Scaling your business means lots of “s’mores.” (Yes, it’s summer, and I’ve got camping on the brain.)
It (almost always) also means more challenges, more management and more of your time.
Taking your business from “meh” to amazing isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
It takes effort, drive, and resilience. It takes a willingness to make mistakes and learn from them. It takes a journey into the uncharted, uncertain, the unknown.
This is incredibly scary for most entrepreneurs.
When I talk with clients about what it takes to set themselves up for phenomenal business growth, we always get down and dirty with their challenges.
And you know what? A lot of the time, most people can’t identify what their challenges are.
They just know they feel stuck.
Without knowing where to start, it can be hard (read: impossible!) to pinpoint where to effectively focus your efforts.
Most people need someone from the outside to talk them through it, point out the challenges, and guide them through a plan for overcoming them.
That’s where I come in.
I’m here to be that person. To sherpa you through the business growth journey, help you conquer your obstacles, and be with you while you reach the summit of business awesomeness.
I can see you there now at the top of the summit and I believe in your ability to get there!
The Top Growth Challenges Small Businesses Face
1) Emotional Challenges
Fear, anxiety, apathy, worry, doubt, unease…
One (or all) of these emotions are likely to rear their ugly heads whenever you think of making changes in your business.
Well, it’s human nature.
It’s your fight-or-flight instinct kicking in. It’s your mind’s way of protecting you from the unknown.
But if you’ve never experienced outrageous success with your business before, of course, it’s going to be unknown (and scary!).
This is where consistent mindset work, and a relationship with a mentor or coach come in.
You’re headed into uncharted territory…and you WILL make mistakes. But knowing ahead of time what some of those mistakes might be (from a coach), and being ready to learn from them (daily mindset work) is going to make the difference between forging ahead and regressing back to where you have been.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Don’t dwell on your blunders.
Don’t get stuck seeking perfection.
And be mindful of challenging your own beliefs about your capacity for success.
You are the only person holding you back, and you are the only person responsible for taking the reins and driving your business forward.
Read more on those pesky emotional hurdles: Business Growth: 5 Barriers That Are Stunting Your Entrepreneurial Success
2) Cash Flow Challenges
Go to your business happy place. That future state where everything in your company is working exactly that way you want it to.
I bet one of the things you envision is a steady stream of income.
Setting yourself up for predictable cash flow is one of the most important things a business owner can do for their company.
It allows you to make better decisions about investing in employees, contractors, equipment, office space, and so on. When you know what is coming, you can make plans for how you grow your business.
Unfortunately, predictable cash flow is a HUGE issue for most business owners. It can be a big-time struggle.
One of the biggest culprits contributing to cash flow challenges is charging by the hour.
Hourly work is unpredictable, and it’s limiting.
And unless you moonlight as The Flash, you only have so many hours in the day.
Premium packages, on the other hand, ensure you’re getting the amount you need to help your business grow to new levels.
By packaging your services and offering monthly retainer agreements, you’re not only stabilizing your monthly income, but you’re also building long-term relationships with your top clients.
And once your clients have invested in you (and you deliver your super services on the regular), they’re much less likely to go looking for someone else.
If you can sell two to three of your monthly Signature Packages and roll your clients into a subscription-based offer like a retainer (read more on creating your unique packages at premium prices here), you’ll be set with a base income.
A base income means that on the first day of each month, you wake up to cash in your bank account.
Everything beyond that is positioning you for exponential business growth.
3) Delegation Challenges
Most entrepreneurs like to be in control.
This means that you don’t want to hand over the reins to someone else for any function in your company.
And I get it. Your business is your baby.
You’ve nurtured it from birth, given it your time, learned from your mistakes, and watched it grow.
But if you don’t delegate those tasks that aren’t your super strengths, you’re going to find yourself making inefficient use of your time.
Just because you’re the absolute best social media maven/relationship coach/online guitar teacher/organic farm consultant, doesn’t mean you’re also the best at managing your finances. Or your branding. Or your online presence.
Build an awesome team of people who do these things for a living.
Hire well, and trust them to handle the day-to-day.
Your business will flourish when you let others lend their expertise, so you can focus instead on the things you’re outrageously good at.
4) Software and Technology Challenges
How most of us love/hate thee.
Finding the right project management software, customer relationship management system, organizational tools, collaborative calendars, etc. can make your life so much easier.
And the wrong-fit technology can make it oh-so-much harder. And it can be expensive.
Start here: list all the goals you need your software to help you accomplish.
For example, if you’re a social media manager, you might need tools to help you:
- Draft and schedule posts
- Get client approvals
- Manage multiple accounts in one dashboard
- Compile and send monthly reports
- Track keyword and hashtag trends
- Invoice clients
Then, do your research.
Ask a mentor, post in Facebook groups, read industry articles. Find out what people in your field are using and why.
Then research your options (or, apply step #3 above and have your assistant do it for you!)
Next, get the best software to fit your purposes.
Then automate your systems whenever possible.
You have better things to do than manually plug data into spreadsheets and copy/paste reports.
You’re better off paying for a service that does it all for you, so you can direct your time and energy into delivering jaw-dropping services to your clients (and taking a vacation once in a while!).
Want to read more about automating your systems? Read How to Business and Marketing Systems to Leverage Your Time
5) Marketing Challenges
Your #1 marketing tool is proof from your clients.
You want them to be your evangelists.
When done correctly, word-of-mouth marketing is effective, efficient, and positions you for sustainable growth (instead of the growth that only happens when you spend massive amounts of ad dollars).
This is why I teach all of my clients to build a Referral Engine and to build credibility and authority with case studies and testimonials (written and video).
Think of ways in which your absolute best clients can share their experiences with you to the world.
This is called social proof, and it’s extremely powerful
Think about it: are you more likely to call a plumber because you saw his/her name on a billboard ad, or because your best friend told you they got the job done, gave great service, followed up with a check-in email and gave her kids cardboard airplanes to keep them busy in the backyard while they worked?
The exact same thing is true for your business.
So how can you get your overjoyed clients to share their experiences?
- Send a regular check-in email, and then ask if they can give their feedback in an online review.
- Put a link to your Google My Business page in the bottom of your emails.
- Develop a referral program for your clients.
- Show your genuine thanks for their business.
Instead of relying on traditional advertising for lead generation, it’s cheaper and more effective to enlist your top-tier clients to spread your good name for you.
Tackle Your Business Growth Challenges Early On (And For Good!)
Growing your business can be daunting — no doubt about it.
It isn’t easy, you can’t be lazy, and it isn’t always sexy.
I can tell you, get the support you need now. Don’t wait until your challenges are full-blown brick walls. Face your growth challenges head-on, and take care of your issues quickly and forever.
Join me in my free training (or book a one-on-one breakthrough session), and we’ll talk about tweaks you can be making right now to blow through obstacles and reach your growth goals in record time. Take it from someone who co-founded a marketing firm that quickly grew to a multi-million dollar level– you don’t have to struggle each day in order to grow your own business.
You do need guidance. And a killer game plan.
And I can help you.