Connect with us

Entrepreneurship

6 Steps to Getting out of a Business Plateau

Published

on

Getting out of a Business Plateau

A business plateau, just like in fitness and bodybuilding, will occur many times throughout a person’s journey on their way to success. Sometimes it’s just the natural course and there’s not much that can be done to prevent it.

However other times, you find yourself in a plateau for a reason. The difficult part is knowing how to get out of it.

A plateau is essentially a flat line, showing no evidence of results or any progress at all, and it feels like no matter what you do, you just don’t seem to be getting anywhere.

It can be incredibly difficult within this time to maintain the amount of effort you’re putting into what you do, and this doesn’t help the problem one bit.


 

6 Steps to Getting Out of a Business Plateau

After all, who wants to be constantly putting in effort for months on end, to then see a fat flat line of nothing? No one wants to get stuck in a rut. If you’ve currently hit a bit of a flat line in progress, here are 6 steps to getting out of a business plateau.

 

1. Do the Math

We all know how important math is to the success of a business. Taking control of your cash flow and making sure you have taken every last detail into account is crucial if you are to know exactly how much you’re making. If it’s not all being taken into account, then you are merely guessing.

I recently wrote an article on 10 common ways that business waste money. If you think the ‘Do the Math’ step is going to apply to you, then it might be worth taking a look.

Of course, there are a number of different elements to the math that need to be considered: The costs of the business, the revenue, pricing strategy etc.

If it’s your costs or pricing strategy then you know what needs to be looked at; however if your revenue is low it may be that you just need to keep going until business picks up.

If it doesn’t start to pick up after several more months of hard work, that’s the time to start re-assessing your product, target market, and location.

 

2. Eliminate Fear

Change is feared by a lot of people. Change is outside of what you’d call the norm’, and when you’re in a plateau change is what will help you to get out of it. A common reason why so many businesses will go through a plateau is because they’re afraid to make the change to the next step up.

Which therefore means they’re sitting at a level which feels comfortable. They’re used to what they’re doing and have become accustom to it.

The problem with that is that if you want to be consistently growing as a business and improving, then you need to be willing to adapt and make new changes in order to hit the next step up.

If you’re afraid to make these changes, then it’s likely you’ll sit at the same level until you’re ready to do so. Sometimes there is just no other way up than making the one change you really are scared to do.

Tyrese Gibson Picture Quote

3. Decide If You’re Ready

Businesses can’t be showing improvements that are noticeable, 100% of the time. There are bound to be times where they just need to let everything catch up, let things adjust themselves and let people get comfortable.

Sometimes a business just isn’t ready to move to the next step, and that’s fine. Things take time. What would be worse is trying to get ahead of yourself, and ending up not being able to cope with the new goals you’ve recently set yourself.

That’s likely to leave you worse off than just allowing the correct amount of time before moving on.

 

4. Push Through the ‘No Results’ Period

According to Derek Halpern from Social Triggers, most bloggers will give up within 3 months. And I’m pretty confident that the number will be the same for many businesses, gym routines and hobbies.

They all go through a stage of excitement, where someone can’t wait to do something, they’re pumped, they’re ready. But after time they start to lose motivation, because they realize that what they’re doing isn’t just a 3 month process.

It takes a lot of time and practice to become the best at something.

That’s why when some people think they’re in a plateau, it might just be that they haven’t allowed the right amount of time for the results to start coming. Don’t be afraid to push through this flat line period at 100% all the way.

No results may cause you to think you’re not doing things right, which will lead to you putting in less effort, and it’s at that point you will begin to fail.

 

5. Work on One Aspect More Than the Others

If you focus your time on one aspect in particular, rather than three different ones at the same time, then you’ll excel a lot more quickly in that aspect. Sure, the other two will be weaker, but the funny thing is that the overall progression you make will be larger.

Simply because you won’t be mediocre at all 3 aspects. You’ll be great at one and the other two will still be mediocre. This is an important fact and the best used example is when using social media to promote a business.

When first creating a startup, if you divide your time and attention equally between Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, you’ll find it a lot harder to build a great presence on each network.

Whereas if you select one to focus on, this will become a powerful source for you, and the other two will be secondary sources. This point of focusing on too many things was one that Josh Dunlop brought up when writing about the reasons why you suck at Social Media.

For any of you who play video games; if now and then you are assigned points to upgrade your character’s skills. My bet is that you will focus on a couple of them and just make sure that the others don’t get left too far behind, right?

You wouldn’t upgrade everything equally, because that way you have no points left to excel at certain skills more quickly.

 

6. Figure Out What’s Holding You Back

Okay, so even though I’ve mentioned doing the math, eliminating fear and only focusing on one aspect, there’s many other things that could be holding you back.

Things that are likely to be specific to your business and not something that can easily be identified within an article like this.

Spend a little bit of time looking at what you’ve been doing recently, and just take the time to analyse the business plateau that you’re in. There might be something that you have been missing. It could be an easy correction, but you just haven’t spotted it yet.

The ultimate point of a plateau, is that if it’s not an expected period for your business at the current time, then something will need to change with what you’re doing.

Otherwise the flat line will continue unless you begin to switch things up.

Dan Western is the founder of Wealthy Gorilla. Dan is a young ambitious guy who has been researching self-development for the past two years and is now off travelling the world. His mission is to inspire others to live their dreams and be the person to whom they say; "Because of you, I never gave up." Join Wealthy Gorilla on Facebook.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jimmy R.

    Aug 14, 2014 at 5:02 am

    Hey Dan,

    Nice tips! You hit the nail on the head when you talked about the “No Results Period”.

    The “no results period” is what usually separates the “wanna-bes” from those who are really serious about achieving success.

    During my no results period (I’m still here by the way if we talk about website traffic since my blog is fairly new). I’ve used Linkedin marketing to get clients and it’s worked quite well.

    So even if I didn’t get enough traffic, I was still able to get clients through my marketing methods.

    Here’s the Linkedin marketing strategies that I used that worked quite well for me.

    http://guildofbloggers.com/warning-these-out-of-the-box-linkedin-marketing-tips-are-extremely-actionable-and-effective/

    I appreciate you sharing your tips.

    Jimmy R.
    Freelance Writer
    GuildofBloggers.com

    • Dan Western

      Aug 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      Hey Jimmy,

      Thanks man, appreciate it. Love the blog by the way.

      Keep up the good work and keep in touch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Entrepreneurship

Can You use a Credit Card to Start a Business?

Published

on

Can You Use A Credit Card to Start A Business

It’s not unusual to think about credit cards when it comes to setting up a new business;

They’re a quick, easy way to get money and can be paid back at a reasonable rate when you may not quite have the cash flow.

It’s a move that’s being made more and more often as banks make it more difficult to take business loans. It’s now thought that the majority of small businesses use credit cards to help finance their business. And with good reason too.

One of the main reasons is that most people looking to start up a business won’t necessarily have business credit meaning a loan is out of the question.

This means that people turn to their personal credit cards to get things off the ground. While this isn’t a bad move, in fact, you can earn some pretty hefty rewards by doing this. You will be personally liable for any debts that may amount.

 

How to Get Great Deals on Credit Cards

However, you can get some good deals with credit cards.

There are a number of sign-up bonuses available with certain credit card companies; while you’ll also pick up things such as air miles. Which may come in handy for your business further down the line.

Tons of companies are now offering this. So for many who are looking to fund a business, it makes perfect sense to look towards a personal credit card. You can find more out by visiting a card’s website and is becoming one of the first port of calls for start-ups these days.

That’s because it’s so hard to find capital. If you’re new to business, it’s unlikely you’re going to qualify for a bank loan, so a credit card at least offers some form of protection.

 

Shop Around

One major thing to do if starting up a business is first finding a credit card with the lowest possible interest available. If a person has generally gone through life with good credit, it stands to reason that a good interest rate will be negotiable.

This is ultimately vital because, while a personal credit card can be great for starting a business, it can also affect your life. A large sum of money on a credit card may damage credit scores and even if bills are paid on time, it can stop the acceptance of mortgages or other loans.

That’s why it’s key to get the best possible deal, and only fund a business with credit cards if in a good position to do so.

Ultimately, if you need to get your business off the ground though, it’s going to be by any means necessary.

While a bank loan may be a better option or things such as crowdfunding or investors; if none of these options are available, there’s no reason why your great idea for a business should suffer.

If it’s ultimately going to make money in the long run, using a personal credit card to fund a start-up is a generally accepted way of going about it.

It has its perks and you can pay the balance back over time, just as you would any other loan or money lending. It could be just the sort of small investment needed…

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship

The Jet Set: How to Make Money from Your Travelling

Published

on

How to Make Money from Your Traveling

There’s something widely appealing about just packing everything up and jetting off into the sunset. Leaving the job behind, the rent, the utility bills and exploring what the world has to offer. One problem, money.

It’s one of the main things holding people back from exploring the world for six months, and it really doesn’t need to. More people than ever before are making money as they go, and that doesn’t necessarily mean just getting behind a bar a few nights a week either.

We’re talking digital, laptop in on your lap, mojito in your hand, overlooking the beach.

 

How to Make Money from Your Traveling

So, don’t let the thought of money ruin the chance to travel the globe, take one of these pretty simple steps and make your dream a reality. Your boarding pass awaits…

 

1. Work Freelance

One of the most common ways to make money while on your travels is to simply work freelance. So many jobs these days lend themselves to working remotely, while you may also be able to transport your business to all corners of the world.

Careers such as graphic design, writing, even consultancy jobs can be done electronically, while the likes of Skype, email, and Whatsapp make communication available instantly.

Most jobs will allow you to work on the go in at least some aspect. You can fit your earnings around your rest days traveling, while if you’re a creative and make arts and crafts, you can spend your downtime building and making, and spend the weekends selling at local markets and craft fairs.

Markets all over the world are generally open to welcoming new stalls, particularly if you’re offering something different to the usual, and you can make some serious money.

Setting up a stall at markets popular with tourists is usually a good way of making money, so it’s worth searching for your local market once in a town.

You can then pack up and move on to the next one during your travels.

 

2. Spend Wisely

Of course, to make and save money you also have to spend wisely. Most of us would rely on a credit card while traveling, so get one where you can maximize your rewards.

There are dozens of cards out there tailored towards travel, so make sure you check out a rewards calculator to estimate how much you can likely earn from a card.

Ensuring you can pay the money back is key though, so it is worth combining this method of making money with one of the others on this blog. Earning air miles will certainly enable you to save money on any flights you might take further down the line on your travels.

 

3. Create A Blog

There are tons of fantastic travel blogs out there which offer fun and informative information on where they are in the world. Think you can do better? Then start a blog and see for yourself.

There’s money to be made from blogging, with businesses often keen to feature. You may not be offered money, but rather a product, which will at least save you money further down the line when needing to buy the items in question.

Advertising and promotions can make you serious money, all from telling people exactly what you’re up to in the world. It’s easier said than done though. Monetising a blog requires hard work, persistence, and regular posting – again, easier said than done!

Success won’t happen overnight, so it’s important to start working on a travel blog well in advance of heading out on your adventures. What’s more, if you can find a niche and make your blog stand out, even better.

 

4. Sell Your Snaps

If you’re snap happy when away from home, you may be able to make some money from them. There are dozens of sites on the market that will give you commission for photos you submit that sell.

For example, Alamy allows users to upload photos to the site and if anyone, or any business, was to purchase the photo you’d earn 50% commission. Likewise, sites such as Fotolia, Bigstock, and Shutterstock will also give you a commission for any photos sold via their sites.

It’s becoming more and more popular for business to use images like this instead of regular stock photos, as they’re a little more personal and give consumers a consumer side of the coin.

In some cases, a business may then contact you directly having seen your photos and commission you to do some work independently, then the big bucks really come rolling in.

 

5. Teach the Language

One of your greatest assets is your language and many countries are crying out for teachers of English as a foreign language.

If you’re planning on spending a significant amount of time in a country, you can organize to become a teacher and make money while you discover a whole new world.

So many people have found teaching the English language fulfilling while traveling, whether that be one on one tutoring or to entire classrooms.

Before you head off traveling, you’ll need to get an accreditation and of course, the sooner you research where you can teach, the more likely you are of getting a position. You can make some good money from this, although there are also other avenues you can take when it comes to teaching.

If you’re particularly sporty, you can take your knowledge to other parts of the world and teach youngsters how to play various sports.

Soccer is naturally one of the more popular coaching roles, and many who have played the game as a youth themselves will take up this in the likes of China, USA, and African nations.

Other teaching opportunities include art, computing and specific trades such as building, plumbing, accounting and more. Essentially, if you’re trained in a particular area which would benefit other parts of the world, there may be opportunities to teach it.

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship

6 Mistake to Avoid When Launching An Email Marketing Campaign

Published

on

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Launching An Email Marketing Campaign

When it comes to launching an email marketing campaign, there are loads of potential pitfalls to watch out for. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us simply have to learn by a process of trial and error and hope that the mistakes we make don’t prove to be too disastrous.

Luckily for you, we’ve compiled some of the most common errors made by those piecing together an email marketing campaign – take a look at where so many people fall down, and try to avoid making these mistakes in your own efforts!

 

1. Failure to Identify an Audience

This is a mistake made all too often in the world of marketing in general. No matter what it is that you’re promoting – be it a product, an event, a course, or anything else whatsoever – there must be a target audience in mind.

The demographic you’re aiming for should inform pretty much every aspect of the marketing campaign, and it’s something you’ll have to keep in mind from the first draft all the way through to the completed product.

When you’re putting together your marketing campaign, think carefully about who you’re targeting. How old are they? What’s their income? What are their hobbies – all of these sorts of questions (and a whole lot more besides) should be constantly at the forefront of your mind?

Once you’ve identified your audience, you can tailor your content to suit the demographic. This means adopting the right tone of voice, utilizing appropriate imagery, color schemes, and much, much more.

Failure to identify an audience will mean that your campaign will lack structure and direction, and probably won’t end up striking a chord with your ideal customers or recipients… so think carefully, do your research, and get it right!

 

2. Incorrect Grammar & Spell Check

Nowadays, it is hard to imagine how you can miss a grammar mistake, having so much correction tools. Grammarly is a good example of this field instant improvement.

But, honestly, it’s really naive to think that apps and tools can polish up your letter so qualitative as the professional writers could make.

Lots of young entrepreneurs and business newbies used to hesitate with their written letters proofreading (or rewriting) by experts, without taking into consideration the fact, that these services make a huge difference.

When it comes to e-mail marketing, being creative sometimes is not enough. And remember, if you think that your primary letter is perfect, it is the first sign that you extremely need it to be revised by professional.

 

3. Making Your Message Too Impersonal

Another common error when it comes to a marketing campaign is all about the tone and wording you use in your messages. Nobody likes to feel as though they are being spammed by online junk mail, which simply flies into their inbox and doesn’t speak directly to the recipient.

Conversely, personalized, customized and tailored content pretty much always delivers far more effective and positive results… so you should absolutely be bearing this in mind when working on your campaign.

There are plenty of tools you can use to make sure your emails utilize the name of the recipient you’re targeting, and this can make a significant difference to how the mail is received (and whether it gets opened at all or tossed into the trash folder).

Also, small customization techniques such as setting up separate mailing lists for potential customers from different regions, backgrounds, or age brackets also leads to higher conversion rates, too.

 

4. Being Too Clever

When it comes to launching a successful email marketing campaign, often less really is more. Make sure your pages are clean, concise, and not overloaded with data, images, or things like unnecessary videos.

The main reason for this is that today’s web users prefer uncluttered spaces which allow a message to come across clearly, and people have only a tiny fraction of the patience they once had for loading times.

Even a lag of a couple of seconds is more than enough to get the average web user to lose patience and click that ‘back’ button, so keep your campaign simple, speedy, and easy to receive.

 

5. Not Being Creative Enough

On the flip side of the previous point, it’s all well and good keeping things simple, but unless your campaign stands out from the crowd, it’s not going to make the impact you want.

There are tens of thousands of campaigns doing the rounds at any given time, and if you want your potential customers to sit up and take notice, you’re going to have to think a bit outside the box.

This could be as simple as coming up with a memorable tagline or kicking off your email with an image that will stick in the recipient’s mind.

Get your creative team to work on something which immediately grabs the attention, and keep honing the imaginative aspect of your campaign until you get it right.

 

6. Lack of a Follow Up

Gaining new customers and a wider clientele is the entire reason you’re running an email marketing campaign.

As such, when the responses started flooding in, make sure you have systems in place to deal with them efficiently and with the same tone and warmth, you established in the initial contact.

A good follow-up is vital for your conversion rates, so don’t miss the opportunity to make it all worth your while.

 

Summary

Here’s a quick recap on the mistakes to avoid when launching an email marketing campaign:

  1. Failure to identify an audience
  2. Incorrect grammar & spell check
  3. Making your message too impersonal
  4. Being too clever
  5. Not being creative enough
  6. Lack of a follow up

Have anything to add to this article? Leave a comment below.

Continue Reading

Trending