How to Spot the Warning Signs Your Company is in Trouble
Are you so focused on forward motion (a.k.a. growth) in your business that you forget to watch your back?
To casual observers, business trouble often seems to come out of nowhere. Entrepreneurs scrambling to fix a problem they didn’t anticipate may feel like they’ve been blindsided because they didn’t see the warning signs.
To make matters worse, when you spend too much time dealing with unexpected distractions, you miss opportunities for growth. Strategies derail, employees lose faith, and customers move on.
That’s a bad mix.
If you’re unprepared for problems, minor issues that could have been addressed easily a first suddenly turn into major challenges. Sadly, the long-term impact can be devastating for a growing business.
If this has ever happened to your business, you probably don’t want to repeat the unpleasant experience. If you haven’t been caught off-guard yet, you can prevent being blindsided by learning to spot the subtle signs there’s business trouble ahead.
Scary Signs Your Business is in Trouble
The best way to avoid a major setback is being attuned to warning signs of a slowdown in your business.
I developed a simple tool called the Business Momentum Index that helps entrepreneurs quickly pinpoint areas of concern in their business. It also highlights signs of upward trends, so you can act on them quickly and capture the fresh opportunities.
One important metric you’ll find on the Business Momentum Index is Anchors. Like a weight that pulls you underwater, Anchors are trouble signs weigh down a business and stall growth.
How do you identify Anchors? If you agree with these statements then signs are pointing to business issues holding you back:
- We’re under intense competitive pressure and have trouble keeping up.
- Innovation is becoming increasingly difficult for us.
- Our employees don’t seem motivated, engaged, or excited to be here.
- The adoption rate for our new offerings is declining.
So, do any of these statements ring true?
Your answers to these questions won’t tell you exactly what’s wrong. Instead, they’re directional indicators, like points on a compass. Use them as the starting point to explore what’s going on inside your company or in the competitive landscape.
An Anchor statement that resonates strongly indicates looming problems. Don’t ignore the warning signs. Watch for them and take action quickly.
Consistently invest a little time to assess potential problems, and you’ll be better prepared to circumvent trouble. Spend just 30 minutes a week checking in with your team, talking with customers, and asking yourself if any of the Anchor statements are true.
Heeding the answers makes all the difference between being blindsided and being prepared to solve business problems before they get too hot to handle.