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Transforming struggle to success: Proven strategies to revive your business

Written by Tony Meredith

Even the most experienced business owners and entrepreneurs face turbulent times. With an ever-evolving business landscape, cashflow crunches, market downturns, and internal management issues, business challenges require strategic thinking and decisive action.

What to do if your business is struggling? As a business coach, this is a common question that I get asked, as many SMEs grapple with the same issue. The good news is that the answers are all around us. While a Google search can provide many solutions to help save or revive a struggling business, let’s distill this information down to eight essential steps to help your business thrive.

#1: Identify your business goals

All too often, when businesses are struggling, owners and managers focus on what they don’t want – fear, stress, and feeling overwhelmed. This focus brings more of the same, so it’s essential that you focus on what you actually want – sales growth, increased profit, and more time.

The first step is starting with the end in mind and getting clear on what you want your business to look like. What are your business goals? What level of revenue do you want? How much profit do you want to make? Which products do you want to sell? How many staff do you want? And so on.

#2: Conduct a business assessment

Understand the factors contributing to your business’s struggles by conducting a thorough assessment that looks into every aspect of your operations. You must identify areas of weakness in your business, starting with your finances and marketing to personnel and customer relations. 

This comprehensive assessment allows you to pinpoint the source of your struggle, identify where resources are being misallocated, and assess the effectiveness of your business strategies.

#3: Develop a strategic plan

By now, you’ve created your business goals (step one) and undertaken an assessment of your business (step 2). The next step is to develop a comprehensive business plan that bridges the gap between where you want your business to be and where it is today, by working backwards from your goal to your current situation.

Closing the gap also doubles as an acronym for “goal achievement plan”. This step is about creating a business plan that ensures you achieve your goals. Identify all of the tasks and milestones required to achieve your business goals.

Optimise these actionable steps by using the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) objective setting methodology. By creating a thorough business plan you will address the short-term and long-term objectives that align with your business vision.

#4: Streamline operations, improve efficiency, and reduce costs

Step four focuses on two of the three ways to increase profit in your struggling business: improving efficiency, and reducing costs.

Implement efficiency strategies to streamline your operations, such as identifying systems and processes. This entails capturing all the workflow elements associated with tasks. Also, consider methods to automate tasks and invest in technology solutions that will increase productivity. This may also include providing training and resources to your employees that empowers them to work more efficiently.

Additionally, operational inefficiency also yields financial challenges, therefore regularly review your budget, reduce unnecessary costs, renegotiate contracts, and explore other cost-saving measures. Strong financial management underpins the readiness of your business to weather challenging times and set up for future growth.

#5: Enhance your online presence

The third way to increase profit is to grow revenue. One of the most effective methods to increase sales starts with having a strong online presence. Most prospective customers search for and use a business’s online presence to measure their credibility; thus, having a strong online presence is vital in attracting and retaining customers.

Your online presence is like the front window of your retail store, therefore ensure it’s attractive enough for prospects to want to come inside. Don’t just have a website that exists, have a website that is user-friendly, captivating, and is fully optimised for search engines.

Actively engage with your audience, whether that be addressing their questions or creating content on social media that is insightful and meaningful. While increasing awareness of your business is the initial goal, the ongoing goal is to maintain the attention of your prospects and customers, leading to increased sales conversions.

#6: Focus on customer satisfaction

The lifeblood of any thriving business is satisfied and loyal customers. It takes a lot of resources to attract customers, therefore it makes sense to concentrate on delighting your customers, which leads to their retention.

Prioritising customer satisfaction means implementing personalised communication, proactive support, value-add opportunities, surprises, prompt responses to inquiries, and feedback mechanisms.

Using feedback mechanisms to gather insights allows you to refine your products or services and continuously grow with the demands of your customers and the market. These customer strategies will demonstrate that you understand the needs of your customers, value their loyalty, and help gain their trust.

#7: Foster a culture of innovation and adaptability

As the saying goes, “If you always do what you’ve done, you’ll always get what you’ve got”. In other words, in order to get a different business outcome during times of struggle, you’ll need to do things differently.

Start by investing in your team, engendering a culture of creativity, and innovation, and staying ahead of trends. Encourage participation and suggestions among team members, as this motivates people. When you have a motivated team, you are more likely to see increased productivity and efficiency, ensuring your business seizes new opportunities and achieves its business goals.

#8: Seek professional guidance and support

Working through tough times alone can be overwhelming, and you can’t always see everything. The challenges a business owner faces may become too complex, so a fresh set of eyes and an objective point of view can help.

Experienced professionals who offer expert advice and support should always be an option, such as a business coach, accountant, industry consultant, or mentor. The key here is to surround yourself with experts who can offer new perspectives and strategies on how to improve a struggling SMB.

Creating a successful business is challenging, and it’s a matter of how you respond to these adversities that make or break your business and determine your success. You can revitalise your business and achieve sustainable growth and prosperity with the right strategies, resilience, and a willingness to adapt.

“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."

About the author

Tony Meredith

Tony Meredith is the Director of He focuses on helping business owners Grow Sales, Increase Profits, and Regain Time. Tony started business coaching in 2018 and has worked with hundreds of small-medium businesses across Australia, in the areas of Franchising, Retail, Services, Manufacturing, and Trades. Contact Tony and his team if you want to grow an outstanding business.