It can happen to even the most successful of businesses: Things seem to be going well, and then all of a sudden, you hit a rut that you just cannot get out of. Your business might just be in the throes of a midlife crisis. What you do next may ultimately change the course of your business forever.
Don’t Buy a Sports Car
When you lose direction, it’s all too easy to make silly decisions that will potentially lead you to steer even further off course.
The moment you realize you are in crisis is the moment you need to start asking questions.
The first thing you need to look at is your product or service.
- Is it still relevant to your target market?
- Has the competitive landscape changed?
- Does it need a cosmetic facelift or a complete structural overhaul?
- Has it reached the end of its natural life?
The last question is particularly difficult to answer honestly, especially when the business owner’s pride is at risk.
Don’t Believe the Hype
Sometimes, as businesspeople, we get all too wrapped up in our products and services — and in our own hype. When you’ve spent years telling everyone how good your product, your people, your business and your message are, it can be difficult to see any fault in the way you are doing things.
It’s normally around this time that business owners start blaming factors that they believe are beyond their control, such as the economy or the weather.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Sometimes it’s good to talk. This could be with a trusted business confidant (perhaps a business partner or a long-term customer). You’ll want to find someone with your best interests at heart and not a “yes man” who is too afraid to upset the applecart.
Once you’ve seen the problem through another person’s eyes, fixing it becomes a whole lot easier. Chances are you already know what the issues are but you have put them to the back of your mind because you don’t want to face your problems head-on.
Great businesses always strive to solve problems for their clients. Occasionally, instead of painting over the cracks, business have also got to look inward and fix their own problems or they risk losing their credibility, trust and long-term financial health.
Who do you turn to when your business needs advice? Have you overcome a business midlife crisis and come out on the other side fighting? Share your comments below:
This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.