Business is good, the order book’s full, and you’re thinking of hiring more staff…
Your customers are happy, your staff are content and your income is steady. For many companies, this stable scenario would be considered ideal.
In truth, if you’re in this position, you’ve hit the ‘flatline’ area.
Understanding the flatline?
You may believe that there is little cause for concern and there’s nothing to worry about whilst being in this position.
Should you be worried and act? Should you do something?
When a business gets to this point, it’s easy to take your foot off the accelerator and sit back and enjoy the journey. This is what is meant by the ‘flatline’; the point in a business where things level off, and you will either grow or decline. Get too comfy and the chances are you’ll start to see a regression in your business’ growth.
So how is your business?
Considering the current climate and the rollercoaster that Covid 19 cause, it’s definitely a thought provoking question with many potentially interesting answers.
Some business owners have seen a boom, while others have felt like they’ve been on a life support machine, praying that their company which they’ve loving nurtured survives to see another hour, let alone day!
Nearly all businesses have had to adapt in some way to survive, and for many, trying to stabilise their business has been hard enough. Having adequate money coming through the doors to pay your bills, salary your staff and even yourself is a good place to be. But what’s next?
Doing nothing is simply not an option. This will only cause your business to regress backwards faster.
To drive the business growth forwards, it’s imperative to take control. This should be the fundamental priority, followed by looking at all potential scenarios and options to avoid the ‘flatline’ really gaining the upper hand.
Where are you now?
Start by assessing where you are right now.
Don’t think about what life used to be like before the pandemic or pre-Brexit! Assess how it is today, and be realistic and honest.
Acknowledge the fact if your business has taken a step backwards or has missed its set targets! Look at the challenges your business is facing, assess where you need to make some decisions, consider what’s successfully working and don’t be afraid to make some changes.
If it helps, break these down into sections such as marketing, sales, resources and training, and ideally take the time to check your vision, your mission statement and your company values, as these may have changed with your business’ development.
By realistically evaluating the current scenario, you will be able to easily identify where to focus and assess the work needs to be done. It’s at this point that you can then begin to set some new business goals. Whether you are working on a six month, one year or even a three year plan, your business goals need to and must be measurable and achievable. That’s where apps such as ‘Plan It Pro’ come into their own! Once the data is entered and the goals are in place, ‘Plan It Pro’ allows you to look at each goal individually, breaking it down into manageable, realistic and achievable steps.
Consistency and regularity are key to the success!
Once you have a plan, your goals and action points in place, you will need to set aside a dedicated amount of time to work on them.
Whether you choose to block out one day each month or allocate an hour a day, it’s imperative to schedule a committed amount of time to complete them, and then review them.
This action is of paramount importance for two reasons. Firstly, you may have completed more of your tasks than you envisaged, and equally you might have fallen a little behind. It’s fine, life happens, so simply check where you are at and start again. Secondly, and probably more importantly, in the fast changing world that we live in, you’ll need to keep up. If things change, then adapt, alter your course, and keep going… after all ‘the road ahead is never a straight one!’
Even if the business is doing well, you’ll need to evaluate and assess what could be done differently or better, whether that’s manually or with the help of ‘Plan It Pro’.
Be sure to keep an eye on your existing customers to ensure they are not in decline, and of course, you should always be looking ahead and seeking new customers to keep a steady flow of business growth. Explore new opportunities and be creative in your thinking and approach.
Sadly, sitting back will most likely result in the onset of stagnation and eventually a decline, so be sure to keep adapting and planning, but most crucial of all keep actioning. That’s how best to avoid ‘flatlining’.
If your business is worried about entering the ‘flatline’ zone, or indeed is in need of an easy way to revisit or refresh its business plan, be sure to get in touch!