Perhaps the most regurgitated piece of advice from successful businesses is to never lose sight of your core values as you grow. Ask them about a major business’s decline and they will explain how their biggest mistakes stemmed from forgetting why they were able to grow so fast in the first place, or what their customers truly loved about them. It’s not about miscalculations or the introduction of new trends and lifestyles. Had the company prioritized the needs of their most loyal customers, they wouldn’t have made the bad decisions that drove them towards bankruptcy.
As cliche as this sounds, the validity is difficult to deny. When a business is poised for growth, it is often faced with the dilemma of compromising one element of its success in favor of another. You might think the choice would be easy but extenuating factors like competitive threats and cash flow problems have the potential to cloud your vision, so much so that you can’t even see how those loyal customers fit into the bigger picture.
Trying To Be Perfect
Nobody’s products or services are perfect. They weren’t created to be perfect; they were created to serve a central purpose. For example, those expensive shoes you just bought were made to be comfortable and stylish. You might be a little bummed out when their durability begins to fade within a year’s time but you didn’t buy the shoes because they were durable. Lots of companies make the mistake of believing that improving quality means improving all facets of what you do. They are under the impression that their customers will not forgive them for lacking in one department even though this department was not a part of their original mission statement.
Think of all the up-and-coming coffee businesses that have capitalized on Starbucks’ mistake of trying to do too much. Rather than improve the quality of its core products, Starbucks tried to improve the quality of all of its products. Smaller coffee shops might offer just a few food items, none of which deviate from its image. They aren’t worried about pleasing potential customers who might want “healthier options” or more than just breakfast items.
Going Overboard With Discounts And Promotions
It’s easy to get carried away with discounts or promotions because they can be good marketing tools. Some companies offer them nearly all-year-round and unintentionally end up slashing prices to an extreme and/or tarnishing their reputation. This is especially dangerous if your products are cheap to begin with. A thrift store might offer 50% off on all products but only once or maybe twice a year. And from a marketing perspective, any email with “Now’s your last chance!” or “One time only!” in the subject line probably won’t garner as much interest if they show up in your inbox almost every month.
The goal of your special deals should be to communicate a sense of limited access, as opposed to your every day, run-of-the-mill bargain. You might want to consider making your promotions more specific, or only offering them when you are releasing something new, including bundles.
Too Many People In The Mix
This is the natural outcome of getting more feedback from more people. In the beginning, the only people you had to please was your customers. But now that you are preparing to grow, you realize that you are also under the scrutiny of business partners, vendors, investors, employees, etc. In a perfect world, there would be some way in which you could please them all and still manage to grow your business. Your business bank account might beg to differ.
At United Capital Source, we know how difficult it can be to continue to serve your customers at your signature pace while maintaining a strong relationship with your vendors or suppliers. This is why we offer several small business loans that can cover regular expenses (like payments to vendors) but give you the freedom to spend as much time as you need making sure your customers are 100% satisfied. Our working capital loans, standard business term loans, credit card processing loans, and more can easily be customized to fulfill multiple financial obligations without compromising cash flow or operational funding.
And you won’t have to keep either party waiting. We are able to approve most small business loans in under two business days and you might not have to pay the majority of it back until your business has returned to its usual routine and stabilized its budget.
Don’t Think It Could Happen To You?
Many of the cash flow problems UCS clients experience stem from these three dilemmas. They want to expand while maintaining competitive prices, keeping their business partners happy, and widening their customer base. Our small business loans might not help you accomplish every one of your goals but by the time you make your last payment, you will be in the position to make the next step towards a successful future. Thanks to companies like United Capital Source, you can quickly get the funding you need to stop your business from walking into the countless traps that come with growth.