Are You Stuck?

Are You Stuck?

I speak with many business owners who feel frustrated that they are experiencing a plateau. They aren’t growing, in fact, some of them are actually in a declining mode. What happens when companies get stuck in a rut, or feel themselves plateauing?

How do you know if your company is in a rut? Some companies never realize it, they just don’t know how to recognize it, and believe it or not, many of them eventually die off. Those who can recognize what is happening, those that understand they have plateaued, and those that are willing to work to change their trajectory are the ones who will succeed.

If you suspect you are stuck, the first thing to do is to take a look at your numbers. What story do your numbers tell over the last several years? Following the numbers will give you a solid picture of where your company has been and where you are likely to head with no significant changes.

This may sound like a crazy question, but the first question I ask a “stuck” business owner is: “Do you want to grow?” I ask it in all seriousness, because there are a surprising number of people out there who on the surface, might say they want growth, but haven’t internalized that desire. With growth, often there is pain. To break a rut and climb out of a plateau, things have to be approached differently. The owner or executive has to have a complete commitment and a mindset that is absolutely clear on their growth goal. Once that sincere commitment has been made, we can begin the process of breaking the plateau.

The next question that I will ask a business owner or executive to assess is whether they have the right team in place to move the company forward.  Jack Welch suggests that companies need to ensure that they have the right people in the right seats on the right bus. If that magic combination happens, your company can do amazing things. This is often a painful issue for leaders. Ensuring that the right people are doing the right things on your team necessarily means that there might be wrong people currently on the team that need to be removed. Perhaps their talents will fill the “right seat” in another part of the company, or perhaps it is time to part ways. Regardless, it is critical to find the right people. Often in a company’s life cycle the people who were perfect in the start-up stage or the early growth stage are not the right people for mature growth and development.

Another way to work on breaking a rut is to take a look at your product or service mix. What are you doing now very, very well? What are you NOT doing very well right now? What did your numbers tell you about your product mix and profitability? Where are the hidden gems in your company? What opportunities could you pursue if you had the right people with the right talents in place? What are the trends in your industry, and are there ways to capitalize on those? How can you re-energize your company by exploring opportunities for product or market expansion?

If you pay attention to these four tips, I can assure you that you will be well on your way to breaking out of your rut and crushing your plateau. If you would like more information or a consultation on your specific issues, please contact me at 440-655-4755

I want to help you focus and thrive.


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