Many business owners aspire to grow their businesses but only a small percentage actually achieve the growth that they aspire to. There are many barriers to business growth and reasons why business owners may struggle to grow their businesses.
You may want to grow your business but are finding the reality quite different. Every business is unique but to help you consider where your barriers to growth are we have summarised below some of the potential barriers to growth that you may be encountering, please feel free to add further barriers via the comments.
Is your mindset holding your business back? What are you thinking that is stopping you from growing your business? Why are you in business? You may be afraid of success, lacking in confidence, lack of motivation, unclear on how to grow your business, fear you may fail, look on the negative side of everything, worry about the consequences of your actions, or feel that you cannot grow your business. Be aware of how your thinking is acting as a barrier to the growth of your business and consider how you can think differently to enable growth. When we are coaching clients in business, their mindset is normally the biggest barrier to business growth.
Working ‘in’ rather than ‘on’ your business.
Are you too busy working in the day to day of your business to set aside regular time to step back and focus on your business strategy and business growth? It is challenging to move from working in the day to day of your business to being more strategic. To enable your business to grow and prosper you need to spend time working ‘on’ your business, not just working ‘in’ your business. No amount of time management will help if you just do not have the time. A business evaluation may discover that it is time to get some operational support or find an expert to work on your business on your behalf.
Lack of strategic planning and a vision.
Have you considered where you want your business to be in the short, medium, and longer-term? A strategic plan and vision for the business is a critical starting point for growing your business. Have you considered an exit strategy?
Knowledge, experience, and skills.
The old phrase you don’t know what you don’t know, many don’t always recognize the skills needed to be successful. Do you or your team need to increase their knowledge, experience, and skills to enable your business to grow? What additional leadership and management skills do you and your management team need to take your business forward? Consider investing in knowledge, experience, and skills for you and your team to enable your business to deliver growth. You may also want to access the support of specialists who can help you grow your business. You and your staff are what make you stand out from the crowd.
Doing the same as you have always done.
Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity, doing what you have always done but expecting different results. When was the last time you did something different in your business? Are you running your business the same as when you first started your business but struggling for growth? To grow your business needs to be flexible, open to change, innovative, creative and prepared to do something different. Consider what needs to be different in your business to enable growth.
Inefficient systems, processes and procedures.
Are your systems, processes, and procedures inefficient and ineffective? To enable growth, you may need to improve your processes and procedures and invest in IT and software. Consider what you are putting up with on the operational side of your business that is preventing growth. No amount of marketing activity will grow your business if you cannot efficiently process customers to the satisfaction of all.
Not managing the business.
Are you struggling to understand how your business is performing? Are you adopting a reactive management approach? To enable growth you need to be proactive and actively manage your business, including keeping focused on your business strategy, planning what you need to do to achieve the strategy, ensuring action is being taken, reviewing how you are getting on against your plans, prioritising and re-prioritising as things change and reviewing and updating your business strategy on a regular basis. You also need to know what is happening in all areas of your business by monitoring key performance indicators, regular communication, feedback and meetings with staff and key stakeholders and listening to customer feedback. Setting up effective metrics throughout your business will allow you to monitor and manage all the functions of your business for sustainable business success.
Not resourcing to deliver growth.
Is your business struggling to grow through lack of resources e.g. staff, suppliers, equipment, finance, investment etc.? To grow your business it needs to be adequately resourced. You may need to employ additional people, outsource work, invest in equipment or new premises or you may need additional finance or investment. Consider whether any of these areas are holding your business back.
Inadequate or inappropriate sales and marketing activity.
When was the last time you reviewed your sales and marketing activity? What sales and marketing activity are you doing? Too many businesses assume that they will keep generating sales without adequately investing in sales and marketing or without any review or changes to their sales and marketing activity. The right sales and marketing activity is critical to enabling business growth. However, what is right today may not be right tomorrow so flexibility and creativity in your sales and marketing activity are essential.
Poor customer service.
When we audit and support businesses in their business growth, this is one area that almost every single business has benefited from support. Is poor customer service impacting your business? What do your customers think about your service (are you getting great reviews and recommendations)? You may be finding that your business is not growing due to customers being unhappy with the service they are receiving. Excellent customer service is a prerequisite of sustainable business growth. Consider what changes you need to make in how you are servicing your customers.
Are any of the above acting as barriers to growth in your business? Are there others that we have not considered please feel free to comment and share.
If you are looking for support to grow your business, we can help. We can provide the support and resources that you are specific to your business growth needs. Book an initial free assessment.
September 24th, 2020