The Ultimate Guide To Keep Momentum Up In Your Company
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
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If your company is already finding success in the industry, and you believe that the overall performance is up to standards, then you most likely feel that there isn’t sufficient reason to switch directions or experiment in your business, and risk dropping the ball entirely. However, it is a common occurrence for some companies that start out well to reach the point of hitting a solid wall, and then beginning to fail through a mix of insufficient experience, unmotivated employees, and sluggish growth.
Just like many other things in life, businesses go through cycles of growth, inertia, decline, and repeat. Although the launch stage such as startup kick offs and new product introductions can be incredibly difficult to master, when established businesses go through a stagnant phase or a crippling decline in performance, the challenge can become insurmountable.
But on a positive note, there are usually several signs that will show if your business is losing its momentum, and falling into a trap of stagnation. These signs can be used to detect inertia early on, and with the application of some corrective measures, momentum can be restored and kept at high levels.
Here are the signs that show a company or a business is losing momentum:
1. LOSING FOCUS OF YOUR COMPANY VISION
One of the clear signs that show your business is going through an unwanted slow period is your inability to apply your vision, or see it in action. It is very easy for companies to lose focus when balancing numerous tasks and priorities, and the company quickly becomes obsessed with “doing things” with no attention to strategy, improving processes, or reconnecting with the end goals.
Having the right balance at work is vital for a business; it helps you stay focused on what will actually grow and enhance performance. This is why it is necessary to regularly revisit projects and tasks and evaluate priorities and how everything connects back to the company’s goals and vision. Doing so may also necessitate changing operations, staffing, or resource allocation.
2. INCONSISTENT BRANDING
Businesses live off consumer as well as employer branding strategies, which are mainly the marketing responsibilities with a crossover to the HR department. Optimum marketing strategies highlight the added value to your audience. For consumers, they should always know why they need to make a purchase or become a partner with you. Likewise, employer branding can shape your future and existing workforce and their contribution towards your company success. In fact, the Bayt.com Employer Branding Poll showed that 95% of MENA job seekers want companies to engage with them via online job sites, so that they understand what their brand is all about.
Now, the issue here often is either lack of balance between consumer and employer branding, or the inconsistency in brand definition and communication. Externally, inconsistent consumer branding will confuse clients and reduce their likelihood of continuing to do business with you, as they no longer comprehend your value proposition. Internally, an inconsistent employer brand will frustrate your employees and deter potential talent. Both factors are likely to damage your momentum and performance as a business.
3. LIVING IN THE SAFE ZONE
New and mature businesses need a steady supply of fuel to continue expanding. That is not only done by attracting new clients and converting leads, but also by actively seeking new ideas, projects, partnerships, product developments, and such. When your company sits in the “safety zone” for too long and stops hunting for new business opportunities, then the needed momentum to grow and avoid dips is washed away.
Momentum requires momentum. Being active is the main driver of business success. For a sales department as an instance, this means not relying solely on existing client stacks and expanding to new territories. For management, this means experimenting with new products or forging new partnerships.
4. NEGLECTING KEY CLIENTS
Clients who believe in the quality of the work and services being delivered to them will continue to do business with you. However, feeling ignored and neglected will automatically send your most loyal clients straight to your competitor.
The issue often is that businesses stop nurturing relationships with clients and partners once they’ve checked off their short-term objectives (i.e. sold a service, signed an agreement). If you have noticed that you are losing some of your key customers, then this is a sign that progress and momentum have been lost, especially in terms of how much you invest in maintaining your relationship and added value to the consumer.
Now, as these signs start to arise at your company, you must always be aware and prepared to lessen their impact on performance and growth. Here is the reality: to manage growth, you must face some risk. Think about it this way, risk is always accompanied with either an opportunity or a failure. However, if risk is handled right, then opportunity is its companion. Here is how to embrace growth in your business without losing momentum:
1. INVEST IN YOUR TALENT
It all goes back to who are the brains and hands that are operating your business and determining its activity level. This means, investing in the right tools for talent acquisition can on its own ensure you are prepared for challenges, and have the capacity to maintain high business momentum.
But investing in talent is not just about sourcing, screening, assessing, and hiring. The process goes beyond these steps, and extends to onboarding, training, and professional development.
A Bayt.com poll showed that 85% of MENA professionals would leave their job for better training and career development. What’s more, nearly two-thirds of respondents (63.3%) cited increased productivity as the greatest advantage of training and professional development, while the remaining one-third (28.7%) cited increased productivity in addition to increased employee satisfaction, improved employer brand and culture, and improved succession planning.
Companies that do not regularly invest in talent acquisition, development, and retention tools will sooner or later face the threat of diminishing productivity and poor performance.
2. MAKE THE TOUGH CALL
As human beings, indecisiveness is what often prevents us from developing or improving. However, decisions are what turn a plan written on a piece of paper into reality and, hopefully, success. At times, where no decisions are being made regarding major business challenges or unclear situations, then your company becomes stale and the business declines.
Begin making the tough choices. Whether that includes phasing out a failing product, restructuring a dysfunctional department, or hiring new talent, focus on getting action to flow again by introducing the plan and seeing it through completion.
Of course, you will need the input and buy in from your teams to ensure that decisions are accepted and acted upon as well as to resolve any existing issues or concerns.
3. PLAY TO WIN
Every business wants to win. Nonetheless, if you notice that your business strategy changes with time to become a defensive one, then growth is likely to either slow down or stop altogether.
Even if this is merely at the psychological level, running a business with the goal to avoid danger or losses is completely different from a business that uses a mindset of non-stop growth and experimentation.
Communicating to your teams that the goal is to always grow, but also supporting such message with the right environment and tools, will instill in them the drive, creativity, risk taking, and forwardthinking abilities that are necessary for maintaining high business momentum.
4. EMBRACE CHANGE
The most harmful action that any business can take is being unwilling to change. Success isn’t a one-time event, and it begs for change in order to keep going. Success specifically either drives the company to a bigger success if done right, or to a disastrous point.
From a leadership point of view, you must first accept constant change, seek to understand it, and develop mechanisms to deal with it to your benefit. Trusting the people that you manage, and leading them to implement the change will also help you keep your operations steady in face of turbulences.
Innovation is often the key ingredient in dealing with changes. Create an environment where change is seen as a challenge to overcome, not a threat or an excuse to let performance slow down.
Simply put, reaching the short-term desired profits and outcomes should never serve as your business’s ultimate goal. In order to keep growth and business momentum at its highest level, both a long-term mindset orientation for your teams as well as investments in the right tools and resources will guarantee that a good moment does not turn sour.