5 Ways You’re Holding Your Business Back and How to Overcome Them

You’re too hands-on

We get it, your business is your baby and you want to see it succeed. You want to ensure that every task is carried out as it should be and you want your employees to do the jobs they are paid to do.

But that’s just it! Micromanaging your team is exhausting. You are paying employees to do a job, so let them do it! By reviewing every little detail you are creating a bottleneck and actually holding up work!

Worse still, most people won’t respond well to this kind of micromanagement, leading to one of two things – a high turn over rate or staff that are far too dependent on you. You need to have faith in your employees if you want them to have faith in you; after all, a break down in the employer/employee relationship never promotes a happy work environment. On the other end of the spectrum, micromanagement can strip your employees (who you hired for their individual skills and style) of their ability to think for themselves.

With all your free time, no longer overseeing the smallest operations, you’ll be left to get on with your job: growing your business and enjoying your success!

Take away: Invest in staff you can trust to uphold the standards of your business. Delegate tasks to employees you know can handle them and watch your team flourish knowing they have your trust and the freedom to express their creativity.


You’re financially over-cautious

You need to manage your finances carefully to ensure the success of your business and avoid falling into serious debt – and we know that as your profits slowly begin to trickle through it can be very tempting to just let them quietly build up as you keep doing what you’re doing.

Yes, this works for some businesses, but most will need to re-invent, evolve and adapt in order to stay relevant. By investing your surplus cash back into your business you can keep yourselves ahead of the competition. Keep checking your investment strategy, if you want to be the most recognised brand out there, you’ll need to keep investing in your marketing team. If your goal is to supply the most cutting-edge technology you will need to continuously invest in research and development.

Remember, investing in your business is investing in yourself. That being said, you will have to take a financial risk or two sooner or later. A quick scour of the Internet can dredge up so many stories of missed opportunities. Blockbuster could have bought out Netflix, but they didn’t and now they’re gone! Make sure you recognise a great opportunity when one comes along.


Social media negligence

We all know how an unappealing website can scare away potential customers. But an inactive or poorly managed social media site isn’t just a missed opportunity – it’s an active deterrent! An inactive or sloppy account suggests an inactive or sloppy business!

To harness the awesome power of social media, the first thing you’ll need to do is work out your target market. After that it’s as simple as creating and sharing content that will interest and benefit them! Sales posts are great for highlighting new products and directing traffic to your website, but let’s be real – no one is going to follow you because they’re interested in seeing your latest garden fork for sale ten times a week. A great social media strategy might look like this:

  • 80% helpful content for your customers (If you sell garden tools; why not share gardening tips and ideas, wildlife found in English gardens, activities you can enjoy in your garden etc?) – this way your target audience (gardeners) have a fantastic reason to keep following you!
  • 10% success stories (customer driven content! Before/after images from those who have used your tools to do something wonderful in their garden, reviews of your products, etc) – show potential customers why you’re the people to go to for all their garden tool needs!
  • 10% sales posts (because, let’s face it, you do want people to buy your products!) – show off your latest tools and don’t forget to broadcast your discounts and sales with your online friends!


You’re not flexible enough

It’s fantastic to have a clear idea of who you are as a business and what you do. The consumer market, however, is forever changing and it pays to be adaptable.

Take Kodak’s early digital camera, for instance. Developed by engineer, Steve Sasson, in 1975, Sasson was pretty sure his employers would be thrilled at this new cutting edge tech their company now owned. He was wrong. Kodak considered the digital camera a threat to traditional film, their main business, and suppressed the technology hoping this would ensure a long continued life for film. Boy were they wrong. Had Kodak released their digital camera when developed, it would have made the company billions – waiting for someone else to discover and release the technology nearly sank them. Always remember: If you’re not capitalising on something, someone else will!

Take away: Always be aware of new opportunities, will this interest your target market? Does it fit with your mission statement? If the answer is yes it might be an opportunity worth cashing in on!


You’re too afraid to ask for help

You should never stop learning. Even those at the top of their field can learn a little something from someone else. Developing and running a business is hard. You’re bound to hit a few bumps in the road along the way. When you encounter problems, no matter how small, there will always be someone, somewhere, you can ask – be it a professional, business contact, friend, or even an employee.

Just because you feel as though you could struggle along alone, it doesn’t mean you should. You’ll be putting more stress on yourself and those around you – and let’s face it, it’s unproductive. You’ve probably built a support network without even realising it. Every time you’ve joined a professional organisation (such as biz4Biz), served on boards, volunteered your time or had a professional conversation with another businessperson, you’ve made a connection with someone who might be in a position to support you.

Never underestimate your fellow people, chances are, most of the people you meet will be happy to help you (as long as they’re not competitors of course). The person you reach out to will almost certainly be very flattered that you came to them for help.

Finally, you need to learn to take advice. Even once you’ve accepted you need help and reached out to someone it can be difficult to follow the advice you’ve actually been given. It can be easy to get a little defensive, especially if that advice is a bit on the critical side, (even worse if the advice was unsolicited). Don’t be a know-it-all – because trust me, you don’t know it all. The people around you care about your success. They probably just want to save you from experiencing the same downfalls that they have.

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