Is Your Business Stale?


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As a business coach, I often have to ask difficult questions. One of those questions is this one: is your business stale?

Trust me when I say I know how hard it is to be honest about questions like these. As business owners we all work incredibly hard on our businesses, and it can be tough to stick our hands up and admit when we’re getting something wrong.

However, that doesn’t mean that we should avoid the difficult questions! After all, one of the biggest problems with business is that our offering can go from wonderful to old hat in what feels like no time at all. There is no staying still in business: we all need to keep moving and innovating in order to maintain our success.

Unfortunately, not all business owners subscribe to this idea. It can be easy to doggedly stick to the same once-winning formula for years and years without looking around to find out whether that’s even what our customers are looking for anymore.

Let me give you an example. I recently met an architect who was great at what he did. He was passionate about his profession and had enjoyed a long career. Problem was: over that long career he’d stuck to what he felt he did best. In this case, what he did best was hand drawn architecture plans. There was certainly a place for these, and some of his customers really valued them, but in sticking to this one style he’d failed to learn newer computer-aided techniques. Rather than accept that he needed to upskill in order to move forward, he’d begun to turn potential customers away when they asked for more modern architecture plans.

Now, you may not be actively turning customers away in your business… but have you considered whether your potential customers are looking for something you’re not offering? It can be incredibly eye-opening to take a look around the marketplace and see what other businesses similar to yours are offering their customers and what seems to be gaining in popularity.

Not sure where to start to make sure your business isn’t getting left behind? The following questions are a great jumping off point to really challenge whether your business needs some new energy.

  • Are you keeping up to date with the latest developments in your industry?
  • Do you use the communication channels your customers are using?
  • Are your competitors offering something you’re not?
  • Could you do what you do in a more modern or streamlined way?
  • Have you avoided adopting a piece of equipment or software that would make things easier for your customers?
  • When was the last time you added a new service or product to your offering?
  • Could you re-brand and/or repackage some of your existing services or products to bring them more up to date?
  • Have you been asked for a service or product by multiple customers without implementing it?
The good news is that a stale business doesn’t necessarily mean a failing one. There are often really easy ways to breathe new freshness into a business. If this is a problem for you: be assured that the sooner you admit it, the sooner you can start making positive changes.

Do you need help answering difficult questions about your business? That’s what I’m here for! Why not take a look at Taking Care of You, Taking Care of Business, my monthly membership programme for business owners like you?

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