Causes of Plateau
- Business plan ill-equipped to support growth
- Lack of Personnel
- Financial Constraints
- Market Competition
Growth plateaus are common for any business. Typically, they are a part of the small business growth cycle: expansion, plateau, expansion. Prolonged plateaus could be indicative of a more serious flaw in your business operations, though. If you find yourself stuck in a growth plateau after expectations of growing revenue and clients, it can be frustrating. Here is what to do to break the growth plateau:
Business Plan Growth Plateau
Whether you are a first time or a fifth time entrepreneur, you should have a comprehensive business plan. This plan should detail the vision you have for your company as well as the financial plan, market research, and pricing. Your growth plateau could mean you have either deviated from the plan, or your business plan is unsuitable for a business of your size.
Updating Your Business Model
Revisiting your business plan is good practice for every entrepreneur. Staying aligned with the goals you set, updating the market research and pricing, and reviewing your organizational structure is all going to help your business push past the growth plateau. This is the best first step to take when trying to move past stagnant growth. Maybe your product was comprehensive when first starting out, but could beefing up the benefits result in more sales? Is your business model equipped to support growth? If not, exploring new operations within your business may be necessary.
A heavy workload on your current team may be hindering your company from further growth. Salary costs is a top reason for small business owners in not adding more employees to the team. A staffing service offers more flexibility in the hiring process for the business owner. This can be a great solution to building your team and ensuring the applicants mesh with your company culture before hiring full-time.
Delegating, Hiring, and Creating Culture
Delegating work to employees frees your management team’s schedule to lead. Company culture stems from the top, and neglecting to provide access to senior level leadership, further professional development, or ownership over important projects will hurt morale. These attractive benefits are only possible with an engaged and attentive management team that has the time to invest in its employees. Low productivity, poor morale, and high employee turnover can be harmful to a small business. These setbacks can be overcome with a good example from the top, renewed focus on goals, and building a team that meshes with your company culture.
Business owners with rigid lines of credit or inflexible business loans may hit a plateau due to working capital. A growing business means more capital is required to sustain that growth. Whether it’s a marketing budget, new employees, product development, technology to streamline the customer intake process, or supply costs, a growing business typically means growing overhead and growing operational costs. Having flexible business financing that grows with your business is crucial for a small business seeking to grow.
Financing Growth Opportunities
Accounts receivable funding is a great option for growing businesses seeking flexibility in their financing amounts. There is no need for reapplication for higher facility limits, as the funding relies on your volume of sales. This means that the more sales made, the more funding available to support them. Improved cash flow means covering payroll on-time, making larger sales, and hiring more employees to fulfill the duties of operations.
Maybe you’re seeing your clients leave for a competitor’s product. Maybe you aren’t showing up in online results when potential customers are searching for a product to fit their need. These can both impede your business growth. This is not the end of your business, however. This just means you need to learn from your competitors’ strategy. Additionally, what makes your business different or better than your competitors? Identify that and lean into it. Blending in to the market won’t grow your business.
Standing Apart from Competition
Digital marketing is huge, and investing time into expanding your visibility through SEO, email marketing, social media, and targeted advertising is necessary. Is there anything that your competitors are doing that grabbed your attention? How can you compete with their strategy? Be sure to update your market research and strategy according to your business plan.