Many of the companies I work with have hit a rut. They aren’t growing as quickly as they had hoped or they are suffering from setbacks. It’s a natural part of your company’s growth curve to feel like you are gasping for air at some point in the climb. Applying business CPR may be the very thing you need to get through.
Running a business is like being a plate spinner. Just as you get one plate spinning and move onto another, the first plate is wobbling and dangerously close to falling. It takes a consistent approach to keep everything spinning in the right direction.
Look back and think through what got you to where you are today. What were you doing consistently that you have stopped? Were you regularly reaching out to your customers when you were in need of business, but now that you are busy, you have stopped that practice? Did you meet with your staff on a weekly basis, but the demands of your projects have impacted this important check-in?
It is easy to stop doing a useful and not understand its far-reaching impact until it’s too late.
Building a business takes time and time teaches you how to run your business effectively. Most businesses go through cycles and it is hard to identify those until you have run your company for several years.
Once you identify that you have a lull period, you can build ways to help you breath more easily. My company suffered from peaks and valleys based on our customers’ budget cycles. I created a bonus program that tied our higher revenue quarters to higher compensation for my employees. This reduced my run rate during the leaner times of the year.
It took several years of running the company to identify this pattern. If I hadn’t been patient, I could have misinterpreted the lull as a major problem instead of an event I simply needed to prepare for.
Your company may need additional resources in order to make it to the next level. Do you have good insight into your company’s cash flow? Can you predict when your company will run out of money? Are you on top of your accounts payable and accounts receivable?
I am amazed at the number of company owners I work with who don’t have a good pulse on their company’s cash needs. When running a business, cash is king and if you look to outside resources to help stabilize or grow your company, you will need to be able answer questions about your company’s finances succinctly.
You may also need additional technology or staff to properly deliver your projects and service your customers. Revisit your pricing to make sure you are covering your current costs and you have a margin in place to help your company grow. Pricing driven by your competitor or based on your gut is a sure way to create a gap between your company’s needs and the resources available to fill them.