Being honest with yourself about the state of your business is the best way to navigate the difficult times. Every company experiences rough periods, but finding out the reasons why you're struggling will help you identify the best strategy to improve your position.
Here are just six questions to ask yourself to find out if your company is in trouble, and how you can resolve it:
1. Is your business still relevant?
It may be that there have been changes in your industry that have reduced the importance of your business. You need to make sure there are still people out there who need your product or service, and that you have a way of reaching them. A small tweak to your business plan to reflect this shift could have a massive impact on your success.
2. Who is your main audience?
To understand why you're struggling, you need to have a clear idea of who your target audience is. It's likely that these are broken down into different personas, but you need to know what drives each one and what their pain points are. You should also prioritize one or two personas, depending on how many you have, who bring in the most revenue to your business.
3. What's your business' top goal?
Do you want to increase revenue? Bring more customers to your business? Or drive advocacy to boost long-term relationships with clients? Identifying which of these is your top priority should help you focus your salvage efforts. Your business goal should also be at the heart of all your marketing efforts to ensure customers are progressing through the buyer cycle.
4. How do customers find you?
Where do most of your customers come from? Inbound or outbound marketing? Client referrals or advertisements? Knowing where you are most successful will help you further refine your tactics and attract more consumers, while saving money on the channels that aren't working.
5. Is cash flow tight?
How tight your cash flow is a good sign of how much you're struggling as a business, and also a good indicator of why. It may be a case that you are constantly waiting on suppliers or clients to pay you, meaning you have little flexibility. Looking at finance reports can be the best way to determine what's going wrong with cash flow.
6. How do employees feel?
If your company is struggling, it's essential that you do everything you can to connect with your employees. The last thing you want is the expense of recruitment so talk to them about the current situation. You might even find that they are much more aware of what's causing the issues than you are.