In my work as a business advisor, I get phone calls and emails pretty much every day with frustrated entrepreneurs asking me this question:
“When I started my business, things really took off. But lately, we’ve found that we aren’t growing at all. It’s like we’ve hit a ceiling! What’s happening?”
The answer usually boils down to one of three things:
1. Team problems. Maybe you’re understaffed, so you find yourself doing so much of the work that you don’t have time to get out ahead of the curve and plan for the future. Maybe you’re overstaffed. Maybe your team members aren’t playing well together or some of them just aren’t engaged or interested. Perhaps there’s a mismatch between the jobs you need done and people you have doing them, so that your team members aren’t playing to their strengths in order to move the company forward.
SOLUTION: Look closely at your workload and see what can be adjusted. Do a review of each of your team members (including yourself!). See if you can spot areas where you either need to hire, downsize, consolidate roles, or train your people so that you can assemble a lean, engaged, efficient team that gets things done.
2. System problems. Frequently, you have a strong team, but there are systematic inefficiencies gumming up the works. Systematic problems hold you back because they mean that you’re making the same mistakes over and over again: wasting time, money, and effort once is bad. When you compound it because it’s a systematic issue, the losses mount.
SOLUTION: Review the major systems in your business: sales and marketing, fulfillment, hiring and HR, finance, IT, and other unique systems that your particular business model may require. Look carefully at where there may be gaps or redundancies. Be willing to make the adjustments you need to make to correct the problems.
3. You’ve stopped innovating. As I discussed in my last post [LINK], you must keep moving forward in order to be successful. The market is in a constant state of flux. New and better technology can save you tons. It’s up to you, as the business owner, to lead and guide your company through changes and transitions so that you can be ahead of the curve and profitable.
SOLUTION: Take the time to look at what the market is telling you. Ask: how can you solve problems for your customers? How can you do it better, faster, cheaper, friendlier, than the competition? What else can you provide? How else can you provide it? What can you do to bring your Why to life in bigger and better ways?
Of course, the best way to do this is to make sure you have time set aside to work on your company’s Big Picture. You can’t just throw spaghetti at the wall and hope to heaven some of it sticks. Breaking through revenue ceilings requires analysis, thought, and planning.
That’s why I want to invite you to my next Growth Planning Session, happening on January 10 at The Hilton Garden Inn.
This is where we walk you through the process of planning proactively for growth, so that you can find your bottlenecks and obstacles, and steer your company around them.
In the 7-hour Growth Plan Workshop (including a delicious hot lunch!), you’ll get…
• A clear picture of where you want your business to be in 10-30 years…3-5 years…90 days…and what you need to do TODAY to get you there
• Your yearly goals broken into bite-sized action items
• Strategies to build your profits right away
• A network of like-minded business contacts
Start 2014 off right. The Growth Plan Workshop is coming up on Fri, Jan 10, 2014 9—4:00pm
The Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Airport, 8910 Hatfield Dr., Indianapolis 46231
Cost is $247 at the door, $187 in advance, and FREE for clients.
Conquer the challenges of a growing business. Join us for the Growth Plan Workshop on January 10 and set yourself up for success in the New Year!