8 Solutions for Getting Your Business Out of a Slump

Slumps happen to all businesses at some point. Here are a few tips to help you overcome them.

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By Chris Kille

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Slump. Bust. Dip. Whatever you call it, it happens to all businesses at some point. And that means you need a solution so you can avoid the slump when it happens to your business and grow faster when it does happen.

The first thing you need to know is that it's okay to slump. We're going to get into the nitty-gritty of what a slump is, why your business might be slumping and how you can overcome it. But first, I want to start with a little bit of context: You are not alone in this. Slumps happen to the best of us, even to Elon Musk a few years back. In fact, they happen all the time — to everyone from newbies just starting out to corporate giants who have been around for decades.

So, if we're all in this together, why do some businesses come out of slumps stronger than ever while others crumble? The answer is simple: Those who have mastered the art of overcoming slumps are able to grow even when times are tough and learn from their mistakes so they don't fall into them again.

That's not to say a slump can't be the time to do some deep soul-searching. If you're suffering from a slump and you're wondering how to get out of it, don't worry. We've got you covered.

Related: Slumps Are Part of the Game. Winning Requires Knowing How to Get Back on Track.

What is a slump?

A slump is a sudden business downturn that can be caused by a host of factors, including an economic downturn or changes in technology. Sometimes a slump just happens for no reason at all, but the good news is that there are ways to overcome them and get back on track.

While it's true that slumps are never fun and they can feel like they last forever (I promise they don't), it's important not to let your mind go down that path because it will only make things worse. Instead, take some time to reflect on what's working well right now and what isn't working so well — and then make some changes!

So, how do you get back on your feet?

You're in a slump. It happens to every business at some point. And if you don't know how to get out of it, you're going to end up being stuck there for months or even years.

But we're here to tell you that it doesn't have to be that way! Slumps are temporary by nature — and they can usually be fixed by implementing a few simple tweaks to your current strategy. Here's how:

1. Ask yourself, "What is the cause of my slump?"

If you're in a slump, it's important to ask yourself what caused it. Did you have an uncharacteristic drop in quality? Did you change up your pricing and not get the results you were hoping for? Did something happen in the industry that affected your bottom line?

Whatever the case may be, it's important to figure out what went wrong and why so that it doesn't happen again. You can even try to get some help from business strategic consultants and assess your whole business.

2. Is your business model broken? Look at your competitors' strategies.

Businesses are built on competition, and with the advent of the internet, that competition is more fierce than ever. If you're not nipping at the heels of your competitors, you're falling behind. With so many businesses vying for attention, how do you stay ahead of the curve?

As the old saying goes: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." That's right — look at your competitors' strategies, and see what they're doing right. What can you learn from them? How can you apply their ideas to improve your own business model?

We've all seen it before: One company comes up with an innovative new idea that catches on, and suddenly everyone else is doing it too. It's no longer enough to just have a good idea — you need to be able to execute it better than anyone else. So, if your competitor is doing something that works well for them but not for you, try changing things up!

If nothing else, this will give you some insight into why some ideas work for certain companies but not for others, and that kind of knowledge can only help you develop better strategies for your own business in the future.

3. Are you connected with your customers?

In a world where people are spending more time online than in person, it's more important than ever to ensure that your customers are happy with the services that you provide. If they're not satisfied, they will leave and take their business elsewhere.

If you're looking for ways to improve customer satisfaction, then it's time to start asking them what they think about the products and services that you offer. This is the only way that you can determine what needs improvement and how those areas might be improved. It also gives you an opportunity to ask questions about new products or services so that they can help shape what's next for your company.

Related: Use Slumps to Your Advantage

4. Have you failed to save for a rainy day?

The unexpected can happen at any time, but how will you handle it? The best way to prepare for a downturn is to get ahead of it.

Think of your business as a car and the rainy day as an accident. You want to be able to pay for repairs without going into debt, right? So, why wouldn't you want to save up money in case something like that happens?

You don't want to be caught off guard, so make sure that you're prepared for all kinds of scenarios. If you're not, it could put your whole business at risk!

5. Have you failed to innovate?

You must bring new ideas to the table. In business, there are two kinds of people: those who innovate and those who don't. The innovators are the ones who succeed in times of slump. They're always looking for new ways to bring their business back from the brink of failure.

Remember Nokia? If you're on the other hand ... well, maybe it's time to start thinking outside the box!

6. Are you not looking into the future? Try predictive analytics

Not looking into the future? If so, you're missing out on a lot of opportunities.

Predictive analytics is a tool for predicting the future by using data about previous actions and outcomes. This can help you avoid problems before they even happen. It's a great way to ensure that your business remains strong and stable, even in times of slump.

If you're not using predictive analytics, though, don't worry — you can still turn things around now!

7. Don't look for "quick hits"

If you're in a slump, it's tempting to look for "quick hits" that will bring your business back to life. The problem is, these quick-hit solutions often lead to more slumps.

For example, if you hire a new team member and expect them to fix all of your problems, you might be disappointed when they don't turn things around fast enough. Or if you launch a new product and expect it to pull in tons of revenue, but then it doesn't perform as well as you'd hoped, you'll be disappointed again.

The truth is that there are no "quick hits" when it comes to overcoming a slump. The only way out is through deep engagement with your customers and an openness to change that's supported by data-driven analysis and experimentation.

Related: 4 Tips To Keep Your Business Afloat in a Downturn

8. Ditch the fluff

Don't you hate it when you're reading something and suddenly you're like, "Wow, this is really fluffy." Like, "I'm not sure what I was expecting here, but it wasn't this."

It's like, what are you doing? You're wasting my time! And I don't have a lot of time to waste. I'm too busy trying to save up money for my retirement so that I can buy a house in Florida and spend my days on the beach sipping margaritas.

But seriously, we all have our own lives to live and our own problems to solve. So, let's cut through all the bullsh*t and talk about how we can work together to get through this slump together.

So, don't wait another moment. Take action now! It's time to stretch, listen to your body and rally your team for one last push. And if taking action doesn't work, you might need to make some changes. But until then, before the critical moment hits and you're left with no other choice, don't forget to use these ideas as a way to fight through rough patches and get back on track.

Chris Kille

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Chief Executive Officer at Elevate Outsourcing

As a serial entrepreneur, Chris Kille has founded, operated & sold multiple businesses across a wide array of industries from finance to transportation & even animal care. He comes from a family of entrepreneurs, so finding solutions to people's needs comes naturally to him. Based in Charlotte, NC.

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