Reached A Revenue Plateau?

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A Strategic Refresh May Be In Order

Starting a business is hard work and make no mistake, not for the faint of heart, but what happens when revenue stalls out after the first growth curve leaving the Founder(s) scratching their heads as to what to do next?

Invest more money into marketing, work a few more hours every day, hire a social media whiz kid, or just ride it out and hope for the best?

Well, as it turns out, none of these options is recommended.

It’s been my experience as a brand and business coach, working with businesses of all shapes and sizes from category killers to promising start-up’s that this stall is often part of the normal growth cycle of a company. Company’s generally experience a growth curve, hit the ceiling and then, if they don’t plan for the next growth curve, it simply won’t happen.

I often get called in when a Founder or the senior leadership team is starting to feel the heat and the diagnosis is generally the same.

It’s time for a strategic business and brand audit and often a strategy refresh.

Now, to be honest, this process done properly, does take time, but here’s a few thought starters for discussion, if your business has started to slow down after a solid growth curve.

I call it two steps to the next growth curve.

Step One

Examine your business framework

Ask yourself the following questions;

What is the marketplace problem that my business solves and does that problem still exist?

How do we solve the problem and is our solution still relevant?

Is our business model still sound or does it need updating or reformulating?

Are we still uniquely qualified to solve this problem for our clients and have we added some qualifications that we can market?

And lastly, what are the tangible obstacles to growth going forward?

Step Two

Re-evaluate your brand plan.

A second set of questions.

How is our brand health — is the brand still relevant to our target audience?

Has our ideal customer changed and if yes, how have they changed?

What’s the competition up to — how/where do we stack up on the competitive landscape?

What gaps do we have in our team and what resources do we need to add?

Are we accurately measuring our marketing tactics (what KPI’s are we using) and where are the holes in our customer acquisition plan?

And lastly, for step two, are our brand building blocks still relevant and building emotional cement with our customers and is our brand story still resonating, or is it past it’s “sell-by date” and in need of a major revision?

My advice to clients, particularly small business owners and Founders is don’t panic, this is normal and you need to take some time to “sharpen your axe, as opposed to always chopping wood”

Taking the time to regularly audit your business and brand plans is critical to continued growth and success. If you really want to accelerate this process, look for an experienced consultant who can lead you and your team through a focused strategic refresh process as outside eyes can often spot gaps and revenue opportunities that internal stakeholders just can’t see.

Ultimately, planning for success means keeping your brand health top of mind and your business framework sharp and relevant.

Kerry Harris is the Founder of Reboot Consulting Group, her corporate brand strategy group, and Sisu Brand Coaching, a new venture created specifically to work with Founders and small business owners. A serial entrepreneur, founder of three companies of her own, and the Former President of Weber Shandwick Canada, Kerry has worked with some of the world’s best-known and best-loved brands and she has now turned her attention to working with Founders, solopreneurs, and start-ups. Sisu is a Finn word meaning perseverance in the face of all adversity!

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