Do you feel that your business is falling short of its true potential? Do you continually set goals and targets only to find you always fall short? Do you feel like you’ve been giving it your all for months or years while seeing little results?
You might be in this situation even though you seem to be doing everything right. Perhaps you’ve read all the books, followed all the blogs, attended the seminars, and have rigorously applied this advice. You have a great idea, a kickass strategic plan, sound financial management skills and even have a great team in place.
So why can’t you achieve the growth you’re working so hard to achieve? Often there are sneaky reasons to blame which you may not suspect. Take a look at the top things which could be holding your business back from achieving its true potential.
When you start a new business, especially if it is a long-held dream or passion project, it is easy to see your business as your baby. This has its strengths, as this will be a key driving force to keep you motivated through long nights and the long slog of setting up a business. However, the risk is that, even as you hire other people to work with you, you will continue to hold on to all the tasks you did at the beginning and insist on doing everything yourself.
This may come from control issues, a lack of trust in other, not knowing how to delegate, or simply old habits dying hard. However, there will come a time when you need to admit that you are not the best person to do absolutely everything, and hand off responsibilities to those how have better experience or qualifications. If nothing else, it is simply impossible to personally oversee everything as your business grows, even if you work literally 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We all know the importance of working together as a team to achieve shared goals, but what does “teamwork” really mean? If your employees are coming into work, doing their own tasks and then going home, then they are not truly working together as a team. Team productivity is critical to your business being able to achieve your goals.
To foster true teamwork, it needs to start with you as the manager. A common mistake is that leaders and managers see their team as an “us and them” situation where the manager feels like they operate on one level, with their team failing to operate on the same level. Overcoming this means putting egos aside, seeing things from your team’s point of view, appreciating them and making sure you effectively communicate the bigger picture so that your team is invested in the organization’s wider goals. Achieve this, and you will not only meet your goals, you will knock them so far out of the ballpark you can set new ones which you never thought possible.
Sure, you have a website. But is it enough to take your business to the next level? In the 21st century, your website is one of the most powerful tools in not only your marketing toolkit, but for your business in general. Furthermore, today’s online landscape is highly competitive and you need a fully optimized, well-designed and user friendly website to keep up with your competitors. If you want your business to grow, your site really needs to be not just as good as, but better than the rest.
This means an extremely professional, well-designed website which encourages users to click around rather than closing the tab after a few seconds. You also need to be able to get them to your site in the first place, and for this you need to make sure it is optimized with the latest SEO tactics. SEO is extremely competitive and Google is constantly changing its algorithms, so this needs to be continually managed to stay on top of your SEO game.
No one is perfect. We all have our flaws – this is part of being human. The point is not to try to be perfect, but rather recognize your flaws and work around them accordingly. As a leader, the trap we can often fall into is striving to be perfect and then taking any criticism very seriously, leading to denial. What we should be doing, however, is taking the criticism on board and managing the issue. Take a step back and honestly assess yourself, warts and all. Once you’ve identified your flaws, work out how you can work around them: this doesn’t necessarily mean “fixing” them. In fact, in most cases it won’t. For example, if you’re disorganized, hire a business manager or chief administrator to keep things on track and step back from these aspects. If you are not good at marketing, hire a consultant, or even someone in house to care of marketing strategy and implementation. You won’t be able to grow your business without taking these actions!