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Idea Box: Stuck in a Rut?
If your company seems stagnant and is not seeing the growth you would like, consider these tips to see some positive change.
Date Posted: 12/1/2012
Is your company not seeing the growth you would like? Does it seem like you are just doing the same thing over and over? Are you ready to make a change? Consider these ideas that could help get your company out of a rut and back into growth mode.
• Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Do this by asking yourself what is working and what is not. This applies to both business practices as well as product and service offerings. If a product or service is not making a profit, you should consider discontinuing it. Likewise, you should look at what is successful and determine if there is any way to expand it for a higher profit. For this to work, you must be brutally honest and willing to cut anything that is not contributing to the success of the company.
• Look for new opportunities. One place to start this is with services or product lines that dovetail into your existing ones. For pallet companies, some of the obvious ones are heat treating, mulch, biomass products, raw materials recycling, crates and containers, storage, trucking, and third party logistics. What service or product is not being offered locally? Is there a demand for it? If so, do some research to see what it would take to expand into that area.
• Discover some new ideas. A great way to do this is by visiting other pallet companies to see what they are doing and how they do it. If a physical visit is not possible, check out their websites to see what ideas you can glean. Plant feature articles in the Pallet Enterprise offer a treasure of business ideas. Also, make a point of attending industry events and reading industry publications. This will help you network with other industry members and stay abreast of trends and new opportunities.
• Ask others for input. If a business feels stagnant, it might be because the management has run out of fresh ideas. Talk to workers at all levels and ask for any ideas they may have to improve or expand operations and services. Talk to your customers as well. Consider asking them to fill out an anonymous survey about your company. Include questions about what they like, what they don’t like, and what additional services would be useful to them.
• Hire workers with diverse backgrounds, experience and personalities. Workers with different strengths and personalities can complement each other and result in a stronger team than one that includes mostly similar traits and having a team that includes a range of strengths and personalities can keep a company from becoming stagnant. Every good team needs at least one person who is often thinking of new ideas, someone who is organized and can keep others on track, someone who gets others excited, and someone who has the follow-through to ensure projects are completed.
• Reach out to new customers. If you are not contacting potential new customers on a regular basis, you could be missing out on some good opportunities. People are creatures of habit, and some potential customers may be using pallets from another source out of habit alone. A personal contact could be all they need to consider using your services. Put together a price and information sheet, then make some phone calls or visit prospects in-person. Every contact won’t be successful, but some will. Also, don’t forget to ask your existing customers to recommend your company. A word-of-mouth recommendation is one of the best forms of marketing there is.