Times change and businesses need to change with them, but change only works if you have an up-to-date business plan. So, where do you start, and how do you know what part of your business needs changing?
The good news is, change doesn't mean that you have to start again. Instead, it's about looking at your business and deciding what is out-of-date, what needs tweaking and what can you do differently?
To get to the bottom of the issue, you need to approach your business objectively from the day it performed well and compare its performance to your current situation. The problem might quickly become apparent, but if not, here is a list of key areas to get you started.
Step 1 - Pinpoint the problem
If your business isn't performing as well as you would like, it could result from several causes. First, your competition may have changed. Maybe an existing player has stepped up their game, or a larger competitor has entered the market. Or perhaps what you offer no longer meets your customers need.
Research who and what is happening in the market and figure out what has changed. See if any trends are driving the market. Your job is to become an expert in your market and your position in that market. If it isn't your market position that is the problem, it may be:
- your pricing
- what you offer
- your customer service
- your target market
You need to figure out where you can make improvements before you make a change. But whatever you do, don't make any changes without doing the research first. If you do, it will simply slow your business down and cause more significant confusion.
Step 2 - Research your competition
I touched on this in the first step but can't stress how crucial this step is for your business; you need to research your competition regularly. Players enter and exit the market quickly nowadays, and you need to know what your current competition is doing. Everything from product/service comparisons to marketing. You want to research the heck out of them and make sure what you are offering is competitive. That means knowing what your competitors offer, how much they charge, where they are marketing, and what keywords they are using. If you want to learn more about the importance of keywords, click here.
Knowing your competition, inside and out, will ensure you can pivot your business as the market changes direction.
Step 3 - Reach out to your customers
If you research your competition, you will know how your offering compares and if you were lucky, you may have found a point of difference in your market (a niche). Lucky you. Now here's the clincher, do you know if your customers want what you are offering? For example, your niche might be offering a blue one with white dots. But what happens if they may want one that's green with gold stars.
There's only one way to find out; you need to check in with your customers and talk with them. Ask them what they want, how you can help and how you can improve. And guess what, your customers will be super happy to hear from you. So it's a win-win solution.
Step 4 - Find a niche
Once you have thoroughly researched your competition and finished speaking with your customers, it will be time to check back in with your current offering to compare notes. Between what you learned about your competition and what your customers told you they want, a solution will become apparent to allow you to niche your offering.
Check out my previous blog: Do you understand the power of a niche?
Your solution will directly meet your customer's needs and give you a huge advantage when reaching out to that market.
Every business becomes stale after a while and can benefit from updating its business plan.
I know because I've helped hundreds of companies, business founders and entrepreneurs face the challenges of growing their businesses, increasing sales and winning multi-million dollar investors.
If you want to spark people into action, communicate who you are, and share knowledge, you need an effective strategy to deliver your message effectively. And that's where I can help.
I developed a step-by-step program that will take you through the key points to revitalize your business and quickly get you back on track.
Further reading: Do you have a business strategy that is driving your business?
Want to increase the impact of your business but feeling overwhelmed?
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