#1 No Focus
The main reason most businesses struggle to grow is simply lack of focus. Becoming easily distracted and trying to do too many things is one of the biggest enemies to growth. In an effort to grow fast it can be very tempting to drift away from your core offering.
When you don’t stay tight to the staple product or service that your customers want, your growth will be limited. You cannot be everything to all people. Lack of focus is a sure fire way to create an inconsistent brand experience.
What to Do: Always focus on your strengths. Your strengths catapult you too success. If you try to improve in the areas where you are weak, you’ll just end up with a lot of weak weaknesses. Choose a few simple things to do.
Do them consistently and do them well. Stay focused on what you excel in. In the end, you will make more money and will be remembered for the greatness of your strengths.
A few things are important – most things are not. Your business growth strategy should have no more than 2-3 initiatives that you drive relentlessly. Successful businesses cut through and win in a few areas.
#2 Hiring and Partnering with the Wrong People
Whether its partners, co-founders, mentors, outsourcing, or hiring talent, finding the RIGHT people connected to your business can be by far your greatest asset. The WRONG people can be your biggest liability and can cost you money, time, and damage to your reputation.
There is a war on talent today like never before and it is increasingly becoming more difficult to find the best talent and people to partner with you. It doesn’t matter if you are a one person army or a multi-division company you can grow faster by finding the right superstars to help drive revenue.
Your ability to move from working “in the business” to strategically working “on the business” is also critically linked to having the right people on your team.
What to Do: Work with and hire people based on personality versus profile. Most people decide who will be a part of their business based on their experience. Wrong choice! A business has to grow and get bigger every year.
You need people who have the personality traits of sales superstars and who fit your culture. Personality traits such as dealing with adversity, ego and persistence, the ability to influence, trustworthiness and coach-ability are far more important than age or background.
Choose your team wisely. You live and die by the talent you select. It is also important to build a network of the RIGHT mentors and connections you can learn from. They can help guide your journey and open doors that you never imagined.
#3 Business Models with No Scale
Limited scale = limited growth = limited income. If you want to make millions you have to a business platform that can generate millions. This means building a scalable business platform early that will support your future growth.
You must expect and anticipate the future demand for your service or product and build scale from the beginning.
Scale is the ability to do business with more customers and drive more revenue without significantly increasing operational costs. It’s having the ability to expand a proven concept with minimal incremental cost.
The growth of your income and your business is in direct proportion to your ability to scale. Also, investors love to invest in businesses that have ready-made scale making it easier to raise capital for your business, if needed.
What to Do: Once you know you have a business idea that has value and will sell, keep it simple and straightforward. Outsource any non-strategic or core functions.
Don’t try to do everything in house as scale requires leveraging outside expertise. Move from “one to one” sales to “one to many” sales. Create recurring revenue streams versus one-time purchases. Deliver an experience that is highly systematic and not solely dependent on you.
Set up systems to run the business then hire/outsource people to run the systems. Do this and you are on your way to scalable growth with huge profits.
#4 Mass Marketing – “Push instead of Pull”
Marketing your business to the entire universe is like casting a wide net into the ocean and hoping you catch a few new clients. The world today moves very fast and consumers are being air bombed with hundreds (maybe thousands) of advertising messages every day.
Trying to cut through the clutter using traditional “push” marketing is not your best move. When you push your product or service onto the masses you build no relationship, its temporary, can cost a lot of money, and is an inefficient way to grow your business.
What to Do: Your goal should be to create a loyal following of people who are drawn to your business on a consistent basis. To do this, focus on a differentiated marketing strategy. Develop a specialization and target your marketing to a niche group of clients.
Offer a service/product of value or solve a problem for this niche and they will not only keep coming back but they will tell others. Make your brand positioning clean and clear. A good product or service that solves a problem for a targeted niche consumer will help you stand out and create a “pull” marketing strategy for your business.
Customers will come to you as an expert in that niche and the “brand standard” for what they need. Bottom line: the more targeted your audience the more effective your marketing and conversion rates will be.
It is also smart to build a public profile as the head of the business or initiative (i.e. social media, publications, interviews, articles, guest speaking, etc.). In the end, business is still about people.
People don’t buy things they buy experiences. They want to know who the leader behind the vision is and what you stand for. If they buy into you, you’ll have a customer for life.
#5 Lack of Disciplined Execution
No matter how brilliant your offering or growth strategy, without disciplined execution you will not be successful. This is a problem and reality for the majority of entrepreneurs and business leaders. What’s worse is that most don’t even know it.
They think there is a problem with their “vision” or the “experience” or the “product”. The real problem lies in their inability to execute the key priorities to drive growth.
A good idea well executed will always crush a great idea poorly executed. Amateurs get stuck on strategy, while the mavens analyze execution. Disciplined execution creates the competitive advantage.
What to Do: Do not ignore this trend. Execution is the most un-addressed issue in business yet the most important. The number one thing you need above all else is a bull-headed commitment to the execution of your strategy.
To drive your execution you need at minimum 3 things: 1. Clear goals focused on your most important outcomes. 2. Define the key activities that must be done consistently every week to produce your desired outcome (the key is consistency). 3. Relentless accountability.
The real players understand that strategy is where the game starts but execution is where the game is won.