I had just finished a presentation for a group and I stayed back to do some private one-on-one consultation with a few of them. By some coincidence, two of them walked in and made the statement above.
They had run their businesses for some time and had gained some traction, but they seemed to have hit some sort of block or ceiling that was hindering further progress.
I haven’t met anyone who started a business and decided ‘I don’t want my business to grow’. It is usually the opposite, with big dreams that the business will eventually fund their dream lifestyle.
Most people start out at the beginning with a lot of zeal, but soon become overwhelmed trying to juggle multiple responsibilities alongside growing their business. This is when things begin to slip, and they lose sight of their lofty dreams.
A few reasons why your business might not be growing are:
Lack of clear vision and intention
Some business owners started their business, and focused on pursuing a passion or tapping into a market need without siting back to clearly define a clear vision and setting intentions for their business. Without a clear vision and intention, you are easily distracted.
I heard a story about a business owner who was having a slow period in his supplies business; someone told him there was a very lucrative opportunity to bring a certain product that was not in his line of business. He was shown very attractive return testimonial from other ‘investors’. He took all the savings he had from the business, and invested in this ‘lucrative opportunity’. Suffice to say, he lost all his money and was worse off than before.
My example might be extreme, but I have seen several business owners distracted by ‘greener pasture’ offers and they lose focus on their core business.
Neglecting sales and marketing
I remember asking a client who is into construction what his sales and marketing system is. He looked at me with a blank expression. After some seconds he murmured: people call me when they need my services.
I have seen some business owners who are more concerned in creating and do not think about how they will sell what they create. Then, they have to contend with excess stock or tying down their cash without a system or plan to sell.
A sales and marketing system should be an important part of your business. I have said several times that selling is the life blood of your business; when you sell, you generate cash flow to meet your business obligations and invest in systems and tools that will support growth.
Not building a team
One truth I tell myself on a regular basis is that I am a limited resource. You might be good at doing multiple things in your business, but you can’t do them efficiently trying to juggle them at once. When you are the ‘Chief of everything’ in your company, you impede the growth of your business.
In the early stages, it is important to keep your overheads low, but as your business grows, you will need to build a team to drive and manage growth. The downside of having a ‘One Man’ business is that when the ‘one man’ is not available, there is no business.
Lack of standards and processes
I went to a nail studio a few years ago and I was pleasantly surprised when they asked me if I wanted tea, coffee or a soft drink. I made up my mind to make that my new nail studio as I found their thoughtfulness delightful.
I went back two weeks later for a touch up and was surprised they did not offer me same. I decided to prompt them and they apologized and offered me coffee as they had run out of tea. When I went back the third time, nothing was available!
The example above demonstrates what a lack of processes and standards lead to. The business owner starts with good intentions, but things begin to unravel because there are no clear standards and processes.
When this happens, you send a signal to people that you are not organised, which does not go well for your business reputation. You also experience inefficiency, which hinders your business growth.
Lack of innovation
The saying ‘change is the only constant thing in life’ is certainly applicable to your business. When Peter Drucker the famed management consultant made the statement ‘innovate or die’, it was a wakeup call for a lot of companies who were dying due to newer and better innovative products.
As a business owner, you must constant strive to be innovative, or better still, encourage a culture of innovation in your company so that staff members are trained to become an active part of the innovation process.
Small businesses actually have a better advantage than big companies in the area of innovation, because they are leaner – so they should be more responsive.
These 5 reasons are not exhaustive, but they are meant to get you thinking about what might be stalling your business growth. I developed the 4 pillars of business growth video to guide you to begin to put the right pillars in place. You can access it HERE.
Our result-proven business growth boot camp, Accelerate, is now open again. If you want a proven program to grow your business, then take a look at it HERE.