You’ve been wondering, why have my business not grown past the level it is now? Why am I struggling to keep my head above water level? Why are other businesses growing and flourishing and I’m yet to make a mark on this industry?
The truth of the matter is this. All these questions and more are what every other entrepreneur who has stunted business ask. You should also know that the difference between a successful business and an unsuccessful one lies in the way owners run their businesses.
There are tactics successful entrepreneurs adopt that the unsuccessful ones ignore and also, there are mistakes unsuccessful entrepreneurs make that the successful ones avoid. That is the basic truth.
In this post, I will look at those mistakes startups make that hamper the growth of their business and as well proffer quick solutions to them. The following are four reasons most businesses start small and remain small:
1. Lack of vision
It should not surprise you that some business owners do not know why they started business in the first place. They do not know where their business is going. These are entrepreneurs who live by the day. Their business solely exists to cater for their personal needs and after that, nothing else.
Business owners like these may remain in a single store for years without increasing quantity of goods or expanding. To them, as long as that business can take care of their needs, (pay children’s school fees, pay house rent, buy other basic needs) such owners are happy.
Have vision for your business and follow the direction that leads to the realization of that vision. Set both long-term and short-term goals and diligently work towards achieving that goal. Again from time to time, you need to look back to see if you are on course or if you are indeed realizing the set goals.
2. Fear of Growing
Now you may wonder if someone could fear growing one’s business. And my answer is yes. Some business owners decide that staying small is the best for them. To them, staying small means being safe; it means being hidden from prying eyes that may want to bring them down.
For example, I remember a certain organization I worked with, where the owner insisted that we kept everything on low key. To be more specific, it was a school. The proprietress for fear of being noticed by the government and tax personnels, out rightly rejected every suggestion given her to advertise.
To her advertisement meant more publicity and more publicity would certainly attract the people she feared the most. The resultant effect of this is that till today that school which was established in 1987 is still struggling with government approval, when other schools far younger by year of establishment have so grown and have received both local and international accreditations.
For some entrepreneurs, the smaller their business, the easier it is for them to manage. These are individuals who can’t withstand the stress of running a system in business. They prefer to remain small so that they will be able to manage things in their own simple way. The unfortunate thing in this case is that these owners will never grow to be like those big businesses that run as a system, where their owners may not necessarily be involved in the running of the business.
My candid advice
Grow up anyway! Publicize, expand! The good thing about growing up is that as you grow in business, it brings to your realization, the fact that there are some things that you need to put in place. Be it improvement on facility, staff, equipment products, services and so on and so forth. Growing up better prepares you to be able to meet those requirements, while on the other hand your fear of growing up will make you remain unqualified.
3. Fear of taking risk
Many companies have continued to remain small because they are afraid of taking risk. But one thing you must learn today is that big businesses are not carved out for the chicken-hearted, they are meant only for those who are always ready to dive in.
Please do not misunderstand my point here to mean that entrepreneurs should jump into risks without considering the odds. What I mean is that an entrepreneur who wants to grow should be able to take calculated risk.
However, know that there are some types of risks that are dangerous to your business and they are of two types; (1) Too little risk and (2) Too much risk. Some entrepreneurs take too little risk by investing little amount of money and time in their business. Some also take too much risk by putting more than is necessary at the detriment of other things. When you take on too much risk, it might be impossible to recover if anything goes wrong. However, the idea here is that you take risks after carefully studying the situation. Risk taking should be done sensibly.
Business is all about risk-taking and “the greatest risk in life is not taking risk.” I will say anybody who does not want to take risk shouldn’t venture into business at all; they should stay at home or find a paid employment where there salary is sure by the end of the month.
4. Doing it all
One of the reasons some businesses started small and have remained small is because their owners maintain this ‘do-it-all’ kind of attitude. They wear all the hats and they want to do everything by themselves. A sole proprietor like this will always fail to hire an assistant and they have issues with assigning tasks.
As an entrepreneur, you are required to make salient decisions that will shape your business. Therefore delegating tasks gives you some breathing space and puts you in the right frame of mind to do other things well.
One strong man can never beat a team. I will advise that once your business is up and running, the next thing you need to look out for is finding an active assistant to compliment your effort.
To wrap it up, if your business has remained small despite the various inputs you’ve made to expand it, you may check to be sure that you’re not guilty of any or many of the reasons discussed here. Business is like a living organism; with the right inputs, it is meant to grow. And I sure guarantee that if you can correct the error in these four areas, your business will never remain the same and you will never be a business failure.
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Now go fix your business!