7 issues that keep businesses from reaching the next level.
small business advice

7 issues that keep businesses from reaching the next level

Avoid these seven traps and you'll keep your business on track. Ensure your business helps you achieve your personal life goals.

Desley Grant

Jun 21, 2018

Boosting your business to the next level can sometimes feel like mission impossible.

Just when you think success is coming your way, it slips between your fingers. Even more frustrating is that all this hard work is starting to seep into your personal life, hurting your ever-important work/life balance. It can be challenging to understand what the best course of action is, but in this blog, you'll begin to see where you’re going wrong - and what you can do to change to be a better business.

Issue #1: Lack of vision

You know your space - the customers, competition and the plan of attack for how you will engage them. But this isn't enough - you need a clear vision for the future. In this planning phase, it's just important to assess long term goals for yourself as well as the business.

What life do you desire in five, 10 or even 15 years from now? Are you working the hours you want to be? Do you have a plan for retirement?

If you're having a hard time visualising the big picture both personally and professionally, remember that a business coach can offer you help with your business vision and goals.

Issue #2: No plan for success

When was the last time you reviewed your business plan? Many business owners stop looking over their plan once they reach a more stable place and processes have really set in. But this is a big mistake. Your business plan should be updated yearly and reviewed monthly in order to adapt flexibly.

Measure your success against your goals and combine your business plan with reports like the Profit & Loss. This'll give you an honest picture of what’s happening in your business and what needs to be improved.

Sometimes all success takes is a change in perspective. Read how you can move toward a growth structure here. 

Issue #3: High overheads from manual processes

Many businesses make the mistake of keeping software and processes long past their expiry. Don't cling to the past. What worked as a small business, or what worked 10 years ago, likely doesn't work so well now. Make sure you stay up-to-date with cost-saving processes.

Transition to an integrated business management system and instead of spending money to tread water and stand still, spend the money on increasing business growth and revenue.

Issue #4: Not understanding customers or competitors

You need to know your customers and their needs. How do the expectations of a customer change when they're online, compared to when they walk into a store? Use data analysis to inform your strategies and learn whether you're meeting your customers' needs or not.

At the same time, be sure to pay attention to your competitors: you can see what's working (or not working) for them as they engage similar audiences.

Issue #5: Tracking money incorrectly

Unanticipated events can hit hard, especially when they hit your bank account. Tricky financial situations can slow or even stop the growth of a small business - these events can be anything from an audit to an everyday accounting error.

Make sure you're ready for surprises by keeping close track of your finances and try to always leave a little extra in case of problems down the track.

Issue #6: Not automating or integrating administrative functions

Don't make the mistake of trying to do it all. You can spend a lot of time learning how to make payments, calculate taxes or any number of other administrative tasks a business needs to run.

Or, you can automate and integrate with technology that will save you time and stress on all of these mundane tasks.

Issue #7: There’s no obvious reason to choose you over the competition

The market is saturated with options for customers. Make sure you stand out from the crowd. Define what makes you better than the competition and learn from your best customers why they continue to choose you. Then, you can improve the way you market your business and hone in on the right audience.

Running a business is never going to be easy but it should be manageable, and support you and your lifestyle.

If your work/life balance is non-existent or you don't know how your business can help you achieve your personal life goals, it's time to get back on track. Get started with the seven points in this blog.

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