I was listening to the gardening segment of a local radio programme and the guest expert was addressing an issue, raised by a listener who had called in asking about a problem with one of his house plants. It was soon established that the likely cause was “root rot”.
Apparently, if the entire root system has already become mushy, it is too late to save the plant. However, if some healthy, white, firm roots exist, it may be possible to salvage the plant by replanting it, in fresh soil with good drainage.
If your business is failing to grow, maybe you should look at its “roots” or foundations and try and identify the reasons why. This may prove to be challenging.
If you have good sales, a happy, productive workforce and satisfied customers, what can be the reason for this plateau and should you be concerned?
Of course, you may be quite happy with the status quo. Perhaps you have achieved all you set out to do and feel it’s OK to be a bit complacent. But, is it really good for the company. Perhaps not right away, but eventually the “rot” will start to set in.
You may lose the impetus to inspire employees who may then begin to look for new challenges elsewhere. A similar company to yours may be more pro-active and dynamic in marketing their product. Even regular customers may be swayed by a better deal.
It could be that the issues are more practical. Have you failed to recognise the need to update the technology you use? Are other companies more proactive on social media? Do your employees enjoy the benefits that other companies can provide?
Yours may be a well-established company that has a recognisable name and a good reputation but, in these times when entrepreneurism is encouraged and new companies are springing up all the time, it’s important to develop an awareness of the ideas that these companies bring.
They will be looking to be recognised, establishing those same qualities that you value so greatly and will be eyeing your customer base. They will also be looking to recruit workers with experience in their field. These things are simple to analyse so that you can recognise how they might affect your company.
Do some homework on other companies similar to yours, see how they operate and market themselves.
With regards to your own set-up, it may be beneficial to take the following action:
- Look at the ways technology and social media can keep you current and visible.
- Look at ways to update your brand in order to modernise your image.
- Look at your customer base. Who do you sell to? Are there ways you might broaden the demographic?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you make the most of the individual talents of your employees?
- Are you even aware of additional talents they might have but you are failing to utilize?
- Where customers are concerned, do you ask them for referrals?
- Have you approached them to give constructive feedback? You can provide them with the opportunity to do both of these things, on your website.
It’s a great feeling to be able to sit back and relax and know that your company is doing OK, but it would be an even more satisfying experience to know that it’s growing and developing in a way that is both rewarding and challenging to all concerned.
It’s good to have goals, it keeps us rooted!
About the Author
Martin Parnell is the Best-Selling author of MARATHON QUEST and RUNNING TO THE EDGE and speaks on having a “Finish the Race Attitude – Overcoming Obstacles to Achieve Your Full Potential”. Martin has written for, or been covered by CNN, BBC, CBC, The Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Runners World, Men’s Journal, Canadian Business, and Maclean’s.
In a five year period, from 2010 to 2014, Martin completed 10 extreme endurance “Quests” including running 250 marathons in one year and raising $1.3m for the humanitarian organization Right To Play. Find out more about Martin at www.martinparnell.com and see what he can do for you in the long run.