Looking back at my first couple of years of running my business, I realize just how much quicker it could have grown if I knew back then what I know now. In fact, there was a point in time when I thought my business wasn't growing at a rate I wanted it to because there was simply not enough demand in the market to begin with. Oh how naïve I was back then.
Nine times out of ten, the reason for your business plateauing is you - but guess what that means? It means you hold the power to make the changes necessary in order to make your business grow and become more successful. So with this in mind, here are 6 possible reasons why your business isn't growing as quickly as it could be.
1. Not knowing the numbers
New businesses often skip out on collecting important analytics because there really isn't a need for it, as you're only getting a few customers when first starting out. However, when a business' sales and web traffic get to a point where it's no longer feasible to play things by ear, using analytics to make important big-picture decisions becomes invaluable. Unfortunately, there are so many entrepreneurs out there who lack a strategy on how to grow their businesses because they either don't know what numbers to look at or simply haven't been collecting the necessary data to begin analyzing. Remember, tools such as SAS, Google Analytics, and Kissmetrics are your friends.
2. Not building business connections
As entrepreneurs who have built our companies from scratch, we often have a "do it yourself" mentality, where we either succeed because of our own hard work or fail because of it. While this approach may have helped you get your business to where it is today, it's likely not conducive to growing your business beyond the point it's at now.
Whether it's establishing mutually beneficial relationships with other business entities, influencers, or affiliates, you need business connections to unlock new avenues of growth that otherwise wouldn't be possible.
3. Unable to make big decisions
We all procrastinate to some extent, but procrastinating on some things can hurt your business way more than procrastinating on others. If you're holding off on making big-picture decisions that will ultimately determine the future of your company, then obviously we've got ourselves a problem.
The reality is: the big decisions you have to make aren't going to go away, and in fact, they can get harder to make as time goes on - trust me, I would know. As business owners, there'll always be decisions to make with no clear choices. We just have to take our best guess given what we know and hope things work out.
4. Focusing on the small stuff
Sweating the small stuff is a waste of your precious time. Remember, you're the head honcho. The only things you should be worried about are things that only you, as the boss, can handle. Before I tackle any assignment, I always ask myself beforehand: can I delegate this work to someone else? If the answer is yes, then I assign it to one of my employees and move on to more important matters.
5. Refusing to spend money
Being a penny pincher is normally a good thing, but if you're trying to apply that type of mindset to your company, it can end up costing your business more money than it saves. After all, the number one rule in business is: you got to spend money in order to make money.
If all the signs are telling you that you need to hire more employees, than hire more employees. If there's a long-term investment to make that costs you money in the short run, don't be afraid to make it if you think it'll end up being worth it. Businesses that are too scared to invest in themselves will never be able to succeed.
6. Not automating business processes
What allows large corporations like Walmart to sell their products at such low prices while remaining profitable? Automation. Automating what you do, whether it's sending emails in bulk, hiring new employees, creating expense reports, tracking your inventory, or even calculating your business taxes, ultimately saves you time and money. Many businesses are so preoccupied with simply getting through the day that there's no longer any time left to think big picture and talk growth.