Managing Slow Business Growth For Online Business Owners: A Brief Guide

Filed in Educational — October 3, 2022

Highlighting areas that inhibit your growth and how to rectify this

It’s no secret that business takes time. 

Lets face it, you’ve built your business up from the ground, you’re nurturing it every step of the way and this takes time. 

But as highly motivated business owners, we often get frustrated by this. We want fast results and fast changes and we want to be constantly on the move, constantly excelling. 

We do have periods of this rapid growth, but most of the time our growth is slow and often enough that’s difficult to come to terms with.

Here’s a condensed how-to guide of how to manage this phase in your business…

Let’s face the facts…

Take a look at your current situation. What does it look like? And most importantly, ask yourself why it looks like that?

Business is moving at a snail’s pace, new clients aren’t coming, you’re fed up with the slow, slow speed at which things are moving – you’re in a slump.

You are currently the business world’s answer to a stagnant pond or a sleepy Sunday afternoon. 

There are a multitude of different reasons why you’re experiencing a time of slow growth and don’t worry, it’s not all bad. 

It could be that: 

  • It’s naturally a slow time of year for your business
  • You’ve lost some team members or had some detrimental changes occur in your business 
  • Your messaging and services are a little behind the times
  • Your services aren’t in demand right now
  • Slowness is what you needed and it served you for a period of time / season 
  • You’re just getting started after a break / dip in strategic execution
  • Your leadership and inspiration aren’t in the right place

So here are some ways to manage your slow growth. Some pieces of advice are aimed at making it more bearable and some are aimed at picking up the pace a little. 

However, it is important to look at the points mentioned above and be objective – work out if your belief is true or can you challenge it? 

Is one thing a knock on impact from a deeper problem? Often when we are experiencing something in our business it is a symptom of a wider / deeper issue.

Don’t slip into a victim mentality… 

Effectively managing our emotions and expectations is a key skill and is often harder than we like to admit.

You’re probably feeling a little beat up and down in the dumps and this can be hampering your growth further.

Steps to Success:

  1. Identify the emotion
  2. Identify what’s causing you to feel this way 
  3. Break down the stages of this emotional journey – where are you now?
  4. How will you get out of this emotional rut?

This ultimately is about leadership development and your ability to build resilience. 

Going back to Step 2, let’s dive into this a little more. 

Ask yourself why you feel this way and you might find that managing emotions often comes down to who you’re surrounding yourself with.

Your business may involve a lot of social media (if you are an online business), which may mean you spend a lot of time online. You consume other peoples’ content, you learn from them, you are influenced by them – they influence you more than you know!

So who do you surround yourself with? 

  • Who do you follow on socials?
  • Who do you aspire to?
  • Who do you seek advice from?
  • Who do you view as a rival/competition?
  • Are they a positive force in your life?
  • Are they adding to your energy or depleting it? 
Common Negative Emotions:Examples of reasons behind them: Solution:
Jealousy Whoever you view as competition in business appears to be thriving and has just had their biggest month yet.
You want their success for yourself, it feels a little unfair that you aren’t see the same results. 
Curate who you follow. 

Create a bespoke digital community of people who bring these aspects into to your everyday life:
– Inspiration
– Empowerment
– Validation
– Motivation
– Encouragement 
– Support 
– Fuel 

Surrounding yourself with positive influences is bound to help you feel better.

Take time away from socials when you need to and limit scrolling time.  

Be mindful of what you are consuming. 
FrustrationOther people are releasing new offers and yet you don’t seem to be going anywhere. 
You work hard and you deserve success now and then, right? 
Defeat Your self esteem has really been trodden into the ground…
You’re exhausted and ready to throw the towel in. It all just feels too much. 

Get your head out of the clouds… 

Big dreams are a big part of business. Same with manifesting and envisioning where you want to be… until you start to believe you’re somewhere that you’re not. 

There are two things which are key to your growth:

  1. Knowing what you are ready for
  2. Knowing what your business is ready for

These two things need to be working in unison, or thereabouts.

We’re not asking for perfection here, but at least keep them on the same wavelength. 

Goals, intentions and feelings need to be in a place that correlates with your businesses’ structure and energy.

Or else working at two different paces won’t contribute effectively towards growth. 

Check yourself by asking these questions: 

  • Is the vision of where your business is currently at in your mind true in reality?
  • Are your goals aligned and achievable? (more on this later!)
  • Is your business infrastructure able to support the clients that you want?
  • Are you being true to yourself within your business?
  • Is your leadership able to hold the vision of what you want to actually happen in the next 6 weeks? 

And if you conclude that the progress you perceive yourself to be making isn’t actually the progress you are making, then we have some work to do.

If what you’re personally ready for is beyond what your business is ready for, then consider checking off these points within your business: 

  1. Groundwork – get all of the systems in place to ensure the business can run smoothly 
  2. Marketing – are you attracting leads and making your presence known? Is this consistent and effective? 
  3. Sales – are you actively converting leads? Are you having conversations? Are you selling your offerings everyday? 
  4. Messaging – be precise on who you are actually trying to attract, tailor your messaging to attract them. What you intend to say is not always what they hear, spend time refining this. 

Get your act together…

This ones a big one. This covers your goals, your frame of mind, your vision 

  1. Growth Mindset 

The Aim: Be open to growth and improving your self and your business 

Developing the art of long term gratification, of adopting patience and being aware of how success and growth won’t happen overnight. 

Although it’s frustrating, coming to terms with the fluctuating pace of business and the long dips of slow growth helps you to be resilient in these trying times. 

The Solution: Learning and integrating 

Listen to podcasts, read articles, and learn from other people around you. Detach yourself from stimuli that aren’t supportive of your growth mindset and limit exposure to things that drain your energy. 

The Reasoning: Learning is key to unlocking this growth mindset. 

Being influenced by somebody else’s interpretation of the facts and their advice can open new doors. 

Be humble with yourself – you may be an expert but that doesn’t mean that you know something from every angle…

Challenging yourself each day will stretch your brain and prevent you from becoming lazy. Mental flexibility and mental strength is key to building self belief – this integration piece is really key long term.

  1. Think Long Term 

The Aim: Accept and take value in the fact that success takes time.

The Solution: Developing the art of long term gratification, of adopting patience and being aware of how success and growth change won’t happen overnight. 

The Reasoning: Although it’s frustrating, coming to terms with the fluctuating pace of business and the long dips of slow growth helps make these times a lot easier.

By questioning what the result of accumulating your actions everyday is and by believing in the value of long term gratification, you will be resilient. You will be open to taking time to grow. 

  1. Goals 

The Aim: Have goals that are aligned with your business

The Solution: Take a moment to assess how realistic your current goals are. Are they achievable or are they a vision for your future self? Are they strategic goals with clear action plans and next steps identified? 

The Reasoning: Speed of business growth can be determined by the quality and understanding of your goals. Having steps in place to achieve goals that are more within your reach can increase the growth speed. Achieving goals also builds self confidence. It’s a cycle that builds on one another – also known as; MOMENTUM. 

The Caveat: Still have some stretch goals – don’t make it too easy, but give yourself some quick wins, be on your own side instead of constantly pulling yourself down on what you ‘haven’t yet’ achieved. 

May’s Top Piece of Advice: 

Get yourself a coach. 

Enrol in a coaching/mentoring/advisory program or service. 

Getting that 1:1 support to advise and guide on the journey to swift growth may just be the ticket for you, not only will it allow you to make consistent progress with close accountability but it will also force you to develop and expand your resilience skills / capabilities. 
If speed is key for you, you can apply for a CEO Strategy Day with May here and experience the swift 24 hour immersive experience that will leave you with a new strategy to implement for your businesses’ growth.

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