Seriously Struggling Business

Uh oh. Sales have dropped off a bit. Not a huge decline, just a few percent. Well maybe, four, six, eight, something like that. No big deal, right? Well, it could be no big deal, or it could be one of the Five Early Symptoms of a Seriously Struggling Business.

I have conversations all the time with salespeople and business owners who are dealing with various issues in their businesses. Maybe it seems like a small issue. Maybe it’s a few small issues. Or maybe it’s one BIG issue that indicates there might be trouble ahead.

So today, I’d like to outline Five Early Symptoms of a Seriously Struggling Business.

1. Undiagnosed Sales Decreases. Maybe it’s just a percentage point or two. Maybe it’s more like eight to ten percent or even more. Regardless of the numbers, if your sales are declining you need to know why.

Sometimes, a decrease in sales means nothing. But if you don’t know WHY your sales are going down… If you don’t have the knowledge or experience you need to fix it… If you don’t know what’s causing the decline, or more importantly, if you’re not completely clear on the specific actions you need to take to turn it around, then it could be an indication of a serious problem.

In some cases, an experienced salesperson may see a drop in sales because they lost a single account. That’s not catastrophic, unless they were entirely dependent upon that one account for the bulk of their sales OR if they don’t have a tested, proven system in place for replacing that account. If your sales are dropping, there’s one or more reasons for that. You need to identify those reasons and address them as quickly as possible.

2. An Unpaid or Underpaid Owner. In the early stages, many business owners either can’t or don’t take a pay check. If that’s you, don’t be okay with that! Yes, it may be necessary for a short period of time, but if it starts to stretch out at all, that’s a serious indication that you are doing things wrong. In business and sales, excellent performance is its own reward. When you’re doing it right, it pays. When you’re doing it wrong, it doesn’t pay. So if you’re not getting paid, it means you’re not yet doing it right.

3. A lack of urgency in addressing issues. Complacency is a killer. Waiting to see what will happen is a death sentence. Imagine you have nothing but a big plot of dirt for your front lawn. Someone comes by an offers to plant some grass for you. You say, “no thanks, I’m going to wait to see what will happen.” Is it likely you’ll end up with a beautiful, manicured lawn? Probably not. Inaction almost always leads to a decline into chaos and disorder. Waiting for your problems to go away on their own is often the worst possible course of action.

4. Counting on others to fix it. I’ve talked with countless business owners who think they can hire the “magic salesperson or employee” who can turn it all around for them. But here’s the problem. Let’s say such a person exists, and let’s say you happen to find that person. And let’s say you even have the money to pay them. How can you possibly help or assist that person, let alone manage them, if you don’t understand the problems your business is facing yourself? In our work with clients, we help them understand the issues they’re facing so they can address those issues head on and provide intelligent, thoughtful guidance for all those they employ.

5. Failing to learn what actions to take. Trial and error in business is inevitable. But there’s no need to make it your business model. Monthly overhead costs are incessant. They eat away at businesses a little at a time. It’s death by a thousand paper cuts. So while many people think they’re saving money by not investing in the solutions that would actually help them to grow their sales and profits, they are actually hemorrhaging money every month on rent, mortgage, payroll, utilities, car payments and other overhead costs that don’t contribute one thin dime to their growth or profitability.

If you’ve been dealing with one of these Five Early Symptoms of a Seriously Struggling Business for a short period of time, then maybe you’ll figure it out and turn things around. But if you’ve been dealing with any of these issues for a long time, or if you’re dealing with more than one of these issues, then visit to see if we can help.

If you’re tired of flat or declining sales and losing business to your competitors, go to and book an appointment for a complimentary strategy session today. I’ve set aside some time over the next few days to speak with you personally, and help you get crystal clear on three things:

  • First, identifying exactly the market you want to dominate.
  • Second, looking at where you are now vs. where you want to be in terms of visibility, sales and profits and
  • Third, examining the next simple steps to make it happen.

Remember, market domination is not about control. It’s about creating an environment in which the very best prospects for your products and services know who you are, and know what you do, so they can choose to do business with you instead of your competitors. If you’re happy with the status quo, this is definitely not for you, but if you’re serious about creating top of mind awareness and dominating your market, go to and schedule your appointment today. That’s

Whenever you’re ready… here are the five primary ways we help promotional product distributors:

  1. Just Getting Started? If you (or someone on your team) is just getting started in promotional products sales, learn how we can help.
  2. Need Clients Now? If you’re already grounded in the essentials of promotional product sales and just need to get clients now, click here.
  3. Want EQP/Preferential Pricing? Are you an established industry veteran doing a significant volume of sales? If so, click here to get End Quantity Pricing from many of the top supplier lines in the promo industry.
  4. Time to Hire Salespeople? If you want to grow your promo sales by hiring others, click here.
  5. Ready to Dominate Your Market? If you’re serious about creating top-of-mind-awareness with the very best prospects in your market, schedule a one-on-one Strategy Session here.

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