My Startup Isn’t Growing, What Should I Do?

The recipe for small business growth is an imprecise one. Mix one advertising campaign and two new salespeople and let rise? Or is it one social media marketing campaign and three new customer service reps? It’s tough to decipher and is based on your startup’s unique structure. If you’re thinking, “My business isn’t growing, what should I do?” consider the following options.

Get a loan

Small business loans give your company the infusion of cash it might need to take things to the next level. There are many ways you can use a loan to help your business grow. This includes hiring, new manufacturing equipment, facility renovations and marketing campaigns. If you don’t have the business credit history you need to obtain a traditional bank loan, look into other options such as alternative online lending, borrowing from family and friends or crowdsourcing.

Outsource administrative tasks

Many business owners find themselves bogged down by the day-to-day running of the business, which gives them very little time to focus on strategy or how to grow the business. It’s difficult for some entrepreneurs to let go of these activities, but it can be in the best interest of the company to outsource them when possible.

For example, hiring a bookkeeper to handle accounting and payroll can free up some of your time, as can hiring a receptionist to deal with ordering supplies and answering incoming calls.

Invest in branding

One reason your business could be stagnant is that there’s little to differentiate it from your competitors. Survey your customers and the local market to get an idea of how people perceive your company in relation to the competition. Use the best points as a foundation for branding efforts to help your business stand out.

Adjust pricing

Conduct some competitive research on pricing. If your business isn’t growing, it could be because you are charging too little or too much for your product or service. Charging too much can turn off many customers, and charging too little might give the impression that your offerings are cheap and low quality.

Narrow your focus

Consider narrowing the number and type of products or services you provide to help grow your business. To test this theory, focus on just your biggest revenue-makers. This could mean cutting down on the menu choices at a restaurant to speed service and decrease the amount of ingredients you buy and throw away. Or it could mean manufacturing more of fewer products to increase quantity discounts and eliminate the need for inventory storage.

Create goals

One reason you might be experiencing growth is because you don’t have clear-cut goals that you’re working toward as an organization. Take some time out to think about what it is you’d like your business to achieve. Maybe that’s a 3 percent revenue growth by the end of the year or a certain number of new clients by the fall. Sit down and write actionable steps you can take to achieve these goals. Frequently check in on your list of goals and make sure you are staying on track.

Sell it

Your business might not be growing because you’ve simply lost your passion for it. This is normal, but it’s important to recognize when it is happening. If you want to move on to something new, consider selling the business. An employee could be interested in buying it and taking over, or even a competitor, partner or another member of your community.

Shut it down

Often, a business isn’t growing because there is a lack of demand in the market or it just wasn’t the right timing for the company to succeed. If this is the case, it might be in your best interest to close the business. You can always try to reopen the business at another time when you’ve had a chance to examine what went wrong.

No matter what your decision, recognizing that the business isn’t growing and that you need to take action to course correct is a positive first step.

This article was originally published on on July 7, 2016.

Content sponsored by LendingTree. 

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