Rescuing a stagnant business.
Mama Mwende’s shop has been in existence for as long as I can remember. As the youngest most agile member in our family my visits to this small shop were innumerable. It the Plan B shop. The backup when mothers forget to purchase an important ingredient in the large city supermarket. You are sure to find pasteurized milk, sweet yellow scones, scouring pads, diapers, toothpaste, sweets and the most out-dated kitchen towels all in small packages. You never find anything in large quantities. If consistency is the key to growing business Mama Mwendes’ shop should be a mall (but it is not). In my analysis, she has been selling the same items for decades, probably purchasing from the same suppliers, because her quality is consistently guaranteed. In the last 5 years, I have observed new supermarkets sprout next to Mama Mwendes’ shop, they begin small, and at first we even ignore them, because we are loyal to Mama Mwende – she offers credit when times are tough. Then one day you forget a major item and visit the business and realize that it’s become established and fit for purpose. Which makes me wonder, why is Mama Mwendes’ shop not growing despite being operational for decades? What is stagnating the business?
- Overlooking Critical Business Catalysts?
Successful Entrepreneurs equate a business to a child that requires shaping and guidance if they are to turn into useful human beings in the society. Like they say, the devil is in the details. It is the seemingly minor aspects that are most overlooked that limit small businesses from becoming the movers and shakers in their respective industries.
- Customer Service is essential for it determines whether your business will grow or crumble. Acquiring a client should not be as hard as maintaining them. Customer engagement in terms of services offered is most crucial as you will be in a position to understand your customers’ predicament. On the other hand, show politeness but do not be timid in how you handle your clientele.
- Marketing. It is said that the aim of marketing is to understand the customer so well that the product or service fits them and sells itself. As you market your products, understand the market gap and know what your audiences need. You will not have a hard task convincing someone to purchase what they need already. Maximize on the available platforms to market your products and services, including but not limited to Social media.
- The location. Proximity of your business to your competitors, security, accessibility and possibility for growth should be your utmost considerations before choosing a location for your business. Choosing a location with a steady stream of people can also help elevate the condition of your business.
- Cash Crunch is also a significant trigger that is a nightmare to many small business owners. A small business requires cash to make it operational and able to sustain different customer orders. The most significant hurdle is turning the assets into liquid cash or, instead, cash flow. A small business owner should be prepared to cub this issue by flattening the cash crunch curve and staying afloat. Different streams of income apart from one business can help to mitigate the issue.
- Unsecured Loans
In most cases, entrepreneurs lack the cash to restock their supplies or offer clients different services. An alternative is getting unsecured loans to boost their businesses. Many platforms offer unsecured loans via mobile wallet platforms or bank accounts. One of the significant challenges of unsecured loans is the high-interest rates and short repayment period over the principal amount. Profits of small businesses are swept away by the high-interest rates leading to stagnant growth.
Conclusively, small business owners should be on the watch to make things right to mitigate the risks of a stagnant business. Small business owners should give customers service, location, and marketing priority at all times. On the other hand, they should have multiple streams of income to remain relevant. As a small business owner, time changes, and so should you.