Your online business grows, and suddenly the growth is gone. Some online businesses remain in this state for a long time. The easiest thing in such a situation is identifying the income stagnation problem. Overcoming this scenario is more complicated.
Know all of your customer's types
Almost every business have different types of customer. I don't talk about gender, geographic location, and profession. All online businesses have at least one type of customer, paying customers, but you could have much more types of customers.
For example, if you are selling ads for your newsletter, the "users" customers are those that consume the content. The "paying" customers are the company's media buyers that put their ads in your newsletter. The "decision makers" customers are the company's marketing managers. The "influencers" customers might be your Twitter followers that go to the marketing department in their company and encourage them to buy ads in your newsletter.
Find the root cause.
Try to figure out how your paying customers become such. Try to understand why paying users are leaving you, for often, the problem is in other customer types. After will map all customer types in your online business and their relations, it will be easier to spot the problem.
For each cause could be multiple solutions. You can change your product to meet their expectations or try to get other customers with other expectations. For example, if you have a web app with a subscription and some customers churn, it could be because they are looking for something else than what you are providing. You might add one feature, and they stop leaving you. Also, you might get customers that don't fit what you are providing.
Change the user hat.
It doesn't matter whether you are charging a subscription or a one-time fee for your products. Stagnation means that the number of new paying customers is equal to the number of customers that stop paying. Also, regardless of the payment model, acquiring new customers costs more than retaining existing users.
For example, if you sell only a single online course, the paying customers will stop paying you, this is the model, but you can try to convert them into influencer customers. Try to make them the ambassador of your course, so they will drive new customers for you and indirectly increase your growth.
Focus on getting back to your growth path
After you have assumed the root cause, build a plan on how to grow again. Set a goal to handle the issue. For example, if you want to tackle the churn, set a goal to reduce churn by X%. Now experiment with actions. For example, improve one aspect of your offer and see whether it helps.
Such a plan could be to talk to 5 churn customers, understand why there left, focus on one thing to improve and check whether it helped. Repeat this process as needed. If, after a few tries, you didn't nail the root cause, it goes back to the investigation phase. Now you have learned much more, and you will come up with new conclusions.
Every month, review your metrics, look for the higher risks you have regarding your growth, write down those risks and decide what the minimal actions are to mitigate those risks.
Don't run and start a new channel but begin to think and research what might be future channels. For example, if you have only a marketing channel, the risk might be that channel will stop working. If you are running ads, they might stop working.
Another way to mitigate the risk is to go over the metrics every week and look for negative trends. Handling minor problems is much easier than more significant problems.
Hitting the ceiling glass with your online business growth could happen. Try to be proactive and identify that scenario before it becomes a big issue. With a tool like goalskeeper.io, you will have built-in weekly and monthly routines so you can identify the risks and even write them.
If you are already stuck, try to figure out the root cause and check how you can utilize users you have already acquired. Set a goal to eliminate the cause and focus on small experiments to test whether they are helping you to go back to the growth path. With goalskeeper.io, you can set business goals and focus on the action to achieve those goals.