All small business owners have one thing in common – they are very protective over their business.
Although this is great in some respects, it can mean that they view their business through rose tinted glasses, often not seeing when changes need to be made.
And in some instances, it’s not just small changes that need to be made, with substantial ones often required, with these three points helping you understand when it’s time to make a drastic change.
1. You’re working for nothing
It’s important to understand that a lot of small business owners work for nothing at first, with many not even making a profit for the first 18 months.
However, if you’re still working for nothing after several years – i.e., you’re operating, bringing in money but can’t afford to pay yourself a wage or expand – it’s time to start sitting down and looking at why exactly your small business isn’t bringing in the finances required to ensure you’re able to make a living.
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2. Your sales aren’t increasing
One of the simplest rules in business is that the more you sell, the more money you earn and therefore the more you can reinvest into the business.
All businesses, irrelevant of their size, need to be constantly driving their sales forward, setting targets and striving to achieve them, as a sure fire way of knowing that something drastic needs to be done with your small business is that your sales figures haven’t increased in several months and show no sign of doing so in the immediate future.
3. Your brand is virtually unknown
Developing the awareness of your brand is something that does take a lot of time, regardless of whether you can afford to spend thousands on advertising or not (although this does of course help).
However, brand awareness should develop naturally if you’re providing good quality products to your target audience with a high standard of customer service.
If you’re finding that you’re getting next to no repeat customers or people are visiting your store (whether it’s online or offline) through referrals or adverts only, you need to be looking at why exactly people aren’t associating your small business name with the products that you offer and visiting because of this link.
It’s a hard decision to make deciding that you need to make drastic changes to your small business, but these three points should help ensure that that decision is as simple to make as possible.
This post was originally published on October 19, 2011.