Running a business is challenge, there’s no two ways about it. There will be plenty of bumps in the road, changes of direction and probably a good bit of anxiety!
In the long-run however, your hard work should pay off, leaving you with a business that is thriving and continuing to grow.
But what if you’re inadvertently holding your business back? You may not realise it, but there are a few bad habits we as business owners can fall into that tend to stunt the growth of our businesses and prevent them from reaching their full potential.
As small business experts, we’ve popped together a list of things you may be doing that could be sabotaging your business without realising, as well as how to avoid them in the future.
5 Ways you could be Sabotaging your Business without Knowing
1. Flying Solo
Look. No one knows your business better than you do, so it’s understandable you might feel a little prickly about handing any part of it over to a stranger. We’re the same. We’re precious about our processes and procedures and like everything done a certain way. But the reality is, as your business grows, so must your team.
If you’re still flying solo, you’ll probably be noticing that it’s become harder and harder to keep all those plates spinning at once, and you may even have dropped a few already. Smaller, less important tasks might be piling up and others may have been forgotten about all together.
While this won’t make a massive invoice in the short-term, it could really sabotage your business in the future.
To combat this, it’s vital to start thinking about how you can expand your team to match the growth rate of your business and ensure everything is kept on top of so your business thrives, instead of just survives.
This extra support may come in the form of onboarding new team-members. Just a few and perhaps part-time if you’re worried about funds. Choose carefully, invest a bit of time in showing them how things are done, and then let go of the reigns a little and let them take on some of your workload. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference doing so can make in such a short space of time!
If growing your team in person still sounds a bit daunting, however, you could consider investing in virtual support. That means enlisting the help of industry experts to take on tasks like customer service, credit control, marketing, admin – whichever plate looks like it might spin to the floor first!
Reducing your workload means you’re much more on the ball when it comes to growing your business , and handing tasks over to people who know what they’re doing removes the anxiety you’ve been feeling about letting others in.
2. Not Investing
When you’re just starting out on your business venture, it’s natural instinct to want to hold onto every penny you make. You’ve invested a lot into this business so far, and you’re relying on those first few sales to enable you to pay your bills.
This is entirely understandable, but there comes a point where reinvesting in your business will benefit you more in the long run than holding onto your earnings. Now, that doesn’t mean throwing money at your business left, right and centre, but you can invest in helpful tools to improve business processes and function overall.
For example, if you’re running a copywriting business and spend copious amounts of time proofreading, invest in an automated proofreading tool to do it for you. Your turnaround time will be quicker, making space for more clients, and work quality will be improved, keeping customers happy.
If you’re a product-based business, you may struggle to find the time to follow-up with customers after a purchase and thus retain their loyalty. Invest in an email automation tool to do it for you, creating an excellent customer service process to do it for you. You’ll have more time on your hands, and your customers will be more likely to come back for more.
If you’re not investing, your business can’t grow. As soon as you feel able, start investing back into your business to nudge it to the next level of success.
3. Fearing Change
Change can be challenging in every walk of life, but it can feel even more daunting when applied to your business. The methods, processes and procedures you implement have become second nature, and they work well enough – why would you change that?
As scary as it seems, sometimes a few changes are necessary to enable your business to grow. For example, you may have been flying solo for a long time and are used to running around sorting everything from admin to credit control to marketing. But now that your customer-base is growing, is it really feasible to keep doing it all on your own?
Holding yourself back and not making changes can stunt the growth of your business. Instead, try to keep and open mind and consider options that could help you run your business more effectively.
This change may come in the form of adding new team members, either in-person or virtually, investing in automated systems or simply sitting down and deciding on a specific area of your business to work on over the next few months.
Whatever change you decide to make, it’s guaranteed to have a positive impact on your business overall – you just need to find the confidence to let it happen!
4. Ignoring Marketing
Who’s got time for excessive social scrolling and content creating? Not many of us! But unfortunately, marketing is a key part of your business and if you choose to ignore the benefits it can have, you’ll be massively missing out.
If you’re not shouting about your business online, you make it difficult for potential customers to stumble upon your products and services. It’s a bit like moving house and forgetting to tell everyone your new address. You may be expecting a few visitors and cards, but you’ll be waiting a long time!
Instead, make a conscious effort to promote your business in the online world. This could be setting up a few social media profiles for your business and using them to post content a few times a week and engage with customers. It may mean paying a bit of attention to your website and getting a blog page up and running to share valuable advice with your readers. Or it may be as simple as sending a few marketing emails once a month.
It may be time-consuming, but making an effort with your marketing can make a real positive difference to your business. And the good news is, there are plenty of people out there who can offer support with your marketing if you really can’t find the time.
5. Expecting Too Much
High expectations can really start to sabotage your business without you realising. You want results, and you want them now – something we all go through when trying to get our small businesses of the ground. These businesses mean the world to us, and we just want them to work out the way we planned.
Expecting too much, too quickly, however, can mean we jump from one strategy to another without giving them enough time to become effective. Not only can this be a costly game to play, but it can also feel disheartening and may even make you feel like you want to give up on your business to try something else.
The trick here is to pick a direction to move in and stick to it. Keep grafting, keep taking steps to put your strategy in place, and manage your expectations as you go. No business has ever become successful overnight (despite what social media may tell you!) so take a step back and trust the process. With time, hard work and plenty of effort, you’ll get to where you always dreamed you’d be.
Support for your Business from The Edwards Company
Starting and running your own business isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it! But there are ways you can make the process slightly easier for yourself. Consider the points above and make a conscious effort to steer clear of behaviours and thought processes that could mean you sabotage your business without realising.
Instead, keep an open mind, take your time, put in the work and it’ll all turn out the way you planned.
In the meantime, if you require support with your business, we offer expert outsourcing services in the following areas:
For more information for how we can help your business thrive, please get in touch with our brilliant team.