then there’s definitely time to try something new. You should think about a technique like putting an advert on Youtube videos. It’s so cost effective, can be used over and over again, and the potential to reach such a huge amount of customers is there. Plus, it’s not as expensive or as hard to achieve as TV advertising is, and it might even be more effective. You should also think about trying SEO if you haven’t done already. We no doubt bet that the majority of you reading this are online based businesses that will really benefit from this. SEO works by attempting to improve the rankings of your website in search engines, as well as any of the links that you’d like to boost the appeal of. It is one of the more expensive options that you can go for, but it’s definitely worth trying out if your online presence is not as good.
Poor planning of any company can definitely lead to a time where businesses are slowing down more than pushing for growth. Planning has to be done in so many different areas of your business, and that’s why sometimes it can be harder than others to keep up with. You might have got yourself into a sort of go with the flow mindset, and that’s definitely not the right mindset to be in. So the first area of planning that you need to deal with, is the planning between you and your team. A business is only going to work together if you work with your employees, even if that only be the one. For this, you might benefit from resource scheduling software. This software will allow you to share your schedule with your employees, as well as them update you with theirs. It’s such a more formal and organised way of communicating and planning work around each other. You also need to think about planning in terms of what you’re going to do in the week. If at the start of every week you come up with some form of plan, containing normal business daily tasks as well as a plan to find something new for the business, you’ve always got something there to work towards and to keep you focused.
Poor Financial Management
Poor financial management is definitely something that you need to focus on and bring back up. It’s easy for a business who has hit a flat line with sales to then become worried about poor financial management. As you build your business up, it becomes used to a budget in each area. So a budget for your marketing, a budget for your own wage and your employees wage, and just everything that you’ve designated money to get used to money in that area. So when business starts to calm down a little bit, poor financial can come into play because that budget is not revised, and then a whole new world of problems will come into play because you’re just missing out on more money. So, you need to think about checking your budget all of the time. As your profit fluctuates, you should always make sure that you’re making little cuts to ensure that you have all of the finances that you need, and so that you’re not going into business savings or even borrowing to keep the business afloat.
Lack Of Innovation
Innovation is definitely something that you need in business, and when this slows down, you’ve got a business that’s flat lining in terms of design and creativity. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, whether it be a product or service, you still have to find ways to improve the way that you’re selling them, or at least make them a little different to what they are now. It’s going to be that new product, or that new service that’s going to draw people in, and the only way you’re going to get that is by being innovative. So get thinking about what more you could add to your company that would not only help bring in more money to your brand, but also expand your company. You should also think about the simplistics, and think about ways that you can make your office more interesting to work in. The brighter and more exciting the working environment, the harder people are going to work. Being creative is not always about improving what you’re selling!
Lack Of Communication
Communication is definitely something that we think all business owners need to improve on. The main area is with customers, because customers always seem to bear the brunt of bad communication. Whether it be a delay in the time it takes to hear back from you, or the poor style of communication when you do, your customers will most likely have experienced it all. So, think about the ways your communication methods can be improved. It might simply be able to be done by someone managing your emails everyday, or even just working on the tone of voice being used when responding. Some customers have big complaints with companies who sound so rude on email!