228: What to do When Growth Stagnates | Tanya Dalton Skip to the content
June 8, 2021   |   Episode #:

228: What to do When Growth Stagnates

In This Episode:

Has the growth and success of your business stalled? Here’s the truth: business growth can stagnate for many reasons. As an entrepreneur and business owner, it’s essential to understand why businesses often experience a lapse in growth and how to detect a business plateau in your business before it occurs. In this episode, learn the common reasons businesses experience a slowdown in growth, plus strategies for making changes that will set your business up for the long-term success you deserve!

Show Transcript:

The Big Idea

You don’t have to stay stagnant.

Questions I Answer

  • What do I do if my business growth stagnates?
  • How do I build momentum in my business?
  • Can I create a thriving business if I’m so busy?

Actions to Take

  • Take some time (about 30 minutes or so), and think about what would make it easier for you to run your business and achieve success on your terms. Be honest, and write your answers down!
  • Ask yourself what’s keeping you from taking action to move beyond the struggles you’re experiencing

Key Topics in the Show

  • Taking action in business

  • Key business metrics

  • What is a business plateau

  • What to do when business growth stagnates

  • Signs it’s time to shift your business

  • Ideas to improve business growth during challenging times

Resources and Links

Show Transcript

Hustle, grind, repeat. Society has been telling us that for far too long, it is a dated obsolete model that desperately needs evolving. Let’s do business differently because you can, you didn’t start your business to work 60 plus hours a week. You’re a business owner because you want freedom, time, freedom, financial freedom, lifestyle, freedom. I’m on a mission to give you that I guide impact driven women,

just like you to simplify scale and strategize. So you can take action double down on your business and yourself without doubling your workload. I shave off time while helping put money in your pockets. I know because I’ve done it myself. Growing a seven figure business while growing a family, it can be done. You can be the visionary, the leader of a team,

the successful woman you were designed to be. It is time to stop operating at ordinary levels and choose to be extraordinary. I’m Tanya Dalton, and this is the intentional advantage. Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 228. This season, we are talking all about taking action in our businesses. And it’s funny because the other day I had a little bit of an incident happened that really highlighted for me,

why it’s important to pay attention to what’s happening in your world. You know, with your business, with your numbers are what’s happening with your clients, what’s happening in your industry, but it’s true in your personal life, too, paying attention to what’s going on around you, because then we can take action and we can truly take ownership of our lives.

So this incident that happened was really no big deal, but I felt like it was one of those things where it was like, oh, okay, this is being shown to me as a reminder that I need to be really cognizant and paying attention. I was driving home from work and you’re just driving down the road. And all of a sudden the check tire gauge,

pops up on my dashboard. So of course it’s annoying, but it’s not that big of a thing. I see a gas station down the road. So I go ahead, I pull over, I check the tire gauge pressure and sure enough, it’s just a little bit light, no big deal. I’m like, okay, I’ll fill it up full of air.

So I fill it full of air, head on home and, you know, continue on with my day as normal. Well, the next day happens, get up, go to work, do my thing, run my errands. And I’m driving home and sure enough, guess what pops up the check tire gauge that lights up again. So I think,

okay, well clearly I didn’t fill it up enough. I must not have filled up the tire as much as it needed or I didn’t tighten up that little screw cap that’s on there tight enough. So let me just pull over and do it again. Third day tire gauge, light pops up and here’s the deal when it happens one time you can say,

oh, okay, this needs a quick little check. Second time you can Chuck it up to maybe a fluke or a mistake. Third time you can’t ignore it anymore. So instead of heading to the gas station, just to fill it up again, which sounds like now, this is going to be my Groundhog day. I’m just constantly filling up this tire.

I make the smart move and I take action. I head over to the local tire shop. That’s just around the corner from me. Now. I had looked at the tire, everything had looked great. You know, when I’m filling it up full of air, didn’t notice any nails or any, any problems. Everything seemed good. Not that I’m a mechanic by any stretch of the imagination,

but it all seemed fine. But when I get to the tire store, they take the tire off the car, they fill it full of soapy water and they, they look for a leak and sure enough, what do they find? An itty bitty, teeny tiny little screw. That’s slowly leaking air out of the tire. 10 minutes later, that little hole is plugged up.

I think it costs me all of 15 bucks and I’m on my way, no more trips to the gas station to fill up this tire. Right? I took action. So I’m a mom. So clearly this has to turn into a learning experience for my kids and my four kids. So we’re in the car with Jack and I’m telling him, John and I are lecturing him.

I should rephrase that. We were lecturing him about how important it is that when something crops up with your car, you go and you take action. You don’t ignore it. You don’t pretend it doesn’t exist. You go and get it fixed because this took me a total of like 15 minutes out of my life and cost me a total of 10, 15 bucks.

Versus if I had just kept patching up that little band-aid right, and just putting air in the tire, putting air in the tire over and over again, eventually that tire is going to blow out possibly on the highway, which could have really caused a huge accident and been terrible. I mean, smallest case scenario there that we would have had to get a brand new tire,

which is hundreds and hundreds of dollars instead of spending, you know, the 10 to 15 bucks. So I’m lecturing Jack, which I’m sure he’s thoroughly enjoying in the backseat as any 18 year old does with their mom. So I’m lecturing him about how important it is to take action. And it was funny because I had this little light bulb moment where I was like,

this is exactly the same in our business. We have these leaky tires that we want to just write off and say, this is no big deal. Or I just made a little mistake, or this is just a little off time. And I’m just going to keep putting more air in there, right? This is a mistake we need to take action.

When we see evidence that things are not working the right way, we there’s no check tire gauge light. That’s going to light up when something’s off in your business. So it’s up to you to be really cognizant, to be paying attention to what is happening. This is one of the many, many reasons that I think it is so important to be checking a dashboard,

to be looking at your key metrics on a regular basis so that, you know, when you have the leaky tire, one of the things that we see a lot of times, that’s our leaky tire is we see that our business starts to plateau. It no longer is going up or down. It’s just kind of staying stagnant. And we can write that off.

We can say, oh, this is no big deal. We just had an off month. Okay. One time, second time. Okay. Maybe this is a mistake. This is sounding a little bit like my tire story. Third time we need to take action really. First time, maybe second time. We really need to take a deeper look.

But this is what happens is we write it off. We make excuses when the growth or the success of your business just slows down or it stops altogether. And it just starts stagnating. Now this is not something that you need to be embarrassed about. It’s kind of like having a leaky tire. We all get a leaky tire from time to time and we have to head to the tire store and get it fixed.

It’s the same thing with your business. We all have these times where our business stagnates we’re at plateaus. This is something that is indicative of a much bigger problem. What happens is we reach a plateau and we make excuses for it. But really when our business is stagnating, it’s a symptom of a much bigger problem. It’s a symptom that needs to be addressed that maybe we need to evolve.

Maybe we need to shift. Maybe we need to change the way we’re doing business. Because if we don’t have tires going to go flat or worse, yet it’s going to bust open in the middle of the highway and caused some problems. So here’s the deal that I want you to remember. These plateaus, they crop up in the business world. This is not anything that the universe is telling you to stay in your lane.

It’s not, you know, God telling you to just be complacent or any of those types of things. Those excuses that we use, it’s an opportunity for us to make decisions about where we want to go with our business. That’s how I want you to look at your business. When it stagnates. It’s not something to boo-hoo about. It’s not something to complain about.

It’s something exciting because it means that it’s time to evolve. It’s time to shift. It’s time to try something different. And that’s really pretty exciting. And I want you to start looking at it that way. We don’t have to look at a stagnated business as well. This is just the way it is that we’ve reached the top. We’ve hit the ceiling.

That’s not true. That’s a lie. You’re telling yourself, that’s an excuse that you’re making. So you don’t have to shift because let’s be honest. Sometimes making these changes in your business means a little bit of discomfort. It means taking a good look at what you’ve been doing. And this is the thing that I want you to keep in mind. This flat line.

Isn’t the same as a flat line that we see at the hospital where heart monitor is like, beep beep beep. It’s not the same. It doesn’t mean your business is dead. It actually means your business is evolving and changing and growing. So this, again, I want you to remember is an opportunity. We don’t want to just look at a plateau in our business as something that we just say,

well, I guess it’s out of our control because here’s the deal. You are the business owner. That means you run the business. You design your business on your own terms. It’s not the business running you. It’s you running the business. You are in control and you absolutely can make shifts around these plateaus, this stagnation that you’re experiencing, we’re all going to have stumbling blocks.

We’re all gonna have these obstacles, that crop up from time to time, not just in our business, but in our personal life as well. And it’s up to you, how you handle them. I like to say, and you’ve heard me say this before that when I get to a stumbling block, when I get to an obstacle in my path,

I think there are several choices. You can work around it. You can climb over it. You can tunnel underneath it, or you get burned. That thing to the ground. It is absolutely your choice because here’s the thing. It is your business. And you’re going to hear me say this again and again and again, because I think it’s really important to remember.

So often we feel like our business is this freight train. That’s running out of control. And these drops that we have in our business and the growth that we experience somehow is just like a roll of the dice. It’s not necessarily something that we’re controlling, but you do control how you react to them. That is one of the things that we have absolute control over in our world.

There are a lot of things we can not control, how other people react to us. What other businesses are doing, what other business owners say, but we can control how our reactions play out. We can control how we choose to look at these situations as opportunities or as obstacles. When you choose to see them as opportunities, you can create a clear path forward towards growth towards that success.

You’re really looking for. So let’s talk about some of the most common reasons that businesses stagnate. Because as I said, this is something that a lot of businesses experience my business has experienced it from time to time. Every single business owner who’s been in business more than let’s say six months, nine months, 10 months, however long they had experienced stagnation in their business.

If your business is constantly like a rocket ship to the moon, that is exhausting. First of all. But second of all, that’s not really maintainable. And we want to maintain that growth. We want to understand that sometimes these stagnations happen for a reason. So what are some of the common reasons? Well, the first one is, and this is probably the biggest one is that you have maybe an outdated or a flawed business plan.

You know, oftentimes that means that it’s time to shake some things up in your business. It’s time to disrupt what you’ve been doing. And disruption is a really exciting thing to do because it means you’re changing your trajectory. So maybe we need to make some shifts because of the way society’s changing. Maybe it’s how people are buying or what your soulmate, clients and customers are looking for.

You know, that’s what I want you to keep in mind is that there are opportunities to see what is happening and make those shifts. So that growth is exponential. After you have the stagnation, the stagnation happens, and then you’re like a rocket ship up to the moon. Okay? So start paying attention to those things. The second common reason that businesses,

sometimes plateau is due to a lack of focus. And this is honestly something I see all the time in all different kinds of industries with the women that I coach is they feel like they want to do it all. They feel like they have to say yes to every single opportunity, more offerings, more money, more revenue. All of that is connected because they want to scale their business.

They treat their business like it’s a fire sale. Like yes, anyone and everyone coming in the door, I’m selling everything you want. One client or customer tells me they want a product. I’m going to make sure I have stock of it. Right? One person tells me that they want this service. And suddenly I create a whole plan because one client has said,

they want this. Here’s the truth. Not everyone is your clients. That is one of the hardest lessons to truly embody and take in. Is that not everybody is going to be your client and you don’t want everybody to be your clients selling to more customers doesn’t mean more revenue. It doesn’t mean more sales. It doesn’t mean more profit. It means more headache.

It means more stress. It means being stretched, thinner and thinner and thinner because you’re offering everything to everyone, which means you end up standing for nothing, which is when those real soulmate clients of yours, the people that you absolutely love working with end up leaving because you no longer offer with they are wanting. So I want you to keep that in mind is when we lack,

focus in our business, we wind up spending up a lot of our time, a lot of our energy and our resources trying to attract and win opportunities that are not necessarily aligned with our values, with our mission, with where it is. We envision ourselves and our business going. You know, not to mention all of that money. We’re spending on marketing to every single person out there in the world.

It is no surprise. You are burned out and exhausted far too many entrepreneurs fall victim to this misconception, that growth happens by saying yes to every opportunity. And they start going out there trying to attract every single customer. And yes, while attracting everyone to your business may sound appealing. I’m going to be honest. It sounds exhausting. You assume it’s going to create this never ending stream of revenue.

I want you to know this. I want you to take, if you take nothing else from today’s show, I want you to take this, that this is not how a truly sustainable growth happens. What happens is we burn ourselves out. We wear ourselves out. When we say yes to every client, to every opportunity to every customer, all we wind up doing is losing sight of the big picture,

losing our north star. It gets lost to us. And all of a sudden we look around and we go, wait, how did I end up here? How did I end up selling these products? I don’t even love it’s because we lose our focus and it’s okay. Because it happens from time to time. I can tell you myself, we’ve had seasons where I had far too many skews because I was trying to be everyone’s everything.

And I is, the funny thing is, and this is the most ironic part of the whole thing. Cause I feel like I chased my tail, running myself, busy, trying to make everybody happy. And we came out at exactly the same revenue, cost me more money because I had to buy more product cost me more time because we had to take more time for designing more marketing effort because we’re marketing more products came out with the same level of revenue.

Talk About heartbreaking, right. Especially when you’ve worked so hard. So that was a stagnation, right? When I was like, oh, wait a minute. We just literally tripled our numbers of skews. We just offered everything we possibly could and came out exactly dead. Even almost to the dollar with where we had been the year before stagnation is there to be a wake-up call.

When you plateau in your business, it’s someone shaking your shoulders saying change what you’re doing. I know for me, I was grateful for that because it did allow me to shift. So that’s the second, most common reason. The third is that it could be that you’re playing it safe. You’re really just inside that comfort zone, blending in with the crowd,

trying to play with the status quo. And here’s the truth. We don’t want to play it safe, not with our business. We really don’t. That safety that comes with blending in from the crowd means you don’t stand out means no one’s finding you, right? The best, most successful businesses. They reached that level of success and achievement because they make a choice to go against the,

they follow the beat of their own drum. They don’t do what everybody else is doing. They look for disruption. Disruptors are the thing that shakes things up. They’re the businesses that truly are successful. So if you feel like you’ve been playing it safe, staying in your own little lane in that little tiny box of comfort and you realize, gosh, you know what,

business isn’t really growing. You know, it did okay for a while. And then it’s just kind of sat there and not really move. It’s really plateaued. It might mean it’s time for you to step out of that comfort zone and it can be done. Absolutely. It just takes choosing. It’s a choice to move out of that comfort zone. Okay.

So those are the three most common reasons that I have seen that businesses have stagnated. So I want you to think about which one of those maybe fits you and maybe your business isn’t stagnated right now, but this is something good to take note of for when it happens in the future or looking back when you stagnated, do you see what are these common themes I’m guessing that you do?

Cause I know in my business, I see it. And I know that when I’ve made the shifts, when I’ve made those, those changes, when I’ve evolved my business, that’s when that growth really began to pick up steam. And that’s when I can really expand that platform. And that’s what we want for you. So I want to talk about some ways that you can overcome these plateaus,

the stagnation of your business. Let’s do that in just a minute. Let’s first, let’s just take a quick mid episode break. Today’s episode is brought to you by well press productivity, co my own productivity company. So a lot of the strategies and the tactics that we talk about here on the show, I have physical products that allow you to immediately start taking action.

You can use the planners in conjunction with what we talk about here. I love being able to offer you physical products so that you can actually start prioritizing so that you can batch your tasks so that you can set and achieve your goals for this year. So head to inkwell, press.com to pick up your planner. We’ve actually just come out with our academic year models.

These are regular planners, but they run from July through June. So they’re ideal. If you have school aged children and you like to have your calendar run concurrent with how their calendar runs or if you’re ready to just start taking action right away. If you’re thinking to yourself, all right, I’m tired of feeling like the day has run me ragged. I’m ready to be in control of my days.

Grab an academic year planner, because that means you can get started right away. Just head to inkwell, press.com to pick up yours. Now. All right, before the break, we talked about the three most common reasons why our businesses stagnate. So I want to address how we can really take a look at those three most common reasons. The first one that we talked about was that maybe your business plan needs an adjustment.

So what I would recommend here is to really take a good solid look at your soulmate client. Now, I like to call it a soulmate client, because this is the client that you think to yourself when you’re working with them or you’re selling to them. You think I need more of you. I want more of this client. This is the type of person I love working with.

I absolutely, this gets me fired up. I want more of them. That’s your soulmate client, because when they love working with you, you love working with them and it’s like a match made in heaven. So if you haven’t taken the time to really uncover your soulmate clients or your ideal avatar, some other people call it. You need to think about who they are.

Are they a man? Are they a woman? How old are they? Where are they shopping? What are their interests? Where are they hanging out? Where are they getting their programs, their, their products, their ideas. But here’s the thing. And I think this is so important to keep in mind your soulmate client changes from time to time where they’re shopping,

where they’re hanging out, what kinds of things they’re interested in. It’s really important to get into that habit of doing a quick check-in to determine if and when things need to be tweaked, maybe your soulmate client needs to be changed, maybe where they’re shopping or what they’re interested in that has changed. Or maybe your soulmate client as a whole has changed as you grow and evolve.

Sometimes the people that you really want to work with that evolves too. So deciding what your business model looks like, including who your soulmate client is. Isn’t something that we do one time as we’re setting up the business and then we’re done. This is something you need to revisit on a regular basis. And it’s the go-to place when you have a stagnation in your business.

But this is definitely something we want to put as an automation to be regularly checking in at least once a year, does this soulmate client profile still fit who I want to sell to? Okay. So that’s one of the first places to go. My second tip is if you feel like, okay, my issue was not that my issue is that I lost my focus.

Here’s what I want you to do. I want you to zoom out. I want you to get a bird’s eye view. I actually call this not a bird’s eye view, but a forest view zoom out. Because a lot of times we can’t see the forest because of the trees we’re wandering around in these trees and we’re lost. And we’re confused when you lack focus,

you’re wandering around in circles. So let’s zoom out. Let’s get that forest view. Let’s figure out where it is. We need to focus in on where is it we need to narrow in. This is something just like we talked about with the soulmate client. It’s not something that we set one time and it’s done. We need to constantly make sure that we are stepping back and being the visionary of our business.

And we do that by getting that forest view. This is something that I advocate to my clients to do at least once a quarter, check in, making sure you haven’t lost your focus, really checking in on where it is. You want to move as you go forward. Now, if you’re thinking to yourself, all right, my issue was with that third one that I’m playing it a little too safe.

I’m blending in. I’m pulling, I’m playing to that status quo. I want to give you a little tough love. If you focus all your time and energy on what everybody else is doing, you lose focus on all of that brilliance that you already have. You know, let’s face it. The internet is saturated with businesses, big and small. Do you really want to blend in or do you want to stand out?

Because this is the thing is what you offer to the world. The problem that you are solving, you are doing an incredible job of that. So let’s stand out. You and I both know that he doesn’t really solve any of the problems if nobody knows about us, right? We really want to make sure that we are standing out the people who achieve incredible success.

They’re not afraid to step outside of that tiny little box. And I don’t want you to be afraid either. I mean, here’s the truth, though. We all go through periods of anxiety, where it feels really hard to step out of that comfort zone. Or maybe you feel a little bit confused or uncertain about what you’re doing and you think, well,

I should be doing what everybody else is doing because it’s working for them. I want you to remember you have your own unique, special gifts that make you, you, and that’s what makes you and your business special. That’s what’s going to allow people to find you and not just find you, but love your brand to love you and feel loyal to what it is you offer.

So right now think about which one of those three common problems is perhaps the root cause of your stagnation. And now I want to give you a couple of momentum builders. You know, I like for you to feel like you’re ready to take action as we close out the show. So let’s go through a couple of momentum builders, some really quick and easy actions that you can take to start moving forward.

So momentum builder, number one, I want you to start thinking about what is it exactly you’re struggling with right now? What would make things easier for your business to run so that you could achieve success? Is it maybe having clear solid systems in place? Is it hiring a self-managed team? Not just hiring a team, but getting a team that is self-managed.

Is it bottlenecks in your processes? Maybe it’s something else, but I want you to take some time this week. I want you to choose right now to gift yourself 30 minutes, to really reflect on some of the struggles you’re facing with your business. And just, just tear off that bandage. I know sometimes it’s hard to look at these things. It’s rough.

It doesn’t look pretty and maybe it feels a little bit embarrassing, but taking the time to really understand your own struggles is what’s going to allow you to diagnose them and then take action and moving forward. So carve out some time for yourself this week, because I can promise you right now, that’s an investment. It’s going to significantly improve how you run your business.

So uncover what those struggles are. And then I want you to start asking yourself, what’s that limiting belief that you have? What is keeping you from taking one single action step, just to move forward towards those struggles. And if you’re feeling uncertain about this, I have a link to an episode. I’m going to pop into the show notes that we did back in season.

I think it was season 16. I’ll put that into the show notes. It’s all about limiting beliefs, but I want you to think about what’s holding you back. And I want you to think about those three common issues that we have when we have a stagnation in our business, which one of those applies to you carve out some time. Take a good look.

I can promise you. It may not be a fun activity, not going to lie. That’s not something that’s like, can’t wait to do that, but it’s going to be worthwhile. It’s absolutely going to help you grow in the longterm. All right. Momentum builder. Number two, as you probably know by now, one of the things I love to do the most is to empower and connect other women.

I love finding female entrepreneurs and business owners just like you to come together. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I was put on this planet to support and encourage you no matter which area of your business needs some work, because the truth is the world needs to see more women in business, reaching their goals, achieving success on their own terms. We want to move away from that antiquated status quo and step into designing a business on your own terms.

So here’s what I want you to do. I want you to make a promise to yourself, to take action. I want you to make that promise right now, find one small way to shift around those plateaus and those obstacles that life may be has thrown at you. All right? And if you need some help, I’ve got you covered. I want you to consider joining my free group.

Just go to Tanya dalton.com/group. That is a space for us to come together, to help one another, to support one another, to cheerlead each other on and to solve those problems we’re experiencing. Trust me. I want you to understand that when you surround yourself with incredible women, you really can move forward in amazing ways. So those are your two momentum builders for this week.

Pretty easy, right? Nothing too difficult. And I think that’s the thing I want you to always remember is taking action. Doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t have to be huge. It just means you’re making steps forward because the truth is these stagnations these plateaus that affect the growth of your business. They happen to every business out there, but when we brainstorm ways to shift and make changes,

that help us build momentum, define that clear path forward. That is when we start to see even greater success than we ever anticipated, because that’s when we align our businesses with our lives outside of our businesses. And when you do that, that is when you know you have the intentional advantage. Thanks so much for joining me today. Quick question though,

before you go, do you like prizes? When you leave a rating and review of the intentional advantage podcast, you’ll be entered to win my life-changing course, multiplying your time. Simply leave the review and then send me an email@helloatTanyadalton.com with a screenshot. I choose one winner at the end of every month. So go ahead. Do it right now. Just a quick comment with what you loved about this episode or the show in general and a rating and send it our way.

Not going to lie by stars is my favorite, but I’d love to hear what you think of the show. And if that’s not enough of an incentive for you to win the multiplying your time course, I have to tell you reviews are the number one thing that supports this podcast. And me, it’s the best way to spread the word and get business tips and strategies to all those other women out there who need it.

So there you go. Two great reasons for you to go and leave a review right now. So go ahead and do it, send that screenshot my way, because I want to give you a free course. And thanks again for listening today. I’ll be back next Tuesday and I’ll plan to see you then



**The Intentional Advantage is a podcast for busy women to help them be more productive. This episode transcript was created using AI.

Tanya Dalton is a woman with a unique perspective on productivity. As a female productivity expert, top female keynote speaker and best selling author she talks to audiences about time management, habits, goal setting and balance.