How to revive a struggling business

With millions of entrepreneurs counting their losses, the global economic slump has left your business grappling to find its way back to life but there’s a way out. There are proven strategies to revive your struggling business and get back on your feet.

Don’t take my words for it. Some entrepreneurs have emerged from the downturn with lessons and proven strategies that’s led to a huge turnaround for their businesses.

As one of the small businesses affected by the global economic downturn, in the course of finding our way back to profit, we have learned key lessons and strategies that will be useful to most small businesses.

In the course of managing and consulting for small businesses, applying these strategies have led to improved results and increased growth for business. And in this guide, I’ll be sharing these strategies with you and the steps you can take to use them to revive your dying business and get back on your feet. .

Evaluate your Business

One of the first steps to revive your struggling business is to evaluate the business. Without this, it is nearly impossible to know what’s wrong with your business or how to resolve it.

As a small business owner, it’s possible some of your actions or inactions are partly or wholly responsible for the result you have with your business today.

To change your outcome and revive your dying business, you must figure out exactly, what got you to this point.

To get in on this, start with a personal evaluation of your business activities, all the things you’re supposed to do in the normal cause of business.

Find out the things you were able to do, how you did them, the ones you were not able to do and how they would have impacted your business if you did them.

Specifically, get out two lists.

On the first list, write down everything you’re supposed to do in the normal cause of your business which you’re actually doing.

For the second list, write down the ones you’re supposed to do which you have not been able to do either for one reason or the other.

List out everything in details.

Go through the first list of what you’re already doing and ask yourself, am I doing these things judiciously as it is supposed to be done?

If you’re a content creator for example, this is where you’ll ask yourself questions like; am I consistent? Am I creating the right kind of content or am I posting my content at the right time?

Furthermore ask yourself; If at all I am, am I sharing my content on social media platform, am I sharing it to the correct target audience?

For the second list, find out if you were to have done the things listed there, how would it have impacted your business?

Answering these questions sincerely, will help you to analyze what went wrong, why, how and the answers you get from here will shape the solutions you’ll evolve as you navigate deeper with the other steps.

Re-assess your target Market

Are you really targeting the right market? Is there really a need for your product or services in this particular market today as it was when you started?

This is the next set of questions to answer as you get set to revive your struggling business.

Over the years, I have come to realize that one of the major reasons a lot of small businesses fail is not merely because they don’t have a good knowledge of the market…

Most small businesses fail because they try to sell the wrong product to the wrong market.

While working on plans to revive a failing business, one of the factors you have to consider is your audience – Are they really in need of what you’re selling and if yes, what’s the best price that can work for them?

Also, be able to differentiate between having a product in the market and having the right product at the right price and in the right market.

Furthermore, a reassessment of your industry will guide you should keep targeting this particular market segment or not.

This knowledge will inform you on whether you need to go ahead with this line of business, change it or make price adjustments to suit in with current market realities.

Analyze your Market Demand

It’s possible you got into this business some months or years back. And over the period, a lot of changes might have taken place, sometimes, without your knowledge.

At this stage, to revive your struggling business and get back on your feet, find out, how’s the market positioned today as compared to when you started your business?

Is the market still in need of your product and services today as it is or are there some changes in demand?

Answering these questions correctly, using online data can give you a better perspective on what’s happening around your business.

Today, a lot of small businesses owners are trying to revive a dead horse. They struggle hard to breathe life into products and services that are no longer in demand.

Truth is, most times this will only end up as effort in futility and you might not even notice it.

That’s why, to revive a dying business, you must do a market research to find out what’s working with your target audience and what’s not.

In addition to that, Identify the current taste and preferences of your market, compare the demand and supply pull for your product or services and then use this to draw conclusions on the way forward.

PS: To achieve this, you can do a direct market research by asking questions via questionnaires or have a look at what your competitors are doing. Afterwards, you will be better informed on what to do, based on the data you generate.

Review your Brand

One of the causes of small business failure you’ll hardly ever suspect could be your brand performance.

Sometimes your small business could be struggling either because you have stopped delivering on your promise as a brand or the brand itself has lost its appeal or it is not best fit for the target audience anymore.

But, you’ll never know until you have a quick review of your brand. So, reviewing your brand is one of the effective strategies you can use to revive your struggling business.

To get started, find out; as a brand, are you still serving your target audience the way you’re supposed to or are there things you can do to make things better?

A handful of struggling businesses have gained improved growth after they made some changes to their brand positioning.

Perhaps this could be one of the biggest shot you’ll take to revive your struggling business but you’ll never know until you take a step to review your brand.

Create a Goal

Now that you’ve been able to evaluate what happened to your business, the next step to revive your struggling business is to find out the way forward.

So, it’s at this point you’ll ask the question, where do we go from here?

And to answer this question correctly, you have to clearly identify the things you want to achieve going forward.

At this stage, set out a realistic goal that can be achieved within a set time frame. Remember, this is not the time to write down numerous goals.

Focus on picking out a few things you can achieve within a specific period that can actually get your business back on its feet. And then write down these things.

Design a Strategic Plan

What steps can you take to achieve the things you listed down as your goals?

Now, one of the major reasons why small businesses fail is lack of a realistic business plan.

After creating your goal, the next step to revive a struggling business is to design a new business strategy.

Considering that during your evaluation at step one, you were able to figure out the reason why the other strategy failed..

What you want to do right now is to get a new strategy different from the other one.

Steps to revive a struggling business
Clearly identify the steps you can use to achieve your goals | Image credits: Alena Darmel via Pexels

It doesn’t matter that you don’t know it all. What you want to do is to come up with a research backed step-by-step strategy that will help you to achieve your new goals as set out above.

Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be elaborate. Keep it simple and realistic. While at it, you may want to have a look at what your competitors are doing.

It doesn’t mean you have to copy their own strategy. But if it’s working for them, you can always take some few things and adapt them to yours.

Remember, your business plan shouldn’t be cut in stone. Sometimes, you will have to keep testing and changing strategies until you find out what really works for you.

Implement your Strategy

No matter how good it is, your business plan is nothing but a plan on paper. Implementation is the only way you can bring it to life. It is also the only way you can get to actually revive your struggling business.

So, now that you know what happened to your business and you’re also set to bring it back to live with a new strategy, it’s time to get to implement your plans.

Get right in on it, one step at a time. Do not be in a hurry but take out time to observe your outcomes, as you implement each of your plans.

As much as possible, try to utilize all available avenues to implement your strategies. If it’s marketing, do not just stop on one particular platform, get on as many platforms as possible and then take note of your outcomes.

Collaborate or Co-create

Sometimes, collaboration could be all you need to revive a struggling business.

Although in some cases, a lot of small business owners always refuse to accept this option sometimes out of shame and some other reasons. I get that a lot.

But, there’s nothing shameful about pulling resources together with another business if that’s all it will take to save your business from dying.

You could consider doing this as mergers or simply collaborating to deliver some specific services, sell products or combine effort in mutually beneficial ways.

In most cases, collaborating or co-creating solutions with other businesses, does not have to be a permanent or lead to merger of brands. It could be project specific.

Where collaborating with other business is your best shot to revive your struggling business, be sure you take this step after factoring in the pros and the cons and going for it only when the pros outweighs the cons.

Measure your Outcomes

As you’d probably know, one other major reason lots of online businesses fail is because they fail to measure their outcome.

And when you don’t measure your outcome, you don’t know if there’s any improvement or not.

As some one focused on reviving your struggling business, after taking the steps above, you have to review your outcomes.

This will help you to understand if the steps you’ve taken so far have been able to deliver any result or not.

Again, let’s say you’re a content creator for instance; to measure your performance, on a monthly basis, you’ll have to review your content strategy, posting platform and overall performance, based on your goals.

Find out, did your strategy deliver on the expected outcome? If yes, are there areas you could improve on to get better results?

Where you realize there’s no improvement then you’ll know it’s time to re-strategize and try something different altogether.

In a nutshell, whatever be the case; measuring your outcomes will equip you with ideas on what happened to your business or what did not happen and what you can do to change the course of your business.

Final Words

It’s very possible to revive a struggling business and get back on your feet and thrive after a resounding slut in growth.

A lot of businesses have been there. Done that. And you can actually do the same, if you take steps to put in the work, using the right strategies.

Right now in this guide, you have all the right strategies you need to revive your dying business.

But the question is, are you ready to use these strategies and revive your business? Are you ready to walk the talk and get your business to become the next successful online business you’ve been dreaming about? The choice is yours!

Remember, if you find it difficult to get started on the right footing, we can hold you by the hand no matter the level you are with your business. So, let’s get started here.

Now, it’s over to you! Have you ever had to deal with a struggling business? If yes, what was the outcome? Drop your comments below.

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Victor Winners

Victor Winners

A Nigerian trained Law graduate and British LL.M candidate, using his widespread experience in tech, law and innovation, to evolve cutting edge and growth driven solutions for brands and businesses in Africa and beyond.As a Law-trained tech expert, Victor brings in over 7 years experience working in the Digital Marketing, SEO, Web Development, Online Publishing, Social Media and Legaltech sectors, to create result driven content and innovative solutions to brands and businesses.Named as one of the top 50 Web Design Influencers Globally, Victor Winners started one of Africa's most widely read blogs on Digital Marketing and Strategy.With this platform, he has impacted the lives of over 2 million readers spanning more than 135 countries in 8+ years

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