If your business is struggling to generate a profit, improve its brand awareness, or has developed a bad reputation, you might need to make significant changes to your operations to secure its success.
While you might be tempted to close your doors and start over from scratch, there are steps you can take to transform your brand’s image, profit, and growth.
If you would like to turn around your company’s fortunes, read this essential guide to overhauling your business.
Signs Your Business Requires an Overhaul
Some clear-cut signs will prove you need to overhaul your brand, operations, and company culture. For instance, you might need to invest time and money into changing your business if it:
- Is using outdated technologies
- Has failed to update the brand within the past 5 to 10 years
- Is struggling with low employee morale
- Is losing many customers each month
- Has developed a negative reputation
- Is struggling to generate a profit
If any of the above problems apply to your business, it’s time to make significant and small changes – and the below tips can help you do so.
Improve Management Skills
According to a Gallup Poll of one million workers in the US, the number one reason people choose to quit a job is due to a bad employer or supervisor. They found that 75% of people stated they would leave their jobs because of a bad boss and not a role. So, if you have low morale and a high turnover, the problems could stem from your management team.
While your senior staff might have extensive knowledge and experience in an industry, they might not be natural managers. Unfortunately, a lack of leadership and inadequate human resources could eat away at your talented employees’ morale, ambition, and passion for their careers.
To increase productivity, profitability, and your reputation, you must improve management skills across your organization skills. MBA programs in Michigan could help your business to do so, as the accredited course will improve leadership styles and understanding on how to support employee performance. Plus, the online program enables professionals to complete an MBA within as little as 12 months.
Gain a Thorough Understanding of Every Process
It’s impossible to change for the better if you don’t understand your company’s processes. Outdated technologies and steps could slow down productivity, impact morale, and lower profitability.
By reviewing every process, you could identify unnecessary steps in a task, or you could invest in technologies to complete monotonous jobs. For example, you could speed up productivity with social media automation or industrial manufacturing robots.
Take the time to create a process map for essential tasks across your organization. Break them down into steps and identify actions you could cut and technologies you could introduce to improve efficiency.
Analyze Your Competitors
While you might believe you have identified a gap in the market, developed a superb brand, and have a talented team on staff, your competition might have a more robust business model and a forward-thinking mindset.
To ensure you’re not left behind, you must analyze your competitors to identify where you’re going right or wrong. Blockbuster is a prime example of a business that failed to move with the times and fell victim to the rise of various streaming services, such as Netflix, Prime, and Hulu.
Follow the below tactics to analyze your rivals:
- Identify your competitors – review direct and indirect competition
- Gather data on their products, services, pricing, reputation, and positioning
- Determine their strengths and weaknesses
- Find your competitor advantage
By reviewing your competitors, you can discover your pro and cons in an industry. You can then build a strategy to counteract a rival’s strengths and take advantage of their various weaknesses.
Separate Your Brand with a Niche
If your brand is failing to engage with its target audience and securing limited sales, you might need to choose a different niche. Gain an advantage over your rivals by becoming an expert in a specific field, which could set your brand apart from the crowd. You also could establish yourself as a thought leader by publishing high-quality blogs and guest articles.
The niche you pick should complement your passion, skills, and experience, which will ensure you dedicate both your time and attention to your business. You also must identify if there is a market for a niche. Keyword research is an excellent place to start, as you can review the monthly search volume and the competition level. If it has a search volume of less than 1K per month, there might be a limited market for a niche.
Listen to Your Customers’ Feedback
Failing to listen to your customers throughout the years could lead to a smaller profit margin and a negative reputation. If your business is struggling to secure return customers, receives much direct and indirect criticism, or is forced to process many refunds, you must listen to their feedback and look for ways to improve your inventory, service, branding, or the customer experience. For example, if many customers regularly complain about the quality of a product, it could help to change manufacturers to increase their satisfaction.
Look Beyond Your Industry
Many business owners make the mistake of sticking with industry processes and tactics, which can stifle their profitability and growth. Review other successful businesses in different fields to attract many customers and to stay relevant in a competitive sector.
Gain an insight into how the biggest and best companies on the planet find new customers, attract return orders, grow their brand recognition, build company loyalty, and improve the customer service experience.
Find Ways to Retain Customers
Don’t become so focused on acquiring new customers that you forget about your existing ones. Finding ways to retain your customers could lead to greater word of mouth, an increase in sales, and a long lifespan in an industry.
If you’re guilty of neglecting your past customers, you can:
- Send promotional codes and exclusive deals straight to their inbox
- Launch a customer referral program – provide rewards for every customer they successfully recommend
- Respond to their feedback
- Offer various membership perks
- Send a gift with their first order
Create an Engaged Team
Your employees are the driving force of your business. If they have zero passion for your brand, don’t understand the company’s goals, and feel as if their voice isn’t heard, they’ll experience low morale, and your organization will struggle with slow productivity.
Thankfully, it’s never too late to engage a team and help them to fall in love with your brand and its goals. For instance, you could:
- Provide brainstorming sessions to listen to their ideas to improve your business model
- Thank and reward employees for helpful ideas and successful projects
- Find ways to acknowledge team participation
- Ask for feedback on how to improve their working life
- Encourage collaboration across the business
If you invest in your team, they’ll invest their time and energy into helping your business to thrive.
Update Your Branding
An outdated logo or website could lead to little brand engagement and a high bounce rate. If you fail to update your branding every five years, don’t be surprised if your customers turn to your modern rivals.
Many of the biggest companies in the world routinely update their branding, such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Nike. It is vital to follow in their footsteps to give your brand the best chance of success.
There are various ways you can update your brand, such as:
- Modernizing a logo
- Tweaking synonymous colors
- Refining your tone of voice
- Introducing a new web design
- Adding new products
- Creating a new message
- Promoting your team
- Freshening up your social media presence
Introduce a 10-Minute Company Meeting
Many meetings are a productivity killer and can drain your team of all job satisfaction. If this is becoming a problem for you and your employees, suggest everyone hosts shorter, more efficient internal meetings.
Lead by example by introducing a ten-minute company meeting each day, which should quickly cover important facts while keeping your staff in the loop. For example, you could use this time to:
- Congratulate an individual or team on a recent accomplishment
- Provide a roundup of key performance indicators
- State ways the business could improve
- Share company news
A short meeting every day will improve transparency across the business, as you can keep employees up to date on any changes or developments. Plus, leading by example with quick, to-the-point meetings could inspire your team to hold shorter meetings that will boost internal productivity.
Use Contractors to Decrease Overheads
Modern businesses don’t need to choose between financial security and productivity. Take financial pressure off your organization by hiring talented contractors over permanent staff members. Rather than being tied to an annual salary, you will pay a contractor per project. It could improve your operations while reducing monthly overheads.
Enhance Customer Service
While a high-quality product might convince your target market to become customers, it’s the customer experience that will determine whether they buy from your brand time and again. If customers’ calls are left unanswered, or they are greeted by a rude, unhelpful member of staff, it could result in a loss of sales and a bad reputation.
Secure your company’s growth and longevity by improving customer service, which could lead to higher brand loyalty and more significant revenue. If, however, you don’t have the time or money to invest in many customer service representatives, there are various support software programs available, such as Zendesk, Freshdesk, and LiveAgent, to name only a few.
Improve Organization Across Your Workplace
A lack of organization could prevent your team from finding essential documents, updating spreadsheets, or maintaining sensitive data. Create an efficient environment by improving organization across the business.
For instance, you should:
- Store business-critical documents in the cloud
- Create a filing system
- Regularly back up all data
- Make to-do lists
- Encourage your team to maintain a tidy workspace
- Invest in project management software
- Prioritize tasks
An organized environment could provide both your business and employees with many benefits. For example, it can increase your company’s productivity and, in turn, its profitability. It can also improve your employees’ time management, which can decrease stress and improve morale.
Take Greater Control of Your Cash Flow
Many companies fail due to poor cash flow management, bad financial knowledge, or a lack of working capital. If your profit margin is small or non-existent, it’s a sign you need to take greater control of your finances.
There are, however, many ways you can improve your company’s financial health, as you could:
- Lower your monthly expenses – cut office supplies or switch energy provider
- Tweak inventory levels
- Accelerate any receivable collections
- Seek financial investment
- Outsource a reputable accountant
It’s also an intelligent move to develop a cash flow plan for the next two to three months, which could help you to identify any financial issues before they become a major problem.
Boost Trust in Your Brand
Many customers will research a brand before they choose to buy a product or service. If a customer can’t find much information about a company online or it fails to alleviate their concerns, they will be less likely to place an order.
A lack of trust in your brand could prevent a web visitor from buying products or services from your business. There are, however, steps you can take to prove you’re a respected, credible brand.
For example, you could:
- Feature impartial reviews and testimonials on your website
- Incorporate professional certifications on your site and advertisements
- Maintain brand consistency
- Publish thought leader content
- Develop an active social media presence
Businesses can fail for many reasons, such as a lack of revenue, cash flow problems, a poor reputation, or slow productivity. If you would like your brand to reach its potential and enjoy many decades in an industry, you might need to make small or significant changes to your operations.
For instance, it might be time to update your branding, take greater control of your finances, improve organization across the business, and/or increase trust in your business. The above tactics could help you to transform your operations and generate a much bigger revenue and greater brand awareness.