4 Reasons Why Your Company Isn’t Growing as Fast as It Could Be
Growing a business is one of the hardest challenges all leaders face. Data from the Innovation, Science & Economic Development Canada show that some 96% of small businesses make it for a full year, 85% survive for three years, and 70% make it to the five-year mark. Making it past year 1 is a feat in itself due to the 7,000+ businesses that go bankrupt every year in Canada.
That said, the goal is not to merely survive but to thrive and be a long-term company. The problem is all businesses are vulnerable to hitting rough patches, where growth slows to a crawl or stalls completely. If you’ve reached this point, you must identify the reasons behind the growth slowdown. In doing so, you’ll be able to make the necessary adjustments that will help jumpstart your business.
Your Vision is Unclear
The vision of most new startups is usually made up of short-term goals in order to not overreach. While this is practical at the beginning, continuing with this mindset will hold your business back. As such, you’ll need to revisit your vision, and continuously ask yourself these two important questions:
1. What is this business about?
2. What does this business do?
A perfect example in this case is our vision: Flow Capital is “an experienced alternative debt investor…” (what our business is about) that specializes in “providing venture debt and revenue-linked capital to high-growth businesses…” (what our business does). By having a clear long-term vision you will be able to better plan for the future and the growth of your company.
You’re Not Spending Enough
There’s nothing wrong with being thrifty, but carrying it over to your business isn’t a good idea, as it could cost you more money than it saves. In order to grow, you need to invest in your business. No venture is without risk, and if you are too cautious you could stump your growth and find yourself spending more to catch up.
Many business leaders in Canada are aware of this need to invest as shown in the report ‘Navigator: Made for the Future’. Of the business leaders polled, 47% planned to spend more on training employees, 42% vowed to spend more on employee satisfaction, and 54% promised to spend more on research and innovation.
If you have limited funds to invest, get creative to secure funding, as discussed in our previous blog on ‘7 Tips to Secure Funding During COVID-19’. Negotiate payables and shift to equity-based compensation where possible, or seek government support and minimally-dilutive funding when needed.
You’re Not Strategic Enough with Marketing
Marketing is central to the success and growth of any business. After all, what good is a great product or service if people don’t know about it? This is why you’ll need to carefully plan it out, and get creative in responding to market trends. One such trend, borne out of necessity due to the ongoing pandemic, is to rely more on digital marketing.
Digital marketing is now a deciding factor in whether businesses thrive (or survive) in these tough times and moving forward. That’s because of the almost-total disappearance of all channels related to live events and conferences, along with the many barriers to face-to-face interactions.
Yet, digital marketing is just as varied and able to reach audiences as traditional marketing methods. Businesses can implement a multi-pronged approach, with Ayima listing the following as key areas of digital marketing: performance SEO, analytics, and paid media. In recent years SEO has proven to be one of the most effective methods, as it can help a business reach new audiences by generating online traffic direct to their websites.
To get a sense of how important digital marketing now is, Business Matters reported that 58% of online shoppers find out about online retailers when they search for specific items. This is why companies need to work on their ‘searchability,’ improve their websites’ functionality, share content on social media, and try out other online channels — precisely the components of an effective digital marketing campaign. And as digital marketing figures to be the norm, Canadian firms can even leverage the recently established Maple Network Exchange, a digital advertising platform specifically for Canadian online audiences.
You’re Selling Too Low
It’s not uncommon for a business to set lower prices as a unique selling point. But trying to be the cheapest will undermine your business eventually, especially in the age of online services. The article Why Low Prices Can Scare Off Customers on Business News Daily found “that low prices can backfire for retailers because consumers sometimes see low prices as a sign of a low-quality product.” Consumers like to know they are getting a good deal, and if new, unheard of businesses put their prices too low this could cause a level of distrust on whether the product or service is equal to the price. Rather than focus on selling too low, look to improve the quality of your product or service.
If your business is struggling to grow or is looking to move to the next level, these tips are a good indication on what to do to expand your company.
Content exclusively written for flowcap.com
By Alisha Louis
About Flow Capital
Flow Capital provides venture debt and revenue-based financing for scaling businesses. We offer fast funding with flexible terms that are tailored to meet your company’s unique current and future needs.
To apply for financing, fill out our online application form here.