Rebooting a Stagnant Business

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Even the finest cake goes stale if left on the shelf too long, regardless of the quality of the ingredients or the cook’s skill in making it.

The aroma of fresh baking is soon lost and if there’s any hint the cake may be hard or dry then desire to eat it disappears.

It can be the same with a business if their product or service offering is left unchanged for too long.

Markets change; needs evolve; competitors introduce new offerings; launch new promotions; make new claims. Technology marches onward.

Even favoured suppliers or products soon lose their attraction if they don’t keep pace with the exciting new developments hitting the market each and every day!


The path to recovery

In our experience working with many businesses, the path to effective recovery starts with the business leader asking themselves some challenging questions:

  • Do I understand the causes of our decline?
  • Am I willing to expose these issues, and my part in them, to critical assessment by others inside and outside the business?
  • Do I have the energy, confidence, capital or commitment to rebuild?

Only if the answers to these personal questions are positive can the business effectively implement recovery strategies.

The structured process of recovery starts by investigating the business and its markets to gather and analyse information to identify why things went off the boil.

Internal analysis:

Does the company still have the necessary resources to re-build?

  • Financial reserves
  • Business systems
  • Personnel numbers, skills, attitude
  • Technical or production capability
  • New product or service development capability
  • Marketing and sales resources

External investigation

Does the market still want and value what the business has to offer?

  • Have buyers’ needs wants or expectations changed?
  • Have new competitors entered the market?
  • Have old competitors closed, merged or otherwise left the market?
  • Has our competitive advantage been reduced, matched or surpassed by technology or competitors’ initiatives?
  • Do we need to re-invent our products, our services or our business model?

The understandings arising can then be summarised in the classical SWOT diagram:

Identify fresh opportunities

In our work as business consultants, we’ve seen (and helped) a lot of businesses attempting to rebuild. And through that experience we’ve learned that few business leaders can quickly identify fresh opportunities for sales growth. The longer a business has been entrenched in its current market and business model, the harder it is to come up with fresh opportunities that really make sense.

Apply the Growth Cube™ to structure the thinking processes

Roaring Success developed our Growth Cube™ to help clients to refocus on the fundamental principles of business growth. In doing so, we’ve developed modern business applications for a theory first published 60 years ago by Igor Ansoff.

Growth Cube with arrows


Each primary axis represents a clear and separate way for the business to grow:

  • By achieving greater penetration and increased market share in the markets currently being served and with the products or services currently offered.
  • By moving into new markets not currently served, where the current product or service offering may also be applicable.
  • By introducing new products or services not previously offered, that may be of interest to current customers, or those added through entry to new markets.

Each of these growth directions has a range of potential solutions, ranging from easy to difficult; from rapid to protracted; low cost to expensive; from “no brainer” to high risk.

And the faces between the primary growth directions represent even more potential choices.

How can you pick the right one?

Evaluate these opportunities objectively

Picking the right growth strategy is critical, since most businesses will devote most of their financial reserves, personnel resources and management attention to developing this new opportunity.

We strongly believe that business leaders need an objective tool for evaluating opportunities for growth. We couldn’t find anything in the public domain, so we developed our own spreadsheet model. You could do the same, or you could ask about using ours.

In our Opportunity Evaluation Mapping tool, a number of potential business opportunities are assessed simultaneously. Each opportunity should be scored, by a panel of people representing every section within your business, against a range of growth potential factors and against a range of risk factors.

Results are presented on a simple X-Y chart comparing risk and reward. Results are also presented on a radar diagram which highlights factor variations and where the area under the curve represents the attractiveness of the opportunity.


Fig3 Opportunity Evaluation mapping

Don’t delay – Start rebuilding today!

Once you’ve identified an opportunity and a strategy for reaching it, put your plan into action – Fast!

The best strategy is of no value to the business if it is not implemented effectively and in a timely manner.

Law of the Jungle:

It’s not the big that eat the small.

It’s the fast that eat the slow!

Has this information been helpful? Share your views on our blog as your rebuilding journey progresses. And best wishes for your endeavours!

If you’d like us to send you a Growth Cube™ or to discuss any aspect of your rebuilding challenge, please contact me via the details below.

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