By Jerry Mooney
Lots of businesses are feeling the pinch right now. It’s not surprising. We’re feeling it at home too. Things have changed quite dramatically in the last twelve months. Many forecasters are feeling a little foolish for proposing growth targets that were, in hindsight, just too much to meet. There are plenty of reasons why your business might not have performed as expected. Do any of these common key reasons apply to your company this year?
Didn’t Invest To The Level Needed
Investment is needed year on year to ensure growth. Sure, you might not have made a loss. Perhaps your profits are up on last year. But if they didn’t meet the target, then something is amiss. Investments can be made in your stock, your research, your marketing, your people, or anywhere that needs a boost. Where did your money go? Are you even seeing a return on that investment?
This year, make sure the money is going where it needs to. There are several ways you can raise the cash if your profit line isn’t the size you hoped for. You might look to unsecured lending or credit lines from companies like Unsecured Capital. When you visit them online, you can see that this is perhaps the least complicated and time-costly method of raising the funds you need. Crowdfunding is another way, assuming you have a product to attract the investor with.
Didn’t Adjust Your Marketing Strategy
The marketing strategy should be revised and revisited several times a year. Whenever something changes or doesn’t meet the mark, it should be scrutinized and adjusted. From the simplest SWOT analysis, to complex big data filters to find specific answers – the work needs to be done. This will help you make informed decisions and changes as required to all your promotions and campaigns.
The good thing about digital marketing is you can stop and start campaigns in a moment. That saves you a lot of money and gives you the freedom to perform complete one-eighties if you need to. But what is the good of that if you’re not scrutinizing the results? Make sure you are monitoring the performance of each campaign and adjusting regularly to meet your ROI. Set up a dashboard for easy analysis.
Have you been monitoring your competitors closely enough? It is essential to respond quickly as they make moves on your market share or share of voice. Empowering your marketers with budget control to make those moves might be quite important in your type of business. One way to do this is to set targets. Set an ROI on each penny or choose a percentage per medium.
Didn’t Forecast Political and Economic Upheavals
There has been a lot of political and economic upheavals. With so many changes in power across the globe, it was inevitable that things would change dramatically. If you didn’t forecast troubled waters ahead, make sure you are on top of things now. Things will undoubtedly continue to be choppy. How are you going to weather the storm?
Protecting your business interests overseas is often more tricky to do than you think. But there are also interests closer to home that may be upset. Technologies are also changing rapidly. The way customers want to engage with your and buy from you is also changing. It’s essential you can keep up with their preferences while retaining stability in the wake of political and economic turbulence.
The easiest way to do this is to list all of the possible threats you can think of. Then make up some of the scariest ones that might crop up on a really bad day! Start planning your actions should these events arise. If you are prepared for the worst, you’ll be able to manage difficult times ahead with ease.
Didn’t Motivate Your Workforce
A lack of productivity can kill a business. There are many reasons why employees might underperform. Motivation is just one of them. Motivating an entire workforce is never easy. It takes good management as well as a good level of understanding about what makes each worker tick. You might offer rewards, incentives, or not. These are not essential for motivation. But do address any concerns your employees might have, especially if you’ve just turned in bad results.
Start by looking at the salaries and benefit packages you offer. Are they competitive and are they fair? What about the workloads? Does the salary recognise the level of stress and responsibility that is involved? If you start to lose employees, it can become very expensive to replace them. Instead, get involved, talk to them, and listen to their aspirations.
Simple things like flexible working can help your workforce provide better results. If you can’t offer a higher salary, can you offer an extra day off work? You can motivate your workforce by setting realistic targets. And coaching or mentoring can also be high value. Make sure everyone feels they have the knowledge and training to perform well. A simple lack of confidence can drastically reduce productivity.
Didn’t Curb Your Spend
If your company isn’t frugal, your business simply won’t survive. Aim to cut spend every year by adopting new technologies and more efficient ways of working. It’s not always easy to identify where your company is overspending. Efficiency analyses can help to some extent. However, chances are your workforce knows where things don’t add up. Ask them for some ideas on stemming a spending bleed.
Make sure you have a very detailed budget for every part of your business. Aim to trim at least two percent off every cost each year. You might switch suppliers, install meters, or find innovative ways to reduce your overheads. You might even move to a smaller premises, or go paperless. Keep working toward cost reductions, and you’ll have less pressure to perform if times get tough in your sector.
It’s not easy to always hit targets year on year. Forecasting the growth isn’t an easy job either, and sometimes we just get it wrong. Stay on track with your savings, continue to invest, and help your employees deliver the results you’re after.