6 Tell-Tale Signs Your Business Isn’t Ready for the Future

Dec13_Post 2Worried about the future of your company? It might surprise you to realize you hold your business’ future in your hands. It’s what you do — or rather what you don’t do — that sets your course for success or failure.

If you’re guilty of any of the following, you might need to rethink your business plan.

1. You’re Not Using Social Media

Think social media is just for teens? Think again. The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is users aged 55 to 64. All social media platforms have their fair share of users of all ages, and that includes your potential customers.

Many business owners simply have to get over the learning curve to see the value in using social media. Give it another shot, and you may find the results surprise you.

2. You Don’t Have a Plan

If your style of running your business consists of living moment to moment, you’ll never see long-term growth. As Michael Gerber famously said in his E-Myth books, you’ve got to work on your business, not just in it. Instead of getting bombarded with the day-to-day responsibilities like managing payroll and bringing in new clients, delegate or outsource the daily grind and focus your attention on how to grow your company in the years to come and build a business plan around that.

3. You Don’t Have a Solid Marketing Strategy

Understanding who your customers are, what they want, and how they like to interact with your brand is essential to success. Some customers may prefer to read your blog, others to ask questions on your Facebook page, view your Instagram photos, or download your white papers. To communicate effectively with the widest possible customer base, you must connect in many different ways.

It’s not a matter of trying each new marketing tool to see what sticks; it’s about creating a strategic, long-term plan for how you will market to potential customers. Don’t be afraid to change the strategy as needed. But start by having a marketing plan mapped out in advance.

4. You Haven’t Set Goals

Setting goals is a huge part of growing a business. Goals could include the amount by which you want to increase sales next year, new lines of business you want to expand into, or the number of clients you want to attain. Whatever your goals, list them, along with the steps you must take to achieve them, then work to make each a reality.

Keep your plan of action out and visible so you won’t forget about it. Get your staff involved to help you achieve your goals.

5. You’re Not Getting the Most Out of Your Email Marketing

If you’re not using an email marketing platform to connect with customers, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Sending regular emails to clients and contacts helps keep you at the forefront of their minds. When they’re ready to buy a product or service in your niche, your company will be at the top of their list.

There’s a delicate balance between sending not enough and too many emails. Find what your audience responds to best. Typically, that’s one company newsletter and one promotional email a month. Look at your open rate and clickthrough rate (how many people clicked the links you included to visit your site) to build your email marketing strategy for better results.

6. You’re Not Trying to Grow

Be honest with yourself: how much effort have you put into making your business more successful and building a strategy for growth? If you’re guilty of #2 on this list, you probably haven’t even considered how you can grow.

Learn what you can from other companies in your industry, blogs and publications, webinars and conferences to figure out the best way for your business to continue to reach higher levels of success each year. Trying to operate in a bubble will only keep you from the growth your business could achieve.

Too many businesses struggle because they cannot adapt to changing customer wants and needs. Before you throw in the towel, consider whether you have implemented the new marketing strategies necessary to help your business succeed.


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Megan Totka

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com, which helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence and also contributes to a number of publications, such as Business.com, Disability.gov, AICPA, and others. Megan can be reached at megan@chamberofcommerce.com.


  1. […] I work with a lot of small, local businesses on their online marketing efforts. I’d say most don’t have a defined set of business goals or a documented marketing strategy. If you are worried about the future of your business (and you always should be), consider these 6 Tell-Tale Signs Your Business Isn’t Ready for the Future. […]

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