22 December 2021

There are certain things business owners do — or don’t do — that stop it from moving forwards

Growing your business can be just as, if not more important than, keeping it alive. Business owners spend years cautiously establishing a company, often taking on the bulk of the workload themselves in the beginning. The objective is to continue to grow, bringing in new team members as more clients sign on or as the customer base increases.

However, when growth stagnates, business owners tend to look to outside factors, blaming the economy or competition. While external forces can certainly thwart a company’s growth, all too often the problems lie within the business. Sometimes, the very person who works the hardest to make the business a success may be the one holding it back.

You’ll know you’re being a Grinch to your own business if:

You’re clueless about the money side of things

Even when your business is adequately funded, growth can be slowed or halted by a poor accounting system. It’s very important to master the concept of cash flow and know by heart the numbers that measure whether your business is in good shape financially.

Knowing exactly where you are in terms of cash flow and financial stability can dictate your next moves for the business. If you have an inaccurate financial picture, you might end up making wrong decisions.

You put too much emphasis on yourself

One of the biggest blunders a business owner can make is spending more time promoting himself than his business. While a business owner may be reflected in the overall tone and image of the business, the business and its products or services should always come first. Sometimes business owners get so caught up in the attention that comes from speaking at conferences and having his or her photo plastered on marketing materials, and as a result focus shifts away from the brand, which confuses the audience.

You hate building new relationships and growing your network

Networking is a vital part of building a business. Some of this can be done through social media, yet face-to-face connections are still the best way to establish connections that will last. Most businesses fail to keep up and get left behind because they chose to hibernate inside their own bubble and refuse to join and grow networks.

You prefer doing most things by yourself

Sometimes, business owners do not fancy the decisions required to hire an employee or outsource work. They often wait until long after help is needed to ask for it, mostly in an effort to save money. As a result, the owners may find themselves maintaining their own website, deploying their own email marketing campaigns and fulfilling orders. While these day-to-day activities are essential to successful business operation, they also keep the owner in the office, rather than networking or bringing in new business. When hiring even one person will free a business owner to squeeze in more meetings or attend networking events, it might be time to start learning how to delegate tasks. You can’t grow your business by being constantly trapped inside the workplace.

You refuse to learn from past mistakes

In the course of growing a business, mistakes are inevitable. The point is not always about avoiding mistakes, but whether the business owner learns from those mistakes. Some of the biggest names in the corporate world underwent at least one failure before achieving success. If a business owner creates a product that can’t land investment dollars or catch the interest of retailers, the lessons he or she learns from that failure could inform his or her next product design. If you keep doing things that didn’t work, how can you expect your business to grow?

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