Well is it? I mean, lots of people try to grow their businesses and just don’t achieve the level of growth they are after so is it actually possible.
So why don’t more people achieve it?
1) They don’t focus on the right priorities
When you’re at the “coal face” every day you don’t always see things that clearly. The challenge is that we don’t know when that is happening.
This results in the wrong priorities being set. Invariably they are too short term focused and don’t address some of the more fundamental elements of growing a business such as product development or market research.
Result: You work hard and still go nowhere.
2) They focus on too many “priorities”
The clue is in the word “priorities”; you should only have 1 or at least no more than 3. You can only focus on one thing at a time so keep life simple and have one key priority.
What is the one fundamental “thing” you need to do to grow your business? I’m sure you can come up with loads of different “things” that you could do but one of them will deliver the most value and that’s the one to focus on.
It’s a lot less stressful when you focus on just one thing!
Result: Trying to juggle too many priorities just leaves you burnt out, stressed, and no further forward.
3) They “always do what they’ve always done”
This is a classic! People say they want to grow which means they want a different result to the one they are currently getting and then they continue to do the same things they have always done.
Doh!!!! This is totally pointless.
Result: Nothing changes except your frustration at not achieving the growth you are after.
4) They don’t evolve the way they work
The way you run your business today got you to where you are today, which is great, but it may not get you to where you want to be “tomorrow”.
Growth usually requires better systems, additional resource, improved marketing etc so if you keep with your current way of working you will limit your progress. For example if you continue to do everything yourself you will definitely limit your results, so at a minimum get yourself a VA so you can focus on where you add the most value and not doing the routine admin bit.
Result: All the right thinking to gain new work but the wrong thinking on how to execute on it so you gain more money in the bank but kill yourself in the process so you retract back to where you were.
5) They win additional work without plugging their profit leaks
People think of business growth as winning new work, but it’s not that simple.
As I’ve just mentioned in point 4 you need to look at your internal processes too.
Growth actually means growing your profits and not your revenue. Revenue is just a vanity number as it’s your profit that pays the bills.
If you bring on more clients without addressing any profit leaks all you are doing is pouring more of your hard earned money down the drain.
Every business has profit leaks. Some are bigger than others, and usually you don’t realise they exist.
Here’s some classic examples:
- Not following up properly so you go to all the effort to generate a lead and then let it slip through your fingers.
- Not automating processes so you are wasting time doing non-value adding tasks.
- Poor client management so you spend too much time managing them rather than getting the work done.
- The list goes on and on.
Result: Bigger business in terms of revenue but your percentage profit is still low so you are working much harder than you need to for the amount of profit you are generating making it harder to sustain the business long term.
So how do you actually grow your business?
If you avoid those 5 classic mistakes it is definitely possible to grow your business in a sustainable way.
I’ve been in business for 6 years now and have continually grown while supporting a healthy client base (in fact the past 3 years I’ve been a full capacity but have still grown!).
I’m not super human but I do have a great ability to focus on the right stuff and to stay committed to my goals which leads to significant, continual growth.
If I can do it so can you!
What’s your 1 key priority to grow your business?