From time to time, every small business owner gets stuck. From lacking the time for strategic planning, to the fear of failure, to a growth plateau, all small business owners face challenges. So, how do you get unstuck and move forward?
Nextivia's annual survey of 5,000 small business owners identifies the problem areas, and potential solutions.
According to their survey, here are 10 ways small business owners get stuck, and solutions for moving forward.
You treat your company like a job. Over 40% of owners do whatever customers need in order to earn money for their business. This does not allow them to strategically ramp up a profitable business.
The Solution: Don’t take every piece of work offered by a customer. Focus on what the company is good at and get more of that profitable business.
Your daily plan gets interrupted when entering the office. 53% don’t have a plan for their day or it gets destroyed when they start work.
The Solution: Before opening email, voice mail or social media, do two important tasks that will make the day productive.
You never take a break. Over 50% said they are too busy to take a break and always have their phone near them. This is because they have a fear of getting left behind.
The Solution: Find a daily place without a smartphone where personal batteries can be recharged and let creativity flow.
You fear failure. Over 40% said that failure is not an option. They fear it so much that they stop taking risks in their business.
The Solution: Accept failure. Learn something. Let go of that failure and take another action to get to another success.
You are afraid of selling. 41% are either afraid of rejection or not sure how to build a relationship with a prospect. 59% said that they are too busy servicing existing customer to find new ones.
The Solution: A company can’t really sell anything to anyone. They need to be there when customers are ready to buy by executing a daily systematic marketing plan.
You stop marketing as soon as you have sales. 58% only market their products when they do not have sales. They also believe their products are so superior that they do not need to market them at all!
The Solution: Execute a systematic marketing plan through content marketing on a weekly basis.
You don’t know how to use or have stopped using social media. 54% either do not have a social media strategy or have stopped using it.
The Solution: Social media is part of promotion. Use it to form relationships by providing help to customers, prospects and connectors.
You let poor performing employees stay. 53% never fire employees since it is too uncomfortable or they are too loyal.
The Solution: Be slow to hire and quick to fire (some even say be quick to hire, quick to fire). Find the team that makes the company profitable. Fire anyone that does not add productively to the company.
You don’t ask for help. 44% never ask for help because they believe they have to figure it out on their own. Many others are unsure of who to ask for help.
The Solution: Find a formal or informal group of advisors and mentors to answer pressing questions. Do not go it alone!
You allow personal smartphone usage at work. 74% do not monitor personal use of smartphones which can destroy company productivity.
The Solution: Have a written policy that personal smartphones are not to be used during work except in emergencies.
Read the full survey findings at nextivia.com.
As a small business owner, where do you find yourself getting stuck? How do you get unstuck? Leave a comment!