If your small business is feeling stagnant, consider trying these five simple and fun exercises designed to challenge and shake you out of your comfort zone, so you can get back on track and see the opportunities that lie ahead.
If you’re feeling stuck when it comes to growing your small business and reaching more customers, I just want you to know you’re not alone.
Every small business goes through their ups and downs and faces their unique challenges, but it’s how we respond during those tough times that really matters.
Uncertainty, anxiety and moments of feeling ‘stuck’ can be a great opportunity to take stock of your business and make changes that will help you grow and move out of your current rut.
Here are 5 tips for getting out of your funk when things get hard in the small-business world:
1. Tell your story, share the ‘why’ behind your business and bring your customers behind-the-scenes.
Having a personal connection is one of the most important factors in building customer loyalty and fostering relationships, so don’t be afraid to let your guard down and share some of your personality with the world. It could be the key to success for your small business.The key is authenticity — especially in this day and age.
Some ideas on how you can do this include:
- Sharing the story of why you do what you do on podcasts, social media (Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.), blog posts or other relevant forums.
- Document the behind-the-scenes of a real day in the life of running your business. Your customers will find it relatable and interesting to see you in your element
- Update the “about us” section of your website to include points of connection and to harness the emotions of your readers. Dig deep and share who you are and why you started your business.
2. Pay attention to current events, relevant themes and ongoing conversations occurring around Canada and the world, and consider how you can align your product or service against them.
Whether it’s going through your Twitter feed before you start the day, listening to daily news recap podcasts in the morning, or having a subscription to a newspaper, it’s important for small business owners to keep an ear to the ground. Not only will this help you understand what’s happening in your industry and the global market, but it can also help you position your business against them.
For example, if there’s a global event like The Olympics happening, consider showcasing some of the products or services that relate to peak performance, training or preparing for such a big event.
Or, if there’s an upcoming holiday like Valentine’s Day, consider which of your products or services are giftable.
Keep your eyes open and stay ahead of the game — it could mean all the difference for your business.
3. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new strategies, while doubling down on the ones that are already effective.
If you’re not seeing the growth you’re hoping for this year, it might be time to experiment with new marketing and business strategies.
Don’t be afraid to fail forward. Even if a new initiative you put into place doesn’t give you the results you were hoping for, at least you’ll have learned that much more about your business (and what does and doesn’t work).
As many businesses — large and small — have invested more in their digital offerings, consider following suit with more online marketing tools, like posting TikTok videos, writing weekly blogs or creating content for your Facebook group.
Or maybe there’s an opportunity to experiment with in-person workshops, partnerships with other local businesses or writing a column in a local newspaper. You will never know what the magic formula is until you begin experimenting. There might be something that massively increases awareness of your business that you haven’t even considered yet.
Start with a brainstorm and don’t be afraid to take a risk or three. Your small business will thank you.
4. Use The Relationships Matrix™ to explore new connections.
Using this matrix, finding leads and exploring partnership opportunities becomes less worrisome and much easier to do.
It’s like looking through a microscope at all of your business growth leads — one where all of your prospects are made visible right in front of you.Here’s a visual of what The Relationships Matrix™ looks like:
You’re simply exploring potential:
- Dream clients or customers — people who are likely to shop with you
- Industry peers — small businesses with complimentary services or adjacent brands who you could cross-promote with
- Strategic partners — large organizations that could endorse your small business
And you’ll consider each of these categories in terms of Past, Present and Future.
- Past – who are people from the past that fit this category?
- Present – who are people that you’re currently connected to that fit this category?
- Future – who is on your ‘dream connection’ list and where do they hang out?
Download a free template to start filling out The Relationships Matrix™, click here.
5. If you’re still feeling stuck, ask yourself: “When was the last time I had fun with my business?”
Believe it or not, having more fun with your daily tasks can actually help increase productivity and encourage new ideas.
Get silly on your social media, encourage your employees to take a mid-day dance break, and have conversations with customers with the goal of surprising and delighting them.
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and infuse more fun and play into your workday to try something different — you may be surprised at just how successful you can be by increasing the joy-factor in what you’re already doing.
When your business is stuck or stagnant for too long, it can feel like there’s no way out.
But if we take a step back and assess our current situation objectively, we may find that these tough times are an opportunity for change, to make positive changes, and get on track again.
Be sure to connect with me on Instagram @kelseyreidl and let me know which strategy was the most helpful to you and your business.
About The Author
After a decade of working with some of Canada’s top food brands, Kelsey is now the founder of Visionary, Inc., where she provides clarity and easy-to-follow frameworks for those who are looking to take an entrepreneurial leap in their own life.
Her signature weekly business coaching mastermind called The Visionary Method™ is a place for motivated, driven & growth-minded individuals to receive expert mentorship while they launch their next side hustle or business.
Kelsey also hosts a Top Podcast on the Canadian Entrepreneurship Charts called Visionary Life. In each episode, she chats with online business owners, brand builders, marketers and entrepreneurs to dissect their success and their wisdom.
Kelsey lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and rescue pup, Abby.