Navigating the ups and downs of entrepreneurship can be a bit like riding a rollercoaster. One moment, you’re on top of the world, and the next, you’re facing a business plateau. It’s the kind of thing that can leave you scratching your head, especially if you’re running a service-based business. But don’t worry, there’s no need to throw in the towel. Instead, let’s conquer the challenge of dealing with a business plateau with some effective strategies that will get your business back on track. Ready? Alright, let’s dive in!
Welcome back to another episode of the Millennial Mom Movement podcast. Can you guys believe it’s September!?! Enter the burr months (September, October, November, & December) and bring on ALL the fall vibes! September just so happens to be my favorite month of all, well, mostly because it’s my birthday. And, unlike many other adults, I LOVE my birthday. Basically birthday week equals a TON of free stuff and fun surprises for you!!
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Alright, back to the topic at hand. ‘Business plateau’ isn’t a buzzword that often grabs the spotlight, but, in keeping with true Amanda style, let’s light it up because transparency is the secret sauce to success.
If you’ve been running your own show for a bit, you’ve probably noticed that businesses, well, they have their ups and downs, kind of like a rollercoaster. One moment, you’re riding high, and the next, you’re plummeting down. And that’s just how it goes. But, speaking from one business owner to another, this is often the part where the stress starts knocking on the door.
Unless there’s something chaotic happening in the agency, my stress usually comes from the business doing its rollercoaster thing, and me trying to play the superhero, always wanting things to go uphill. But, let’s face it, when you’re on a rollercoaster, up is always followed by a thrilling downhill ride. It’s totally normal, but, hey, I’m human, and emotions come with the territory. So, I decided to do something about it. Yep, I created a smart action plan, not just to keep my emotions in check but also to be ready for these business rollercoasters. This way, I can be less “react-y” and more of a strategic, action-taking superhero because, well, I’ve got a clear plan in place that I created when I was thinking with my logical brain, not my emotions.
Alright, so if you’ve ever experienced a business plateau, first things first, don’t stress. It’s totally par for the course. And if you haven’t hit one yet, well, brace yourself because it’s more of a “when” than an “if” scenario. But before we dive into the strategy behind resuscitating your business and getting it back into forward motion, let’s start with the basics. What exactly is a business plateau?
So, it’s one of those things that can wear many hats, depending on where you are in your business journey. Maybe you’ve got a steady stream of clients but aren’t seeing much growth. Or maybe you’ve experienced a setback, like losing a client last month, but then gaining another. It’s a bit like a seesaw between revenue and stagnation.
It could also signal that your profits are stuck in a rut, either flatlining or even taking a dip. Maybe they’ve been comfortably parked in the same spot for a while, and that’s been a source of frustration. Or maybe your mission has been trying to grow your audience, so you can reach more people, but you’ve been staring at the same audience count for months now, like a digital Groundhog Day.
Your team could also be experiencing a slump, or you might even be feeling a little lost, not quite sure which direction to go. These scenarios can all look a little different from one person to the next.
Over the summer, we intentionally plateaued our business. Yep, you heard that right. We pumped the brakes and decided not to take on any new clients. Well, maybe a few, but only enough to balance out the projects we knew were coming to an end. The result? We found ourselves coasting along, not really shooting up in revenue, but also not really in a downturn.
Now, this might sound a bit crazy, especially in a world that constantly screams “growth, growth, growth!” But trust me, it was both a blessing and a curse. The upside? We suddenly had a lot of extra time on our hands. Our well-oiled team made everything run like clockwork, and that meant more freedom for all of us. However, there’s always a flip side, right? The downside was that our revenue and, consequently, our profitability were pretty much parked in the same spot. But, we had big plans for the fourth quarter, and we needed to be strategic about how we used the money coming in.
Business plateaus are the perfect opportunity for reflection, improvement, and strategic planning. So let’s break down the five strategies we used during our plateau and how they can help breathe new life into your business when you hit those inevitable flat spots.
Upgrade Your Internal Game
A plateau is the perfect time to give your internal systems a thorough checkup. Take a good look at your automations. Could they run even smoother? We asked ourselves questions like, “Are our automations doing what they should?” and “Is there room for improvement?” Sometimes, small changes can make a world of difference.
Then there’s your client onboarding process. Is it smooth and hassle-free? Are there opportunities to make it even more enjoyable? Small surprises can go a long way in boosting your clients’ satisfaction.
Tap Into Client Connections
Don’t underestimate the power of asking your current clients for referrals. If you’ve been wowing them with your services, chances are they’ll be more than happy to recommend you. And hey, there’s no harm in sweetening the deal with a little incentive. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Highlight How You Help
Think about it this way: your audience might not know the whole scoop on what you offer. So, keep them in the loop on all your hangouts – Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube, podcasts, emails, you name it. This isn’t about going all ‘salesy’ on them; it’s just about keeping them in the know. Sometimes, your potential clients don’t realize all the amazing ways you can lend a hand until you lay it out for ’em.
Get Creative with Your Marketing
Got a smaller audience? No biggie! Think about teaming up with some like-minded people. Find those partners whose audience vibes with what you do. These collaborations? They’re like a double win, helping both of you grow your client list. It’s like tapping into a whole new pool of potential clients you might’ve missed out on otherwise.
Focus on the Gain, Not the Gap
Lastly, we’ve got to chat about keeping that positive, growth-oriented mindset. Instead of sweating the gap between where you are and where you want to be, just take a moment to appreciate the progress you’ve already made. Trust that you’ve got what it takes to learn and adapt along the way. And you know what? That confidence and good vibes you put out there will draw in those ideal clients. They’re all about someone who’s on top of their game and radiates assurance.
So there you have it, strategies to navigate and overcome a business plateau. Business plateaus are like pit stops on the entrepreneurial highway. Instead of getting frustrated, think of them as chances to catch your breath and fine-tune your game. Embrace the plateau, use the time to polish up your systems, give your clients a top-notch experience, and gear up for what’s next. It’s all about having the right mindset and strategies in your toolbox to turn these plateaus into stepping stones on your path to long-term success.
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