Owning Your Industry — Is your growth becoming stagnant? Here are 5 questions you need to be asking

Published on
November 3, 2022
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Every business goes through phases. You take your vision and turn it into a reality. Your target markets pick it up and they love it.

You begin with 100 sales a month. And then you hit the sales strategy “sweet spot” and 100 sales turn into 200 the following month. Then explode into 1,000 sales the next.

Accomplishing what you have set out to do is one exhilarating roller coaster ride. But even roller coasters reach their peak — that hard and fast ascend to comfortable greatness.

Once you reach the top, you enjoy the view. Sometimes, too much to the point of comfort.

Comfort breeds complacency. And complacency is what kills businesses. Why?

Because complacency gives you a false sense of security. You are continuously ticking all the boxes, so why do anything else? You finally have a sales strategy that is working to your advantage, so why rock the boat?

You are in a safe place in terms of business strategy, marketing efforts, and sales undertakings. And it keeps your business going.

But is “safe” enough?

In this article, we pose 5 questions that leaders must ask themselves in order to know whether they are where they need to be or if it is time to kick things up a notch.

1) “Is it time for change? Do we need to change?”

Former Chairman and CEO of General Electric John Francis Welch Jr. said, “change before you have to.” In today’s volatile business environment, change is necessary to compete and thrive. So, when do you know if it is time to shake things up?

Scheduling time to review current success metrics and strategies helps breed company self-awareness. Are 1,000 sales enough to keep you ahead of the competition? Are your resources enough? Do your methods hold up? Are projects continually delighting current customers and enticing new ones? Are your objectives still relevant? Are new ideas coming in? Are new ideas and opportunities for innovation embraced? Is your business reaching its full potential?

2) “If we were starting the business today, would we still be targeting the same markets and using the same strategies?”

If the answer is YES, then you are right where you need to be. But if the answer is a NO, your business is at risk of stagnation (if you are not already).

Keep an eye out for external factors that directly impact your business goals, such as current and upcoming competitors, mission relevance, and issues surrounding political, social, economic, and environmental landscapes.

Doing so will put your company in a good position to pinpoint and seize rare and hidden market opportunities, realign your business model to anticipate and mitigate potential threats to your operations, and – more importantly – inject new life and a fresh narrative to your brand.

3) “Are we keeping enough tabs on our competitors?”

The competition might know something you do not. Keeping your finger on their pulse is crucial in staying one step ahead. This also applies to companies in other industries that are looking to cater to your target audience.

Determining what they are doing right, how they are building on their value proposition, how they are expanding their portfolios, and how they are resonating with your target markets can help lessen unpleasant surprises.

Consistently assess what strategies they are implementing and how they have changed over the past 18 to 24 months. Compare these insights on how you have evolved as a company and pinpoint where you can improve.

4) “Are we ready to grow from the inside-out? Are we cultivating a growth culture?”

Your employees are a great resource for assessing growth readiness. Your employees’ level of engagement and drive ultimately determines your business’s overall health and capacity to innovate and grow.

Dive deeper — honestly and frequently — into how your employees are faring: Are they growing into great leaders and individuals? Are they engaged? Are they being proactive with your clients and their career development? Are they freely providing fresh input? Are they sparking healthy discussions around conflicting ideas? Are they curious? Are they continuously challenged and supported to do better?

5) “What are our customers saying?”

This point slightly goes against point #1 in that, sometimes, we think that progress means constantly improving products, services, or processes. There are times when what is working feels boring. But “boring” does not always mean something is no longer working.

Reach out to customers. What are they saying? What is working for them and what is not? These insights can push for market-driven decisions that can either help you reconsider the direction your company is going or allow you to simply stay where you are… for now.

Whether you feel that your business has stagnated or not, these questions can help you push forward or keep the momentum going. Scaling is not a one-time thing. It is a continuous process that begs consistent reevaluation in order to keep reaching goals, and even exceed them.

As a growth consultancy, we at BeingIconic have successfully worked with numerous industry leaders in either picking up market pace or boosting business and sales momentum. Partner with us today if you want us to do the same for you.