3 Obstacles to Business Growth

By | April 15, 2014



A creeping along improved economy is what we will be facing for the foreseeable future. How do you plan to grow your business under these circumstances? I still see many business owners and leaders afraid to accept that we are in a recovery of sorts, who still want to treat their businesses as they did during the Great Recession.

The mindset of trying to hold stable will not grow a business, since an agility mindset is required to grow a business in the modern economy. See if the following common obstacles are happening in your business.

The Iron Grip

When times get scary, business leaders, from those running Fortune 100 companies to the locally-owned Mom and Pop store, have a tendency to grasp ahold of the business with an iron grip. In scary times, having that type of control may be necessary, but only in crisis mode. When trying to grow a business, it can be a death grip.

If you feel you have to lead your business with the iron grip because you want to control the outcome in the most serious of times, you will not grow your business. Business will not grow in panic. It will not grow when every employee is walking on eggshells. It will not grow when the top leaders feel they are the only ones who can make the best decisions.

Every successful leader has experienced abject failure at some point during their careers. Those failures were hard lessons. They were also opportunities to rise to the occasion the next time those challenges were faced.

To grow a business, leadership must allow the growth within the organization as well. There is a vast difference between the iron grip and a guiding hand.

Alligator Arms

Ever know anyone that can’t quite reach their pockets when the dinner bill arrives? We say they have alligator arms. I am seeing leaders who want to grow, but suffer from short alligator arms as well and can’t quite reach their pockets to invest in what will help the business grow.

During the Great Recession the entire country was stricken with a case of alligator arms. In fact, we had that affliction for so many years, for some it has become a mindset. That won’t grow your business.

As the economy crawls in its recovery, businesses have to be willing to invest wisely to grow the business. Hiring the best talent. Retooling products and services. Paying for external assistance that is spot on to help with specific issues. And finally, providing education and development of staff to learn to be more agile and responsive to the direction the organization needs to head.

Pokey Positioning

I remember strategic planning being a once a year retreat to talk about bumping goals a few percentage points, talk about the one new product for the year, grab lunch and go play golf in the afternoon.

In the modern economy shifting strategies is a weekly process. Annual strategic planning in merely the jumping off point on the adjustments that need to be made on the fly for the coming year. As the market changes in a social media, electronic news frenzy that moves in nanoseconds; businesses must adjust their positioning just as rapidly.

Forecasting has never been as critical as in this economy to monitor trends and shifting directions of consumers. Innovation is a daily mindset that keeps growth organizations in front of the curve.

To grow your business in the modern economy takes action, and determination to find the right path. No longer will all boats rise on the tide of a booming economy. You have to navigate the obstacles to be a growth business in the modern economy.

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