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Nov 2015

5 Ways to Revive a Struggling Business

November 5, 2015
Capify Australia

At some point in time, a company  faces a series of up and downs. There are months when getting customers is as easy as putting on the “Open” sign, and there are stretches when sales slow down and potential customers don’t seem to care. Some businesses fail to recover after encountering a lengthy unfavourable stretch. Good thing there are several ways to revive a struggling organisation.

When injecting new life to an enterprise, sometimes the devil is in the details. The operations may have too many processes and  taking on too many expenditures. This results in limiting the company’s capacity to serve  its clients. The need for money can also restrict its growth, especially when it comes to making worthwhile investments that can improve sales and attract customers. Let’s take a closer look.

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1. Analyse the System and Spot the Problem Areas

The business process is an expansive pool of interconnected activities from the different steps in production down to serving the customer. There could be steps that take too long or entail too many costs, which can cause delays and limit revenue  potential and profits. It’s necessary to Identify the problem areas, so business owners would know what to work on.

For instance, a construction equipment rental company has a tried and tested manual system for booking clients and processing orders. Each order entails  a ton of documentation, paper records spanning  purchase orders to progress reports per project. Today’s technology allows offices to go paperless, and eliminate some of the documentation costs. It also reduces  human error, and speeds up processing time. In the case of the company, automating its system will organise the  business process and make  more reliable. It  will also eliminate the need to buy reams of  paper, large file cabinets, and perhaps maximize office space.

Furthermore, staffing can be a pain point as well. There might be staff members that aren’t being utilised properly.  Some may be working less but their pay grades require them to do more.  You should also look into eliminating redundancies. Some responsibilities can be merged with others – provided that they aren’t taking on too much work.  Doing this  can reduce the number of monthly salaries paid for and the benefits provided.  Look into performance reviews, utilisation and resource planning systems to better understand how everyone works at the business.

2. Serve Your True Target Market

Every product line has its target market, and sometimes companies end up peddling their wares to the wrong groups of people.  Sales quotas  can’t be  met if your sales team is targeting customers who don’t have the budget or they don’t even like them.

A business owner should  observe their most loyal customers and find demographical commonalities.

Social media can actually help in this department, particularly Facebook business pages and Twitter accounts for brands. Facebook uses big data to tabulate the types of people who view or click on the brand’s photos, status updates, and videos. By clicking on the Insights tab and viewing the statistics, business owners can see the gender, age groups, and the areas of residence of those who often interact with the brand online, which points to the company’s true target market.

Companies that sell versatile consumer goods like food, clothes and electronic gadgets can release product lines that cater to various markets. For instance, mobile phone companies release units with all the basic features for the general public, phones that have superior memory and speed for the middle class, and top of the line models for those who can afford them.

3. Pursue More Promotional Channels

A company’s sales can plateau or even drop if it continues to serve the same roster of  products and services  to the same groups of people for lengthy periods. At some point, the brand’s novelty will wear off . A struggling company can opt to penetrate other markets, making itself available to more potential buyers.   After all, there is a chance that the brand, successful as it is in its current location, might be unheard of in other areas. Going online can be  the key to reaching more people.  

Typically, creating a website backed with search engine optimization and quality content is enough, but today’s information age has led to new demands. Integration is the key, as a company’s websites is linked to its Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

Social media pages are often the top results when searching for something on Google, and billions of  people browse social media sites daily. Turning a good chunk of them into customers would work wonders for the brand, especially if the company’s products become “trend” in social media.  In line with this, a brand can offer an e-commerce feature via social media and the company website.

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4. Produce Alternative Products

The interest for a particular product can go down when new trends appear on the market or upon the arrival of strong new players. In response, an organisation can align itself with some of the prevalent trends and develop new or alternative products. If possible, existing products can also be tweaked, repackaged, and re-launched in accordance to those trends. The point is to present a fresh perspective to existing products and bundle excitement for new releases.

If that option is not feasible, then adding more value to the product or bundling extras with it might help.  Lowering the price of your products and services is good in the short run but you might devalue them in the process. So it’s better to bundle extras with it. And perhaps you can increase the price a tad more.

Of course, producing new or alternative items is easier said than done. Once again, social media can provide business owners a helping hand in this department. Millenials have been trained by the internet to post their interests and whims on sites like Facebook and Twitter, and they do so frequently each day.  It just so happens that many of those postings are trend-based.

5. Get a small business loan

To revive a struggling business, sometimes a business needs to make investments to improve operations or to produce/tweak products. Any investment necessitates finances that a company may or may not have. Alternative lending platforms come as quick ways to obtain an ample sum for the company’s immediate needs. Why alternative lenders?

As the old adage goes, time is gold in business. Applying for a traditional loan takes time, and securing the approval for the loan takes even longer. By the time the owner receives the cash, the company might already be closed or the money might be used to settle company expenditures and not investments.

A convenient form of business lending like the merchant cash advance can be procured in a matter of days. This buys the business owner enough time to fine tune his plan of action in reviving the business before investing on new technology, a measure that improves operations, or the elements of a new product or service. The financial flexibility and ample preparation can potentially turn a struggling company into a market leader.

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