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Is your business stagnating? Has your company reached a plateau that you’re not sure how to rise above? Take these five steps and get out of the doldrums.

Retain Positive Customer Relations

Your first priority is to include the loyal customers who have patronized your business over the years. Believe it or not, it will cost you six to eight times more money to attract a new customer than it will to keep an existing one. You already have a dedicated “fan” base in your current customers. Harness their power by allowing them to help you plan for future growth. Solicit their opinions about what they want and keep them in the loop when you decide on a plan.

Obtain Business Liability Insurance

You’ve worked hard to build your business. Be sure you have protection against accidents, disasters, theft and other events that can impair your ability to run your operation. This means obtaining a comprehensive small business liability insurance package that will protect you from injury, property damage, errors and omissions, fire, storms and floods, among other things.

The exact coverage you need will depend on the nature of your business and property, as well as the clients you serve. Many a small business has collapsed under the financial burden of a lawsuit that it could not pay for due to lack of insurance. Don’t let it happen to you.

Enhance Your Leadership Skills

If you are currently at a plateau, one reason might be uncomfortably close to home. You might actually be stagnating as a leader. Enhancing your abilities in this arena can inspire employees and create an atmosphere of positive change that even your customers will feel and appreciate.

After taking an honest look at your leadership style and realizing that you could benefit from new techniques and an extra spark, consider hiring a life or business coach to set you on the right path. You will probably find that you have numerous talents you never even knew about.

Create a Referral System

The same friendly, customer-oriented approach that has helped you get to where you are today can do even more. By creating a referral system that uses your loyal customers to bring their family, friends and acquaintances into your business, you will find it much easier to create a whole new cohort of frequent buyers. People naturally communicate to others about their experiences. Make doing so more appealing by offering special incentives and discounts to customers who bring you new business.

A Thorough Business Examination

You might have a growing, vibrant customer base and products you’re proud to sell, but if you have a dysfunctional business system, these advantages will not last. Therefore, it is crucial to do a thorough examination of your company from top to bottom. Obtain the services of a professional if you don’t believe you can be objective. Look at your marketing, fulfillment, human resources, sales, administration and other employees, and come up with a game plan to correct trouble areas.

When you first reach a plateau, it can be a bit of a relief. You can take a moment to look back at your accomplishments and celebrate all of your hard work. However, don’t let your plateau become your destination. With a healthy dose of personal growth and some help from your customers and perhaps other professionals, you can leave stagnation behind and be well on your way to your ultimate goal of success.

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