Every business enters a significant upwards growth curve at some point and then begins to notice things tapering off. For business owners this is a scary prospect because you never know if the slowing growth will be a sustainable pattern which could eventually lead to a reduction in revenues or if it’s a short-term lack of interest in the product offering.
Here are a few business actions to take to address a slowing growth path.
Look for New Avenues of Growth
With newer businesses, the tendency sometimes is to fixate on one or two sales channels that are working successfully and then push hard on those to the exception of other opportunities. It’s smart to slow growth to branch out to other sales and marketing avenues that open the company and its products up to a wider audience.
Many times, the preferred sales channels were ones where customers were pre-qualified by being familiar with this type of product or working in an associated market. This is often the reason why these channels were chosen in the first place. Bear in mind that when branching out into broader markets, the product may need to be marketed differently with more of an emphasis on educating the audience about the product to get a good penetration and conversion rate.
Make Sure You’ve Not Dropped the Ball
When companies are growing rapidly, typically the business cannot keep up with the speed of growth, taking on new staff, training them properly and keeping business performance at a high grade. Quite often, phone calls and email replies from customer support personnel begin to take longer and customers notice. The positive word of mouth becomes somewhat middling and without people raving about the business anymore, rapid growth starts to taper off.
Sometimes, rushing a product out the door or upgrading with a new version that was not quite ready for its debut can be mistakes to please the existing customer base and keep driving revenues up. When negative reviews begin to show up about the product, reputation and sales suffer a dip.
These are two common examples of what can happen with companies that grow too fast, too soon. There’s a need to go back to first principals to look at all aspects of the company operations, the service provided to customers, and the true quality of the products to see if they’re still up to an acceptable standard.
Working on Business Strategies
When going from a small business to a medium-sized one, a different strategy is needed to make the leap. If the business leaders don’t have the experience of working in similar sized businesses, then they may lack the grounding in effective strategic thinking to get ahead of the competition.
Studying a healthcare MBA online at George Washington University is an interesting option because it covers much of the business-oriented curriculum of a MBA course, with electives in healthcare and related topics too. Whilst your core business may not have a health industry connection, understanding how larger organizations manage their strategies informs how medium-sized ones can use their greater dexterity from their lighter corporate structure to gain advantages in the business arena. Because of this, a Healthcare MBA has great application for business leaders who wish to gain a wider perspective.
Making the transition from a smaller business that’s growing fast to one that needs to sustain a fast growth rate while maturing as a company isn’t easy. Many companies fail to make the transition successfully and fall by the wayside. Taking appropriate actions to ensure the success of the business leading up to and moving through this transition period requires careful navigation to make the journey a smoother one.