Has Your Business Hit a Plateau? How to Take it to the Next Level
Jena Morgan, KLC’s Director of Systems, Solutions and Marketing, recently wrote an article for the AACFB’s magazine, Commercial Break.
Pushing Through a Business Plateau
For the first few years in the industry, it is common to be in the weeds or in a mode of hustle, hustle, hustle. You are learning the product and market, you are finding deals, you are building relationships with funding sources, all while having success, and then you hit a ceiling. You have established yourself but can’t figure out how to do more of it. Like many, you reach a business plateau where all you know how to do is what you have been doing—hustle, hustle, hustle. Here are three steps you can take to beat a business plateau bring your business to the next level.
Step 1: Slow Down
The best mental clarity comes when you slow down and stop to reflect. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but research has shown that the brain is the most creative and clear when it is at rest. University of Utah neuroscientist Dr. David Strayer suggests that when your mind is at rest, that is when you have abstract ideas. At rest, your blood pressure lowers, you perform better on cognitive tests, and your creativity increases. In contrast, when you are stressed out by the hustle, you tend to have tunnel vision and your cognitive skills go way down. In order to get your head out of the weeds and focused upon looking to what is next, slow down. This is why we have our best ideas on walks in the woods or running on the open road. You have given yourself the opportunity to slow down.
Step 2: Growth Mindset
Now that you have slowed down and given yourself space to think, you also need to prepare your mind for the growth and opportunities that lie ahead. How exciting is that?! Dr. Carol Dweck has conducted some amazing research around what it means to have a growth mindset. This state of mind embraces challenges, is persistent in the face of setbacks, sees effort as the path to mastery, and learns from criticism. A fixed mindset is the opposite. That person gives up easily and avoids challenges. Dr. Dweck suggests the growth mindset is how you will reach higher levels of achievement and avoid ever reaching a ceiling. If you struggle having this mindset, don’t worry, you can change it. Mindset is a habit, not a personality trait. That means the more you practice conquering obstacles, being tenacious, exerting energy and effort into your work, the more you will discover a change in your mindset.
Step 3: Strategic Pivot
Now that you established a growth mindset, you are ready to make your strategic pivot and do more business. In order to take this quantum leap, you must first know where you want to go. So, you need to ask yourself some questions.
- What do I want my business to look like in two years?
- How many deals am I doing and what are their characteristics?
- What markets am I going after?
The more details, the better. Now work backward. What detailed action steps do you need to take to get there? The only way you are going to move beyond the plateau that you have reached is to change your behaviors and habits. We have all heard the phrase: Continue to do what you are doing and get what you have always gotten. I believe we would all agree this is generally true. To determine which behaviors and habits you should change is to study your peers. Who in the industry is doing the number and type of deals you want to be doing? Identify three or four of these businesses and investigate what they are doing differently.
- What events are they attending?
- What relationships do they have?
- How are they using social media?
- How are they positioning their business in the marketplace?
Plan to pick businesses that are a couple of years older than yours and have attributes that are obtainable in two years. I guarantee they went through the same challenges that you are going through right now and had to execute a strategic pivot. Your growth mindset will learn lessons and inspiration in their success.
You’ve Got This!
You already have the core attributes to be successful in this business. You have proven this by getting where you are today. Utilize these three proven steps to take your business to the next level. These steps are simple! So, start today.
Sometimes all it takes to give your business the jump start it needs is some new equipment. KLC Financial is here to help you get there with our creative financing solutions customized especially for your business. Get in touch today to push through that business plateau and bring your business to the next level.
2. Creativity in the Wild: improving creative reasoning through immersion in natural settings by Dr. David Strayer. –Article 10.1371/journal.pone.0051474