How to stop coasting and start building your business

Some drivers believe coasting downhill in neutral saves fuel. They’re wrong, the opposite is true. And, coasting is unsafe: it means less control. So it’s a dumb practice … but a handy metaphor.

Coasting isn’t good for a business either.

Everything may be running smoothly, but growth has plateaued. You’re not getting where you want to be – what do you do?

Step 1

Ask why about everything. Talk to each level of your workforce to gain a holistic view of how the company is going and get to the root cause of why things have slowed down. Also ask your current customers about their experience with you, to get both an internal and external view of your company and its offerings.

Gathering this information will likely give you a clearer idea of where your focus should be in order to get your business growth strategies blazing again. Do you need to improve your customer service quality, or do you need to focus on innovation and product development? Do not guess, find out!

Step 2

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024

It’s important to have a strong vision for your company, but if revenue streams are waning, look again at that vision. Is it still relevant? If not, change it. If you still have confidence in your vision, ask yourself if you’ve spelled out that vision to your staff, and if everyone in your organisation is properly motivated to achieve it?

Step 3

When you experience a slow-down in growth, take a moment to evaluate the members of your team and their current responsibilities. Are they and their strengths best suited to their current role?

If you are missing strengths, look at acquiring new people, but also consider investing in your current workforce to develop their skills in the areas you need to boost.

Step 4

If your organisational structure currently seats yourself – the business owner – in more than one critical position in the company, then you are facing a structure that is inhibiting growth. This is because it relies on you to do multiple roles – which is an unsustainable and unscalable mode of operation.

As your business gets larger, you will need a more structured and clear organisational model in order to allow processes to flow through your business effectively. This also serves to allow each employee to have clearly defined roles and specific accountabilities, so they can do their own roles effectively and make sure it fits into the larger picture.

Step 5

Entrepreneurs often see the tracking of individual performance as a luxury, feeling time is better spent hacking away at the long list of things must-do tasks. However, without clear visibility on performance, how do you even know if your business is growing or not? Sometimes the only reason a business is not growing is because there isn’t even a system in place to measure that growth.

Your company may be coasting (and stimulating growth is an issue at some stage in the development of every business), but there’s no need to settle for that situation. Just move up a few gears and point yourself in the direction yu want to go in.

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024