You ran your small business for six months, five days a week. You gave 110 percent, and your loyal employees responded with unending loyalty in return. Then, your business got its first big contract, and it snowballed from there. You couldn’t be more grateful for the growth the contract brought, and you’re hoping this is the beginning of a new chapter for your company.
Then, the contract ended. The growth stalled, and you’re not sure why. You’ve done everything you know to grow your business — from meeting with investors to researching incubators. But, no matter what you do, your business just doesn’t seem to be growing.
Does your business need to be bigger? Or, do you need to change something else entirely? If the answer is yes to any of these, keep reading to learn the most common reasons why your small business might be struggling.
You Don’t Have a Clear Goal
The best way for any company to grow is by having a clearly defined goal. This goal should be both long-term and specific so that you know exactly what your business is trying to accomplish. You should also have a detailed plan in place to help achieve this goal.
If you don’t have a clear goal for your business, you might be struggling with growth because you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish. You and your employees might not have the same goals, either. This can cause a lot of confusion, especially when it comes to measurement.
You Lack Ownership and Accountability
More than anything else, your business needs accountability. Accountability allows people to see where they stand, both individually and as a company as a whole. This way, employees know exactly what they need to do, and managers know exactly what results to expect.
Ownership is another important factor that can contribute to your small business struggling to grow. If you don’t own the growth process in your business, you’re not accountable for its success.
Just like accountability, ownership is something you can’t fake. You have to have a passion for your business and be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to see it succeed.
Your Employees Lack Compatibility
One of the best ways for your employees to grow and be successful in their jobs is by cultivating a healthy culture. Company culture can be defined as “a collection of beliefs, values, behaviors, and rituals shared by members of an organization, subculture, or social group.” It can be the most powerful force in a workplace, or it can be a toxic source of frustration.
The strongest companies can create a culture that promotes positive energy and creative collaboration. These companies can bring together people with different backgrounds, skills, and interests to work toward a common goal.
You Lack Consistency and Accountability
One of the most common reasons why a small business might be struggling is inconsistency. You might find that there are some days when everything seems to be going great, and then the next day, things might be completely different.
For example, one day, you might get amazing sales results and find yourself with a ton of extra cash. The next day, you might find that you have to cut employee hours because there isn’t a huge demand for your products.
Being able to consistently deliver results also means being able to consistently hold yourself accountable for them.
Your Company Culture is Unhealthy
One of the best ways to grow a small business is to create a healthy culture. This means creating an environment where employees feel appreciated and can express their ideas without fear of reprisal.
It also means creating an environment where employees feel safe and empowered to challenge leadership if they feel that they’re not being challenged enough.
As you grow your company, you need to be on guard for any unhealthy cultural patterns that might emerge. If your company is suffering from any unhealthy company culture issues, you might be struggling to grow.
You Have Inconsistent Levels of Ownership
One of the biggest reasons why a small business might be struggling is that you have inconsistent levels of ownership in your company.
Ownership is critical to any start-up, or any business, for that matter. Ownership is the underlying factor that keeps companies growing, changing, and surviving. If you don’t own the growth process in your business, you’re not accountable for its success.
The way you decide to divide ownership in your company can make a huge difference in your ability to grow.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably started to notice that your small business isn’t growing.
These problems can seem huge and insurmountable, but they don’t have to be. With the right approach and the right mindset, you can overcome these challenges and grow your business.
Now, it’s time to get going and put these strategies into practice. The first step is to identify where you’re struggling, and then find ways to fix those problems.