Growing up in North Dakota came with its share of pests. When it wasn’t 40 degrees Fahrenheit below zero with 10 feet of snow staring you in the face, it was 96 degrees with matching humidity. The nastiest part of the heat and humidity were the pesky bugs. Flies were the worst. Flies “gum up the works” my Dad would say.
My Dad was a diesel mechanic. He repaired farm machinery like tractors, hay bailers, and combines. Anyone with a farming connection knows the expensive price tag of farm equipment and the importance of keeping it in top mechanical condition to prevent needless and costly repairs. Gaskets, seals, and gears were generously greased to keep the machines operating smoothly…that was, until a fly stuff to the grease “gumming up the works”.
It’s allot like business. As an entrepreneur, you’ve invested a considerable amount of time, money, and energy into launching and growing your business. Things are humming along nicely – until a fly “gums up the works”.
I’ve experienced a variety of “flies” in my years as a strategic business coach for entrepreneurs. In an effort to keep a watchful eye (and a fly swatter handy), here are some of the most common species that slow business growth in no particular priority.
- Absent goals and plans (strategic, business, marketing, or otherwise) prompts a directionless enterprise. It doesn’t matter where you’re headed because any road will take you there…if we only knew where “there” was.
- Inadequate pricing strategy induces under earning and a very dissatisfied entrepreneur.
- Undeveloped brand allows the world to dictate your brand to you…even if you don’t agree with what the world choses for your brand.
- Vulnerable self-concept, self-confidence, and/or self-esteem undermine success. Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Studies indicates 85% of all professionals experience some degree of low self-esteem.
- Aversion to investing money in quality services needed to grow reminds us “we get what we pay for.”
- Working with substandard vendors, subcontractors, or employees prompts “weak link” performance.
- Failure to keep pace with the ever-changing business landscape results in irrelevance or being devoured by the competition.
- Missing weekly/daily structure interrupts accountability and forward movement.
- Missing business intelligence such as reporting, analytics, and performance metrics obstructs strategic decision-making.
- Missing business skills and/or knowledge of business functions like strategic thinking, marketing, sales, finances, etc thwarts smart business decisions and clouds the ability to identify opportunities.
- Undeveloped business concept slows progress in bringing the idea to fruition.
- Indistinguishable target audience or niche pulls you in opposing directions wasting valuable resources.
- Unsatisfactory operational systems allow critical pieces of business to fall through the proverbial cracks promoting poor customer service and a loss of referrals.
- Resistance to new behaviors and/or different perspectives keeps you stuck in neutral. With one foot on the gas and the other on the brake, it’s noisy but you’re not doing anywhere and you’re wearing out the gears.
- Well-worn habits or routines that no longer fit the size of the business – reduces performance. Think DOS 3.0 in a Mac or Windows 8 world.
Are you experiencing “flies” swarming around your business? Don’t wait until they land in the sticky stuff and “gum up the works”, subscribe to our blog (top of the right column). We’ll keep your engine running smooth!