Your business is almost a living thing, and it needs the right business strategy to grow. In the past, maybe you felt that growth happened regularly, but now? Everything moves and spins without actually going anywhere.
Your business might be unable to escape the status quo—otherwise known as the hamster wheel. Once your company stops spinning around in the same place, real progress can happen. Here’s your fool-proof business strategy for growth and innovation.
The 5 Stages of Escaping the Hamster Wheel
Businesses don’t simply jump off the wheel. Instead, there are five stages to making real change.
Stage 1: Examining the Status Quo
At this stage, business is going just fine. However, “just fine” isn’t going to break records or propel your business forward. When you’re at this stage, it’s time to start looking at your traditions and routines. Examine closely and look at relevant data to determine which ones move the needle towards success and which ones your business does only because it always has. This stage makes room for new innovation strategies.
Stage 2: Expanding Perspectives
You’ve identified which business routines to keep and which ones to put aside. Now it’s time to think outside the cage. What’s beyond the hamster wheel?
Data can bring clarity. For example, if you dropped your customer onboarding because it wasn’t bringing results, you don’t have to replace it with another. Instead, look beyond the onboarding process to what drives your customers to stay. This data could offer new, innovative ways to onboard clients.
Stage 3: Eliminating Limitations
Now that you’re thinking outside the hamster cage, it’s time to go even further. It’s not just about what’s outside the cage; it’s time to get rid of the wheel, the cage, and the whole bit. You have data to inform your decisions and the expertise to innovate.
Stage 4: Taking Risks
Hamsters might live their whole lives in the cage running on the wheel, but the second that door opens, they’re gone. They don’t hesitate, and neither should your business. Once you’ve eliminated your limitations and obstacles, it’s time to start taking data-informed risks. That’s the only way you’ll escape the status quo.
Stage 5: Speeding Up
As you break out of the wheel, it’s tempting to take things slow. Unfortunately, slow transitions can block natural innovation. You can speed up iterations and behave more like an agile startup with the right team culture, tools, and, of course, data.
10 Business Strategies to Break the Wheel
The ultimate goal is to break your reliance on the hamster wheel entirely. So what are the basic business strategies companies can use to innovate, inspire, and break the hamster wheel cycle for good? Here are ten reliable business strategy examples for growth.
Change the place
Businesses can analyze different aspects of their ecosystem. For example, a business might look at a different target market within the same industry. Another option might be the same target market but different industry. Change the components of the ecosystem to explore new pathways.
Look for spectators
With so much data available, companies can take a look at who “lurks” but never buys. These spectators could offer clues to new products or services. Once companies uncover the reason these spectators never become customers, a new pathway could open.
Introduce more functionality
Healthy hamsters have more enrichment than just the wheel; they have choices. Companies can overcome the status quo by adding more functionality into their business operations. With more options than the wheel (the status quo), it’s less tempting to hop back on.
Add new “toys”
Along with more functionality, looking into new technology tools can also help your business break out of its rut. Remain mindful of data insights when adopting new technology to avoid shiny object syndrome.
“Adopt a new hamster”
Bringing new blood into the ecosystem can also help your business break out of a rut. Companies can refocus hiring efforts, look into alliances or partnerships, or make strategic acquisitions to find that new blood.
Modify the revenue stream
Making changes to the revenue stream can also break your business out of a rut. Preparing by looking at the data, bringing in any new talent, and analyzing the ecosystem will help a business succeed here.
Modify the wheel itself
Making changes to the status quo can help companies ease into any transitions necessary. While “move fast and break things” can work in some instances, a business might need a more delicate touch in others. Think of it as “status quo+1”.
Companies can also look at different wheel designs or supplements that could add new elements to their products, services, frameworks, or operations. These supplements add fresh ingredients for creating value.
Associate with other hamsters
While movies like to highlight the cutthroat world of business, the reality can be much different. Frequently associating with your business’s competition could offer new potential for innovation, partnerships, or gap filling.
Find new resources
Hamsters cannot survive on one single food source for their entire lives. Businesses also need new resources to breathe new life and health into business operations. Exploring these new business resources offers a range of benefits that address different needs and goals for the company’s growth.
With the right business strategy, companies can grow
There can be a lot of movement, but it should always be forward movement—not round and round. The status quo can fool any business leader into thinking that business is going well, but there’s an entire world of benefit once you hop off the wheel.
Moving through the stages to get out of the hamster wheel can breathe new life into business operations. You have the potential to reinvent your status quo by leveraging the ten business strategies to change things up.
Do you think that your business is out of the hamster wheel or has managed to overcome it?
Feel free to brag about your success in the comments!