If you’re standing still, you’re falling backwards – at least that’s what it feels like in the business world. If your small business is stuck in a rut, you need to do everything you can to get out and start moving forward again.
5 Steps to Breaking Out of Your Rut
When you’re stuck in a rut in your personal life, what sort of steps do you take to get out? In most cases, you try doing something totally different from what you’re already doing. The simple act of switching things up breathes fresh air into your sails and allows you to feel alive again. In a small business, the same is true. Here are some steps you can take to break out of your rut and enjoy life.
1. Conduct a Focus Group With Customers
When you’re in a rut, you’ll often find that you’ve been selling your customers the same product for years and haven’t taken the time to find out how they’ve changed and what their new expectations are. The best way to remedy this issue is to conduct a focus group with customers.
Focus groups can be as formal or informal as you’d like. Formal focus groups typically involve hiring a market research company and letting them guide the process. An informal focus group could be something as simple as picking a customer’s brain the next time you run into them.
2. Renovate Your Office
The physical environment you spend time in has a direct impact on the way you think and process information. If you’ve been working in the same office setup for a long period of time, shaking things up could spark some positive change.
Whether it’s simply organizing a messy office, or actually conducting a full redesign where you tear down walls, put up doors, and apply fresh paint, some physical changes to your environment can make a big difference.
3. Give Employees a Chance to Work Remotely
“Two-thirds of managers report that employees who work from home increase their overall productivity,” Fundera explains. “Even more, 86% of employees say they’re most productive when they work alone—devoid of distractions like inefficient meetings, office gossip, or loud office spaces.”
If your employees feel stuck, giving them the opportunity to work remotely (at least on a part-time basis) can reinvigorate them and encourage higher levels of creativity and productivity.
4. Launch a New Product
When you’re selling the same products to the same customers using the same tactics, your company slides into a groove and may find it difficult to get out without some serious effort. One of the quickest ways to inject creativity into the organization is by launching a new product.
New product launches get employees involved at all levels, including product development, sales, marketing, customer service, and accounting. It’s invigorating on multiple levels.
5. Consider a Rebrand
We usually think of rebranding in terms of altering the existing brand in a manner that makes it more relatable to consumers, but sometimes a rebrand has just as much to do with what’s happening internally. If employees currently have trouble getting behind your existing brand, a strategic rebrand can make it easier for employees to naturally rally together and elevate the brand in new ways.
It’s Time to Move Forward
You can’t grow your company, increase profitability, and find success if your business is sitting in a rut. At some point, you have to find a way to get out and try something that does work. Though it’s rarely easy, it’s always necessary.