Let’s admit it. No one would want to be in the position of having to resurrect a failing business. Yet, if the inevitable has happened to you, and the iceberg has struck your Titanic, don’t shout, “Abandon ship!”, just yet.
Businesses walk into all kinds of pitfalls, especially in the early days of opening shop. Maybe you’ve invested in the wrong places. Perhaps, your prices are too high.
This could mean that your products don’t bring enough revenue to sustain. Or, it is also possible that you have done everything you can and your survival is still threatened.
If you happen to be in such a situation, here is what you can do to turn your fortunes around.
Reevaluate your business goals
One of the many reasons why businesses fail is because the founders set their sights too narrow. Many founders make the mistake of focusing just on their product-centric vision. Such businesses get ousted by others who can make your product obsolete.
Craft a long-term vision that is not entirely product-centric. It will then be easier to break it down into smaller, short-term objectives. It also makes it easier to assign responsibilities to your team members and make them more accountable.
Also, this way, you can measure progress in tangible terms when your team has specific targets to chase.
How your target customers perceive your brand determines whether or not they wish to associate with it. The brand name, colors, logo, ambience (in case of a physical outlet), customer service can all play a part in building a brand identity.
If your existing brand has a neutral or negative reputation attached to it, consider going back to the drawing board and reworking your brand experience.
With rebranding, you provide your business with a new, distinct identity. It changes the way customers look at your business. Over time, this new identity helps you create a loyal following that can help turn your business around.
Grow through organic traffic
Paid advertising and influencer marketing help bring new customers to your business. However, this can be an expensive way to build a customer base. It is a lot more sustainable to acquire customers through organic marketing tactics.
Optimizing your website with SEO techniques will help you achieve that long-term loyalty from your audiences online. It is also a good idea to stay away from ‘blackhat’ techniques that may provide you with a temporary jump in traffic, but is harmful to your business in the long-term.
Most importantly, organic traffic acquisition methods do not cost a lot of money. They are hence ideally suited for loss-making businesses.
Automate your outreach process
Failing businesses all have one thing in common – a fairly inefficient work process. Automating your business processes can help you in two ways.
Firstly, it enables you to scale your operations up without a commensurate increase in operational expenses. Secondly, it helps you raise your margins without having to increase your prices.
Every single component of your business can be automated – right from your outreach process to product procurement, distribution and even customer support.
It is however worth pointing out that automation does not come for free. You must be ready to find the processes that deliver the maximum returns through automation and must invest in them.
Bring down the overhead costs
When your business is failing, your priority needs to be on stemming the outflow so that your business can survive even with minimal revenues. This would mean cutting down on all the overhead costs that your business does not really need.
For example, physical product sellers may do away with a warehouse and instead rely on dropshipping channels to fulfill their orders. If you own a brick and mortar store, you may consider leasing it out and start selling on Amazon which is significantly cheaper.
This way, you bring down your overhead costs and increase the chances of your business surviving the rough times.
Businesses that keep track of their performance, both in the short and long-term, stand a better chance of correcting their course before it is too late. Measure your progress at frequent intervals, identify strategies that worked those that didn’t, and gauge customer sentiment at all times.
Listen to what your key stakeholders have to say – your customers, investors, employees and even your competitors, and use these insights to build a resurrection plan.