If you’re a small business owner, you can probably relate to the struggles of needing to innovate to stay afloat. There comes a point for every small business when it hits a slump. You feel like maybe your offered services or goods have become stagnant.
The best way to pull your business out of the rut is to diversify. And the best way to start that process is to ask yourself a few key questions to figure out the right new idea.
What’s is my small business lacking?
The first step to solving any problem is to examine what the issue is. Figure out why you feel your business is falling behind its competitors.
Some of the most common indicators are low or reduces flow of new clients, existing clients leaving your company, not being able to keep up with innovations in your industry, etc.
The next step is to imagine your business if you overcame whatever it is that’s dragging your business down. Has your revenue improved? Is there an expanded product offering? Have you reinvented how you serve your customers? Is it helping your stress levels? Getting you a good night’s sleep?
It’s important to spend some time visualizing the issues fixed, your business thriving again.
Keep that picture of your business operating at its best as you work through the next questions.
What are the areas of weakness for your competitors?
It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on competition to get an idea of how your industry is operating. If you pay close attention to competitors, it’s easy to figure out gaps and serve the market in ways the competition aren’t able to.
Your primary strategy is to identify gaps in offerings and operational weaknesses in your competitors to figure out the gaps in the market, and aim to fill those gaps. This will give you an edge over everyone else.
Knowing the areas ripe for the picking can help decide which how best to innovate your business. Not to mention, it will also help you decide which aspect of your business you should focus on next.
How can you best deliver value?
As a small business, you may not have the budget to invent the next revolutionary product in your market. You probably dont have the resources to be able to offer the lowest price solution. But, thats okay. There’s other more low-key ways to deliver value to your customers.
Offer a free gift with a purchase, may be some complimentary consultation with services packages. The options will depend on what works for your business.
The point is to make sure that you a little something extra to make the customer’s experience unique and unforgettable.
What does the customers want?
Listen to what the customer has to say. Feedback from the customer is the best way to find out what parts of your business needs to improve and innovate.
Getting feedback is easy these days. Use social media, ask feedback in person, via email, surveys, etc. Once you have gathered the feedback, make sure to figure out what exactly the customer needs. Listen and then act on that feedback to innovate your business.
Hitting a slump in your business is not unusual. Being stuck in a rut can easily just be a temporary situation if you’re willing to work to get back on track.