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What Are The Barriers To Business Growth?

Many business owners aspire to grow their businesses but only a small percentage actually achieve the growth that they aspire to. There are many barriers to business growth and reasons why business owners may struggle to grow their businesses.

You may want to grow your business but are finding the reality quite different. Every business is unique but to help you consider where your barriers to growth are we have summarised below some of the potential barriers to growth that you may be encountering:

Mindset. Is your mindset holding your business back? What are you thinking that is stopping you growing your business? You may be afraid of success, lacking in confidence, unclear on how to grow your business, fear you may fail, look on the negative side of everything, worry about the consequences of your actions or feel that you cannot grow your business. Be aware of how your thinking is acting as a barrier to the growth of your business and consider how you can think differently to enable growth.

Working 'in' rather than 'on' your business. Are you too busy working in the day to day of your business to set aside regular time to step back and focus on your business strategy and business growth? It is challenging to move from working in the day to day of your business to being more strategic. To enable your business to grow and prosper you need to spend time working 'on' your business, not just working 'in' your business.

Lack of strategic planning and a vision. Have you considered where you want your business to be in the short, medium and longer term? A strategic plan and vision for the business is a critical starting point for growing your business.

Knowledge, experience and skills. Do you or your team need to increase their knowledge, experience and skills to enable your business to grow? What additional leadership and management skills do you and your management team need to take your business forward? Consider investing in knowledge, experience and skills for you and your team to enable your business to deliver growth. You may also want to access the support of specialists who can help you grow your business.

Doing the same as you have always done. When was the last time you did something different in your business? Are you running your business the same as when you first started your business but struggling for growth? To grow your business needs to be flexible, open to change, innovative, creative and prepared to do something different. Consider what needs to be different in your business to enable growth.

Inefficient systems, processes and procedures. Are your systems, processes and procedures inefficient and ineffective? To enable growth you may need to improve your processes and procedures and invest in IT and software. Consider what you are putting up with on the operational side of your business that is preventing growth.

Not managing the business. Are you struggling to understand how your business is performing? Are you adopting a reactive management approach? To enable growth you need to be proactive and actively manage your business, including keeping focused on your business strategy, planning what you need to do to achieve the strategy, ensuring action is being taken, reviewing how you are getting on against your plans, prioritising and re-prioritising as things change and reviewing and updating your business strategy on a regular basis. You also need to know what is happening in all areas of your business by monitoring key performance indicators, regular communication, feedback and meetings with staff and key stakeholders and listening to customer feedback.

Being too risk averse. Are you afraid of taking risks in your business? There is a balance in a business to find an appropriate level of risk that is acceptable to the management and shareholders. If you are too risk averse you may be hindering the growth of your business and if you take too much risk your business could fail. Business growth involves taking measured risks in proportion to your business and not overstretching the business.

Not resourcing to deliver growth. Is your business struggling to grow through lack of resources e.g. staff, suppliers, equipment, finance, investment etc.? To grow your business it needs to be adequately resourced. You may need to employ additional people, outsource work, invest in equipment or new premises or you may need additional finance or investment. Consider whether any of these areas are holding your business back.

Inadequate or inappropriate sales and marketing activity. When was the last time you reviewed your sales and marketing activity? What sales and marketing activity are you doing? Too many businesses assume that they will keep generating sales without adequately investing in sales and marketing or without any review or changes to their sales and marketing activity. The right sales and marketing activity is critical to enabling business growth. However what is right today may not be right tomorrow so flexibility and creativity in your sales and marketing activity are essential.

Poor customer service. Is poor customer service impacting your business? What do your customers think about your service? You may be finding that your business is not growing due to customers being unhappy with the service they are receiving. Excellent customer service is a prerequisite of sustainable business growth. Consider what changes you need to make in how you are servicing your customers.

Are any of the above acting as barriers to growth in your business? For ideas as to how to grow your business please read our article How Can You Grow Your Business?

If you are looking for support to grow your business Liz Makin can help you. Liz has coached and mentored many business owners to significantly grow their businesses working with them directly and also over the last few years as a Growth Coach and training provider for the Government funded Growth Accelerator programme (which has now ended). Liz can support you to develop and implement your business strategy and plans for growth through Business Growth Coaching and Mentoring.

If you want support to grow your business and/or are interested in the GrowthAccelerator programme please call Liz Makin on 01780 765270 or email Liz at Liz@makinithappen.co.uk to arrange a free consultation session.

You can also read other business and stress management tips articles that may help you be more effective at work or in your business.

Author: Liz Makin
Published: February 2014

Through Makin It Happen - Coaching, Mentoring & Stress Management, Liz Makin provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals. If you are looking for a business coach, business mentor or help with stress please contact Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk to arrange a free consultation session.


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50 Stress Management Tips for business owners, directors, managers & professionals

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