Every entrepreneur’s dream is for their business to grow, but not everyone experiences that. Some do faster than others. Why does it happen so?
Business growth doesn’t come automatically based on how long a business has been in existence. It is pursued deliberately. This means that there are certain things that are necessary for a business to grow.
For small business owners, it is easy to get carried away with the day-to-day activities of the business. Running a business is itself a lot of work; attending to clients, managing employees, dealing with vendors and suppliers, etc., can be overwhelming and leave you with little or no time to think about where the business is going or how it can get there.
This can slow down the growth of your business and keep you at the same place for a long time. In order to avoid this, certain basic things like having a strategy, planning and implementation can go a long way to enhance your growth. The absence of them will do otherwise.
Here are some fundamental things that are capable of hindering growth in your business.
1. Not having business goals
Before you set out to start your business, you (probably) had a vision of what you wanted to build and achieve through it, but you can’t just blink your eyes and land there.
Business goals are like each storey in a skyscraper, the building itself being your vision for the business. Not having goals per time is like trying to erect such building in no order.
Your goals keep you focused and on track, give direction to the people working, help align all the activities going on in your business, and draw you closer to your vision.
Without goals, you and your team will only be busy but not making progress. It’s like shuffling your legs on the floor while sitting; it has the sound of movement, but you are just at the same place. You can download our free goal-setting worksheet to help you with this.
2. No strategy to achieve your vision
It is good that you have a picture of what you want to achieve in and through your business, and why your business exists in the first place. You need to take it a step further and plan on how to achieve your vision.
Strategic planning requires thinking through the vision and goals of the business, researching and coming up with steps on how these things can be achieved.
If you hate such detailed planning, or you seem out of ideas on what possibly you can do to navigate your way to your goals, you should hire a business consultant to help you.
This is why business consulting firms like ours exist. With many years’ experience working with different entrepreneurs in various niches, carrying out strategy sessions, conducting market research, etc., we bring in expert, tested and proven action plan that will make your vision achievable.
3. Not current with trends and technology
The world keeps evolving and these changes affect how many things are done. If you are not up to date with them, you would soon find your business obsolete.
Staying current helps you evolve your business with the way the needs of your customers are evolving. Or you will find yourself releasing products people no longer need.
The other part of this is on how technology and trends change the way business activities are carried out, especially enhancing them for greater results. For example, current trends in marketing have shifted to digital media as opposed to traditional media. If you are not tapping into this, your competitors who are will dominate the market.
4. Not understanding who your customers are and what they want
When you don’t understand who your customers are and what they want, you won’t be able to offer the right product/service that meets their need.
Understanding your customers helps you shape your offer and make it relevant to them. It helps you build effective marketing campaigns, targeted at the right people.
This involves having detailed information about the personality and preferences of your ideal customer, and it’s not something you cook up by yourself. Market research and surveys are the tools you need to get such information.
At Owens & Xley, we conduct market surveys for clients to help them understand the market they are entering and get detailed insight about their ideal customers. We also hold focus groups, which is another way of getting to know what your customers really want and their opinions on a product/service.
5. Neglecting your employees
Your employees are the primary ambassadors for your business. Their role in the company becomes more critical when you remember they interact with your customers. If customers are as important as they are to a business, and employees are the ones who interact with these customers, then your employees occupy a vital position.
Neglecting your employees can result in many things that are able to ruin your business. Firstly, they can treat your customers badly and send them away. Secondly, they can waste your business resources and make you spend more. Thirdly, they can be unproductive, and that still costs you money.
Proper employee engagement is important to the growth of your business, and it begins with hiring right and having the right organisational culture. When you hire wrongly, you’d still struggle with your employees. If you need help with getting the right fit for your business, click here and take advantage of our strategic hiring service.
6. Poor resource management
Your profitability has a lot to do with how you manage your resources, including time, finance, people or any other business asset. You may be making a lot of sales, but if you are spending so much on running the business, you won’t be in profit.
You need to have a system that tracks your financial expenses, so you can monitor, evaluate and implement budget control.
It is also important to manage your employees to ensure their activities are enhancing your business goals and they are being productive. It requires you developing the right business processes for your company.
We’ve worked with many business owners to design better processes that bring about a more efficient system. We also help our clients improve their business operations to remove inefficiencies and increase productivity. Reach out to us if you need any of these for your business.
7. Not enjoying what you do
Although this may not sound serious to some persons, albeit, it is important to the growth of a business, especially for small businesses. If you’re don’t enjoy what you do, then you’re doing the wrong thing.
Passion fuels your commitment to building the business. It drives you to go the extra mile even when you don’t feel like. Same goes for your employees; an employee who doesn’t like his job will be a liability for you more than an asset.
Are you ready to begin experiencing growth in business? Setting some goals is a good place to start. Download the free goal-setting template and get to work.