As a small business with plans to expand, the most important word you’ll often hear is growth. Growth is the idea of full spectrum increases as related to your starting point. One of the most important parts of growth is momentum, which you’ll often get the most of in your first several years of business. To keep this momentum however, there are several pitfalls to avoid to keep your small business growing. I’ve come up with a list of three reasons why your small business isn’t growing in my experience as a small business owner myself. In the hopes to avoid the cliché reasons that most business owners are aware of, I decided to focus on the areas that separate good business owners from great business owners.
- You are not reading enough
The reason that many small businesses are stagnant is often from a lack of knowledge about what it truly takes to scale a business. Investment is the first half of the difficulties of scaling, the second half is understanding the best ways to allocate your time, money and efforts. It is very important to accomplish so by reading and learning as much as possible about other companies and their ability to scale. This is how you can prevent “reinventing the wheel” and focus on solutions that are proven. In business you’ll learn that there is in fact several blueprints that you can follow in order to gain success, however the hard-work is committing your efforts to seeking this knowledge. I recommend doing so by listening to well established podcasts like “How I built This with Guy Raz” and “Side Hustle Pro with Nicaila Mathews Okome”, and reading books like “The Birth of a Brand” by Brian Smith (the cofounder of UGG).
2. You are not setting and sticking to your goals
I think most small business owners can relate to the feeling of getting overwhelmed with the day-to-day operations of running your business and forgetting to stop and set goals. Goals are absolutely critical to growth, because they serve as the indicators that you’re headed in the right direction. I personally use a method of goal setting where I choose both a minimum standard as well as an audacious goal for each area of business. For example, a minimum standard for customer acquisition in a small business could be to gain 20 new customers a month, while the audacious goal is to gain 40 customers a month. This method helps to prevent you from either being too confident or too conservative in your ability to set goals.
3. You are not mentally ready for growth
If your brain is cluttered from the inability to control your current operations, future growth will become less and less likely because growth requires extra time and mental strain. As your business grows, your mind should be growing with it. Processes that usually take 6 steps now need to take 4 steps and what is now your big decisions will need to become small details. Simply put, in order to grow a large business, you need to first mentally view your business through the same lens that large businesses do. If you learn to start functioning and thinking like a large businesses with the resources that you currently have, once you acquire the funding and scale of a large business you will be able to have much less growing pains.