Your business is a lot like plant. You have an idea (seed) and you invest time (water) and effort (sun) into it. You attend to it daily and then you see it take root and grow. But just like the health of a plant, many things can affect your business’ growth. It’s not always as simple as time + effort = growth. Similar to troubleshooting what’s preventing a plant from thriving, one needs to identify the culprit that’s preventing business growth. This is where many business owners stumble because they don’t know the questions or areas to examine to see what’s not working. Instead of wasting time and effort here is a list of the 6 common mistakes that prevent business growth.
Doing it all
I get it. I know you want to do it all, but is that the best use of your time? Owners of both big and small business can fall into this trap.There are three main facets a business owner needs to oversee: sales (marketing and advertising), finances (funding, expenses and profits) and the product or service. There are not enough hours in a week to be effective at all of these things.
Outsourcing tasks you’re not skilled at saves time and allows you to focus your energy on things you’re good at. Time is money. So even though you are paying someone to do something, you are actually saving, if you are hitting your income goals.
No business plan or haven’t reviewed it in awhile
Having a business plan helps you to become focused. It helps you set priorities and define your business objectives. It keeps you organized and on track. My business plan kept evolving the more I worked on it. I got laser focused and had the steps I needed to take in order to get there. It also showed me areas where my strengths were and what areas I would benefit outsourcing. Having a solid business plan allows you to focus your energy.
Lost the passion, feels like a job
It happens. We get so caught up in the ‘doing’ and the ‘work’ we forget to envision “what could be.” It’s hard to keep the passion going if you’re always in the trenches. Designate a block of time to visualize and feel what you want your business to be. Taking time to step out of the business and dream will energize you. It helps recenter yourself as to your ‘why’. Take these thoughts and write them down. From here design a plan and figure out your strategy.
You don’t have to go this alone. Hiring a business coach or getting involved in a mastermind group can be very beneficial. Sometimes it’s not our plan that’s holding us back but our self limiting beliefs, such as not valuing your product/service enough. Business coaches are great at helping you work through these blocks.
Being an entrepreneur can be isolating. Masterminds are a great place to be in a group that are experiencing similar issues as you and can help each other solving problems and developing themselves together through input and advice from each other.
Shiny penny syndrome
Open up any social media platform and in your feed you will see lots of people telling you how they made their millions. You think, that’s it, I’ll do that. Constantly changing direction prevents you from evolving with your product. It takes time to cultivate customers and get in front of your target market. You also need some trial and error. What works for one person might not work for another.
‘One size fits all’
Googling muffins vs gluten-free, paleo, vegan muffins will deliver much different results. Having a clearly defined niche allows you to been seen. The most important thing to grow your business is to get in front of the right customer. The more defined you can be the higher your visibility. This is not to say your 10 avatars aren’t viable, but pick two and really focus on them. Once you are able to speak to them, you can move onto the others.
This is the same with products. Stick with one area and develop that before adding other items. This will help both your bottom line and your cash flow.
Poorly managing your money
You may think spending more money is the way to solve a problem, but it may be that what you’re trying to solve isn’t the problem. This is where it’s important to understand the story your numbers are telling you. You don’t have to be an accountant, but knowing and understanding the basics of what your statements are telling you can prevent you from costly mistakes. One trap many businesses fall into is they think profitability and product profitability are one-in the same. They’re not. There’s a lot more here. That’s why understanding your numbers is so important.
By addressing these 6 mistakes that prevent business growth will assure your business remains healthy and continues to grow. Take a deep breath and be patient, to fix some of these issues may take time. But congratulate yourself on being pro-active and taking time to analysis and evaluate the health of your business. It takes time, trial and error and courage to start and run a business. Celebrate the small wins. All those small wins equal big gains.