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Six ways to get your small business off the plateau

November 23, 2015

Whether you've been at it for a year or 30 years, you will hit both highs and lows in the day-to-day process of running a business. During the times when the ebbs and flows slow, you may find that you're stuck, not moving at all. Perhaps you are having difficulty figuring out how to get from where you are right now to your next big milestone.

You may feel like you're stuck on a plateau. How can you break free and get back to making progress? Here are six ways to get off the plateau and make things start to happen again:

1. Aim to avoid complacency
The first step is committing to avoid inaction and complacency. If you have stopped moving, no amount of desire will get you unstuck. Make it a goal that once you have created a plan for moving forward (with the tips below), you will take one significant action every single day.

2. Take a risk with marketing
If your marketing process has become very ho-hum, it's time to inject some energy with some new marketing activities. Start by revisiting your marketing plan (or creating one if you don't have one yet). Then explore some marketing ideas that can help you shake things up in your business.

3. Recreate your brand
When was the last time you updated your logo or your website? Do your marketing materials really speak to your brand? If not, it may be time for a brand refresh. While this alone may not take you off the plateau, a reinvigorated brand can bolster your efforts to reach new audiences and refocus your marketing activities.

4. Create a roadmap
Change doesn't happen overnight. Take time to explore where you see your business going and create a roadmap that gets you there. Do you envision new products, a new target market, or a new team to bring your vision to life? Your roadmap can include all of those details so you have a step-by-step action plan to start on right away.

5. Get out of your comfort zone
We all fall into routines. This is a good thing because our routines help us become productive and get many things accomplished in a short period of time. But sometimes those routines make us stagnant. Get out of your comfort zone on a regular basis – face-to-face networking, sales calls, entering partnerships, thinking creatively – in order to find opportunities for growth and development.

6. Call in reinforcements
I love to say that growing a business requires a village; a one-person operation can only go so far. This is why it can be very powerful to go beyond yourself by expanding your team, working with a mentor, or hiring a professional consultant.

Getting off the plateau requires a willingness to take action and an open mind when it comes to figuring out the best action to take. Try one or two of these rut-busting techniques to renew your motivation and restart your progress.

Get more of Alyssa Gregory's tips and best practices for improving your small business.

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