Identify What’s Holding You Back
Are you feeling stuck or frustrated that your business is not doing as well or growing as fast as you’d like? It happens to most business owners every now and then. Things are going fine, and then you hit a plateau or roadblock that you can’t seem to get past. When that occurs, you need to take some time to step back and analyze the situation. What’s holding you back?
Sometimes it may just be a temporary setback brought on by an illness, a change in the economy or personal issues. When that’s not the case, more than likely the problem lies with the business itself. And although you may think your situation is unique, it’s my experience and that of many other business experts that the causes tend to be similar and common. A good place to start is by examining if one or more of the following applies to your business.
Fear of losing control. You’ve invested a lot of yourself in your business, and you’re reluctant to allow others to perform certain duties or make decisions without conferring with you first. It’s understandable but also constricting. There’s only so much of you to go around. If you want your business to grow, you need to delegate and shift from being the doer to being the leader.
Stuck in your ways. You’re really good at what you do. It’s worked well for you up to now, so why change? Because times change, tastes change, needs change, ways of doing business change. If you’re not learning, adapting and keeping up with business trends and what clients want now you are falling behind day by day.
Not marketing and/or networking enough. Yes, word of mouth and referrals are still the ways designers get most of their business. Nonetheless, customer development is crucial to the success of any business, especially if you want to develop new streams of revenue or move into new markets or areas of practice. In addition to attracting new clients, marketing helps to establish your brand and your reputation, setting you apart from your competitors. Make it a point to spend some time each day on marketing, networking, client development, and/or maintaining contacts with sources of referrals. If how you’re marketing now isn’t working, try a different approach.
Lack of confidence. I’m not talking about confidence in your design skills or even in your business acumen. Do you believe you can achieve the success you want? Do you feel equal to the competition? Do you trust that if you take a risk with your business you’ll be able to manage it and come out ahead? Make changes and adjustments incrementally. You’ll gain more confidence with each goal you achieve and come close to your objective with each step.
Other factors such as not having a clear vision or business plan, lacking the necessary skills or training to perform well, or not having sufficient capital or cash flow also can hold your business back. In most cases you’ll find the cause is something you can control. Acknowledge that and you’re on your way to getting unstuck.
Take time to check out our Creative Genius Podcast… In this week’s episode, Gail Doby and Erin Weir discuss what it takes to bring Courageous Leadership to your business and teams.