Every small business owner wants to grow their business, to give themselves more time and freedom, not less. But what happens is they get bogged down in the day-to-day, spend hours on client calls, and every step forward is followed by two steps back.
This is why, in our recent survey of over 1000 entrepreneurs, only 9% of business owners are happy with their business growth.
And in our eyes, that number is WAY too low, especially when we know that it’s possible for your to love your business and grow it at the same time.
It’s what we’ve been helping small businesses do for years and something we are so passionate about. And why we’ve become dedicated to figuring out the common mistakes that business owners make when it comes to their growth and helping them overcome them…
The Most Common Mistakes Business Owners Make When It Comes to Their Growth
Not making time in the diary for sales
Business owners build a website, record a hilarious TikTok – and the sales just come flooding in.
But we all know that’s not true. We’re often sold the dream of overnight success. One viral TikTok video and you’ll be inundated with business for the rest of your life. And sure, there is a one-in-a-million chance that might happen.
But odds are, you are actually going to have to put in the work to get sales to grow your business. However, there’s one easy way to do this – dedicate time every single week to having sales calls.
Every single business owner should mark time in their calendar book calls, and then actually make them. Make sure you follow up with people that said they were interested, and practice, practice, practice til you’ve got those sales calls nailed.
As Peter Gartland explains, ‘We’re not reinvesting the wheel here, but you’d be surprised at how many people want the sales and don’t actually go after them and just expect the sales to come to them. Dedicated time and a proactive approach is the best way to get sales.’
Not working on their business
When business owners start their business, they are probably so focused on doing an excellent job for their clients that they don’t really think about the bigger picture.
That’s why the phrase you need to work “on” your business, not just “in” your business, is so popular.
Having sales calls, focusing on marketing, and examining your financials–these things are necessary to take businesses to the next level and allow it to grow. But it’s common for people to neglect them in favour of delivering the service.
If business owners spend all their time doing the client work, they’ll likely find themselves trapped in a cycle of feast or famine i.e. going through periods with lots of business and then periods with less.
What business owners need to do is schedule time every week to work on their business – otherwise, it’s not going to happen.
Not having any accountability
Business owners don’t have a boss to stand over them and make sure they’re getting the big things done. So it’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day, get distracted and lose sight of the bigger picture.
The majority of business owners need someone (or a group of people) to keep them on track, and this is where accountability partners or teams come in handy. That’s why the research shows that sharing your goals makes them more likely to pan out.
Not outsourcing or hiring
In the beginning, it’s easy for business owners to think they have to do it all. The truth is, once business owners understand what you hate doing or what takes them too much time, they can find someone who can do it better and quicker (and who most likely enjoys it a hell of a lot more).
Examples of great tasks to outsource include bookkeeping, graphic design, admin support, video editing, content writing, web development, and human resources.
Once business owners understand that they shouldn’t do it all they are more likely to grow, as they can focus on their strengths and doing tasks that will elevate the business.
As Andrew Pickering explains, ‘Outsourcing feels counterintuitive because you’re looking at the cost rather than the time. But once you see outsourcing a task as x amount of hours back for you ever week, it becomes really clear just how beneficial it is.’
Not knowing who their ideal client is
It’s common for businesses, especially new ones, to look for a steady stream of customers. Because of that, they are pretty much willing to take on any client regardless of whether they are right for them. But it’s actually counterintuitive, and not specifying and understanding your ideal client could cost you in the long run.
The great Seth Godin once said: “Everyone is not your customer.”
Not only is targeting everyone diluting the key message business owners are trying to put out there, but it’s also holding them back from attracting the right type of clients that they enjoy working with, and that could help grow the business.
The wrong type of clients drain time and energy and ultimately limits business growth. That’s why we recommend business owners get clear about who they can help and who they want to work with (and be ruthless about only working with that type of person).
How you can grow your business?
Growing a business can feel like a bit of a minefield – especially when business owners don’t have a solid group of business friends and mentors to lead them away from the pitfalls. It’s why so many entrepreneurs start off full of energy and then end up entering a feast-and-famine cycle and burning themselves out.
This is why the UK’s biggest sales and marketing conference, ATOMICON, is attracting entrepreneurs from around the world. There are so many amazing speakers that will help entrepreneurs tackle these exact problems.
There are talks that will help you scale your business, delegate tasks, win clients and more. Many of the speakers are self-made multi-millionaires who have built businesses that let them live life on their own terms – without stress and without spending all their time at their desk.
The event takes place on Tuesday, 13 June 2023. Get your tickets just here.