There is a continuum of success and failure with a subtle gradient that can be difficult to detect in the moment. You believe things are going well and progressing apace. But in reality, your business is stagnating and just on the cusp of decline.
It can be hard to tell the difference between acceptable growth and near-stagnation because growth and change are often confused. Change and kinetic energy are not the same as growth. If your business is not moving forward, it is falling behind. There is no option to keep things just as they are.
Is your business on a treadmill? That is when you are running faster and faster, yet at the end of the day, you are in the same place you started. There are things you can do to break that cycle. The first thing you have to do is change your mindset. Instead of letting growth happen organically, take control of the evolution of your business and make growth an intentional part of your strategy. Plan every step of it. Make contingency plans. Follow through with decisive action and take the next forward step. In addition to being more intentional about your growth, consider the following.
Take a Job with Another Company
We know that the whole point of starting your own business is to work for yourself. But if you do not have a strong background with startups, you will not know how to advance yours. The Forum Group jobs postings give you a sense of what well-funded startups need. You could benefit a lot by working with someone a little further along than you so that you can learn the ropes and take the next step in the progression of your business.
You will also be exposed to areas outside of your immediate expertise. By working with another company, you can learn about purchasing, financing, business taxes, what works and what doesn’t work with regard to advertising, and how to deal with employees. Taking a job with a well-established startup can be a masterclass on what to do and what not to do. You will also have the priceless benefit of networking with other people who are on the same journey you are. They can help you on your way. In business, it is as much about who you know as what you know. By working with another startup, you will gain valuable knowledge and experience that will help you succeed in your own startup.
Go to Conferences
One of the most valuable and overlooked tools for moving your business to the next level is the business conference. Conferences like Payments 2022: The Future of Security & CX are happening all the time in cities near you. Finding them is a lot easier these days. Not all mailing lists are bad. Get on the right ones and you will always be aware of the conference opportunities in your area.
You can find conferences on everything from fintech to cloud computing. You will be exposed to products you didn’t know existed, and people who can help you with advice and mentoring. When you hit the conference circuit, you will continue and expand your networking opportunities. Whether you are in the franchising business or the turn-key marketing business, networking is the key to getting to the next step. At some point, you are going to consider partnering with another business owner. Conferences are an excellent place to meet your next partner in success.
Narrow Your Marketing Niche
It is understandable that when you first started out, you tried to reach as many people as humanly possible. Any sale was a good sale. However, that is a mistake. By spreading yourself too thin and being too general with your message, you are not really striking at the heart of any particular market. Yours is just another product or service to be ignored into obscurity. Instead, identify your tribe and narrow your marketing focus to super serve a niche. When you do that, you will energize the people who will be most excited about your offerings. They will propel you to the next level.
For new startups, stagnation is death. Keep moving forward by taking a temporary job with others who have been where you are going, attending conferences, and super serving a focused niche.