So here you are, about to enter your umpteenth year in business. Sales are good. Work is going at a steady pace and you are stocking up again for the next busy season. You know just when that busy season will hit because your business has done the same things, year in and year out for quite a while now. You are solid.
That’s a good thing.
Success can be a double edged sword if creative business owners stop looking for new ways to change and grow their companies.
Being overly comfortable can find you waking up one day to find that a brand new, smaller company is chomping away at your share of the market.
Doing the same thing day after day can make it easy for you to be a little lax in quality control department. After all, you’ve stitched a pocket on an apron thousands of times. What could go wrong?
Here are some reasons you may want to shift gears in your creative business:
- Loyal customers have stopped purchasing best selling items from you
- Several years have passed since your business launched a new product
- Cash flow issues are causing you to lose sleep at night
- You’re starting to feel bored with what you are doing, making, selling
- You realize there are several items in your line that haven’t sold for months
Here are some first steps you can take to begin shifting your creative business:
- Develop reports or spreadsheets to track changes, sales, or growth (or lack thereof) in your business. Consider dumping projects that have never done well for you or products that haven’t performed well in a 6-12 months.
- Design a new product that moves your creative business ahead of what’s considered typical in your niche market
- Survey customers, facebook fans, blog readers or twitter followers and ask them to rate your current products
- Attend trade shows to stay abreast of new advances
- Read trend reports to be prepared for changing tastes
Knowing when to shift your business and actually implementing the changes can be worrisome and it may even cause the road to be bumpy for a while.
Just know that a little discomfort in the short term will be worthwhile in the face of long term success.
After all, refusing to shift gears may leave you stranded at the side of the road while your competitors speed on by.
Have you needed to shift gears with your business? Tell us about your experience in the comments!
By: Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess