Nothing is more disturbing and challenging to an entrepreneur than a business that has stagnated.
It is terrible to wake up every morning feeling as if you were running on a trend mill — lots of sweat but no movement.
Those are times when failure seems imminent and there are enough reasons to quit.
Well, many successful entrepreneurs have experienced this predicament at some point in their business growth. How they react, the advice they get and options available determine survival.
Those with plan B often don’t survive. They chose the easier path and quit
Those who have no option usually survive to see the next dawn.
This is precisely why in business it is not advisable to accept quitting as an option.
You can change tactics, model or business line but never quit.
After all it is enterprises that fail; entrepreneurs never fail.
Challenges often provide opportunities to do things differently and succeed.
Apparently insurmountable challenges and failure toughen and sharpen entrepreneurs for greater things ahead. But to benefit you must know how to react to it.
In tough situations there are certain things that are essential for your turnaround strategy.
KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON
It is surprising but true that most people in business are unaware of what is happening.
They just know that times are hard, sales are low or customers are disappearing not the reason behind these trends.
Whenever things deviate from the normal it is time to find out why.
If your body behaves abnormally you consult a doctor. Likewise, if things are not going according to your plan establish the cause. In pursuit of the answer, be objective. Try to separate yourself from the business and seek the truth.
In most cases you could be the problem. If the business’ failure is due to your management weaknesses or irresponsible handling of cash, even if you started another business it will suffer the same fate.
Secondly, invest in your employees. Get the right employees and transform them into a big asset.
Ensure your employees understand your business model, they are well trained and their heart is with you.
If you have a bunch of job seekers hanging around as they try to find employment elsewhere, you are in trouble.
Nothing turns around a business faster than having a dedicated team whose members commit themselves to its success.
Thirdly, understand your customers. It is said that one of the core ingredients of business’ success is passion.
However, this does not put customer needs second. You must provide what your customers want, not what you are passionate about.
You must align your passion with customer needs and not the other way round.
Businesses exist to offer services that resonate with customers.
Your business survival depends on knowing and giving customers what they need.
The secret is to invest in an extensive and encompassing market research before producing a product.
If you get it right at this stage and align your product model and marketing plan to suit customers’ demand, you hit the bull’s-eye.
Mr Kiunga is a business trainer and author of ‘The Art of Entrepreneurship: Strategies to Succeed in a Competitive Market’. [email protected]