Why are things not going well for my business?
How come things just don’t seem to work?
What are some issues that might be negatively affecting my business?
There are a lot of things you can do consciously or subconsciously that can affect your business negatively. These might be a particular mindset, an unwillingness to do something, or missing out on a crucial detail. Whatever it is there are many ways in which we can improve our habits and attitudes to best benefit our businesses.
We could be here forever going through all the different possible reasons why your business is not doing well. For now let’s settle with talking about 5 issues that could be affecting your business and how we can tackle them.
Not paying attention to the numbers
If we aren’t used to thinking about the numbers, it can be very hard to train ourselves. Unfortunately, this is something we need to address and something we need to get right. Having a good knowledge of metrics like sales, profits, and online interaction is what will take us from a hobby-level business to an empowering business.
How does your business make money? Is it through sales? Commissions? Subscriptions?
What are you spending money on?
If you are regularly spending lots of money on things like advertising, raw ingredients, or delivery you will not be able to make a profit. You are likely paying for a service that doesn’t work, or not charging enough for all that you are spending, or simply spending too much.
It is important to figure out ways to smartly and ethically reduce the cost of your spending. This will help increase your profit margins. You may also need to consider raising your prices or finding a different pricing model entirely, so that you can make more money back.
You also need to pay attention to how your business makes sales or profit. If you don’t understand this, it will be very hard to make accurate predictions about your business.
There’s no use in saying your business needs 100 sales a month, if you do not know how those sales are coming in. If you understand your clients and your market you will be able to properly scale up from 1 sale, to 100, to maybe even 1000! If you don’t understand it, you are just making empty predictions.
These predictions are bad for both your business as well as your self-esteem if things do not work out like how you planned.
An unwillingness to change
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu
We need to recognize when things are not working. As hard as it might be to accept this, we need to learn when it’s a good idea to make a business change.
There are many reasons why people are not ready to change, when it comes to business or even personal issues.
People are unaware of what else is possible.
They are afraid they will change for something worse.
They do not have the right metrics to measure the success of their new change.
It takes too much effort to change.
Can you think of any other reasons why it might be difficult to make a change in the business plan?
Firstly, you need to identify where in your business you need a change. Do your research, see if there are any other people approaching similar problems in different ways?
Businesses regularly need to pivot and change their approach. This could be in relation to a new technology; such as social media applications, or content management systems. This could be due to a change in the market. Maybe there are more younger people who need your service, or maybe the problem you provided a solution for does not exist anymore.
Only through being a self-aware and dynamic business person will you be able to see the changes that happen across society and identify where your company fits into new spaces.
Changing too much
‘The biggest challenge is to stay focused. It’s to have the discipline when there are so many competing things.’ – Alexa Hirschfeld
Of course, there is such a thing as too much change. We as business people need to know where we stand in the wider scheme of things. It’s impossible to address all the issues in every part of the consumer world.
For example, for every Tik-Tok that gets released there are many other similar social apps that never take off. While it’s true that consumer tastes and business change quickly now. It can be so easy to get caught in ‘shiny object syndrome’ with the latest craze. Meaning that whatever the latest hot trend or technique is, we are ready to drop all our other things just for this new plaything.
Sometimes we can interpret discussion about change in the wrong way. It might make us open to changing too quickly and pick up strategies without any proof or plan.
We need to give our business models and decisions time to grow and take effect. Don’t change too rapidly, without good reason.
Targeting the wrong audience
“Increasingly, mass marketing is turning into a mass of niches.” – Chris Anderson
It’s a clear sign that your business is not doing well if you are not selling any products. After all, without products you don’t have a stream of income. Without income you barely have a business.
But you’ve worked really hard on your product. From your small sample tests nothing seems to be wrong with the product or service you are offering. So what could it be?
Maybe those who will really dig your products don’t even know you exist yet.
You need to be marketing your product. It might feel weird or embarrassing, but you must talk to people about your product. If you aren’t making noise about your product, how do you possibly expect people to know about it?
This is the benefit of social media. So many of your potential customers are on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. You need to create good content that will benefit these users and draw them back to your business.
Gone are the days where we open up a shop, and hope people just walk in. We need to be advertising both in person and online.
But wait! You need to be specific and targeted when it comes to your marketing. Social media marketing can cost both time and money, so you want to make sure you’re doing it right!
Make sure to clearly define who your target audience is. You need a niche!
If you do not know who your niche is, you could be spending valuable resources marketing a service to a group of people who do not want it. You need to find people who resonate with you, your products, and your business. It’s so important.
Marketing your product to the public is the first step. Knowing who your market is, is the second. If you would like to read more about finding your niche and developing it; continue reading about it here.
Not acknowledging your audience
So you’ve finally built up an audience. This audience engages with your marketing material online and they often convert to sales. However, the goal is not to simply convert as much of your online audience into sales and numbers. This can be a problem too.
On social media, people engage with interesting stories and personalities. You are already doing well if you are creating content that your specific niche wants. Don’t throw all your hard work away by then ignoring your audience.
You need to constantly engage with your audience and make them feel acknowledged. Even after they’ve made a purchase! Doing this helps build a stronger bond between you and your audience and they have the potential to become what Kevin Kelly calls, a “true fan”. To read more about the 1000 True Fans theory follow my article here.
Make sure you listen to feedback from customers.
You might even want to reward your customers for their long-term support.
This could be in the form of things like discounts codes or email list gifts. When it comes to email lists gifts, while you might be giving something away you are also gaining something too.
You are creating a stronger bond with your customers and there’s a chance they will like your next product or service too.
The truth of the matter is there really are so many things to consider when we are starting and running our own business. It is a matter of identifying our own weaknesses and fixing them. We need to be true to who we are and improve ourselves for both our sake as well as the sake of our businesses.
Have you identified what is holding your business back?
Do you want to become a better, more empowered businessperson?
Dr Raja Yasmin is the founder of the EQBIZ Academy. She has both real life experience running businesses as well as 20 years of teaching experience. Now Dr Raja Yasmin is ready to help women become empowered through business. If you would like to receive a free marketing resource for your business, sign up here.