Most business owners share a similar challenge- they’ve aggressively grown business, hired experienced and capable leaders, yet the business has reached a plateau. It’s important to recognize, as it not only affects business growth financially, but also is a prime motivator for the organization’s leaders and employees.

I recently read an article written by Karl Stark and Bill Stewart, managing directors and co-founders of Avondale, a strategic advisory firm focused on growing companies. In this article, they suggested several questions any business owner or CEO can ask his/herself to determine if business is reaching a plateau. Here are a few:

  1. Are you juggling so many priorities that you are unable to focus sufficient effort on any of them?
  2. Is the staff spread across many distinct business lines or major segments?
  3. Do team members on one part of the business have trouble understanding the goals and strategy of other parts of the business?
  4. Do you find yourself constantly moving toward the next best opportunity without fully equipping the last opportunity for success?

Stark and Stewart suggest that answering “yes” to any of these questions may suggest that despite past growth success, your business is likely headed to a plateau. Growth in the past was based on a much simpler and smaller organization than you have now, and you must take action before business levels off.

Preventing plateaus is difficult for owners of most small businesses because their careers are heavily incorporated. These businesses tend to revolve around the owner, his/her skills, needs, interests, health, etc. Often, the owner may get tired, wishes he/she could sell the business, or worried about insufficient retirement funds, and feels it is too late to learn how to get out of his/her own way. Learning how to lead businesses for sustained growth with fewer and shorter plateaus will be key for young entrepreneurs moving forward.

Organizations that are facing a plateau can look beyond themselves to move forward.Pinpointing the right opportunities including new partnerships, products, and services or revamping the current marketing strategy are possibilities for conquering the stall. Business owners can find these opportunities by attending industry events and networking via social media. Current vendors/partners may also be a good source for expanding service offerings to customers. Working with a partner may offer additional revenue opportunities without a financial or resource investment.

At MPAY, for example, we offer many services in partnership with our licensees. Employers nationwide can take advantage of Payroll, Time and Labor, and Human Resource Management, as well as, Pay-As-You-Go Workers’ Compensation, COBRA Administration, Flexible Benefits, and more through the MPAY Network. By partnering with MPAY and offering many solutions to help employers better manage their workday, the MPAY Network has loyal customers, higher retention rates, and the opportunity to conquer growth plateaus when they arise.

If your business is reaching a plateau, look not only within but also beyond your organization for ways to overcome stages of “flatness”. If you have a business plateau success story, feel free to share below and offer advice on ways to overcome.

If you would like more information on services offered by the MPAY Network, contact us today.

Photo Credit: Craig Sunter

Amy Robertson

From her office in Roanoke, VA, Amy manages “all things marketing” for MPAY. Her most recent bragging rights include becoming a Net Promoter Certified Associate.