I’m going to replay two real-life business scenarios of two different businesses to demonstrate how you can overcome obstacles to business growth, and kickstart your business to the next level.
The first story is of a friend of mine, along with four of his software buddies. These “buddies” had an amazing idea for a software company they started a number of years ago.
They were a group of engineers who had some revolutionary software they believed would transform the network routing world.
The “buddies” believed they had the secret to what would become the next Cisco or, at a minimum, that a company like Cisco would acquire for billions of dollars, and the group would ride happily into retirement utopia.
Small problem though…
The team toiled for countless hours on their software product.
They perfected the code. Tweaked the manuals.
The problem is none of the buddies knew anything about marketing or sales.
Twelve months later, they ran out of money, closed the doors, and all got jobs.
They lived by the mantra, if we build it, they will come.
In fairness, that was over 10 years ago. Today, those same buddies might have done it differently.
That brings me to Business B …
Business B – The $20 Million Valuation
This business is a different set of business “buddies.”
These buddies brainstorm and come up with an idea for the next great software product.
Two of the five-hit the angel investing circuit and start the process of looking for funds. They do countless investor presentations with a $10 million starting valuation on their idea.
One of the buddies creates the marketing decks, website, and customer and presentation materials.
One of the buddies starts the sales process. The buddy lands a few beta deals and gets validation of their idea.
The last buddy develops the product. Codes day and night. Adjusts the product as required.
The team sells a few solutions to real, paying customers. Sales are now at $10,000 a month in recurring revenue.
The team hits the investor circuit, finds around B angel fund to invest more dollars at a $20 million valuation and continues the growth, sales, investor, and customer journey.
They hope for a billion-dollar buyout so they can join the ranks of the software millionaires.
Overcoming Obstacles to Business Growth
Step 1: The Problem With Many Small Businesses, Mine Included – Overcome Obstacles to Business Growth
Many small business owners think that just because they have an amazing idea, the world will beat a path to their door.
Clearly, that isn’t the case.
I must admit, I’ve fallen victim to the same Business A story, and I am now trying to overcome obstacles to business growth in my own business.
I’m in the process of pivoting.
I started my blog just over a year ago.
Things were going well. I grew my marketing list to over eight thousand subscribers, mostly as a result of my book. I crafted weekly blog articles and sent them to my list.
I made plenty of mistakes along the way, which is normal because I’m pivoting and learning, but here’s my big mistake.
I believed that if I wrote excellent, well-thought-out content, my growth trajectory would continue.
After a few months, I stopped doing any marketing. I wrote weekly blog posts, but otherwise, my efforts went elsewhere.
My email list grew at a negative rate, meaning I lost more subscribers than I gained.
I neglected to post on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter from November 2018 until July 2019.
I didn’t do any SEO work.
I was living under the illusion that if my content was good enough, regardless of whether I did any marketing, people would somehow find my site, recommend my content, and the world would know me as The Kickass Entrepreneur.
Well, No Surprise, I Was Wrong!
My SEO didn’t improve. The number of weekly visitors to my site remained stagnant for months. Consequently, I got discouraged, and by the middle of July, I was ready to give up.
BUT wait, I write about these things all the time.
I recommend to entrepreneurs that what they’re often doing wrong is the same thing that I was doing wrong. Kind of like your overweight doctor telling you to lose weight.
I’m not sure how I became so disillusioned into believing that if I continued doing what I was doing that I would achieve a better outcome. I came to realize that if I were going to overcome obstacles to business growth and kickstart my business, I was going to have to change.
I’m sure you’ve heard the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
How was I expecting to grow my followers, web hits, and engagement if I wasn’t making an effort beyond posting to my site?
I wasn’t reading about things like:
- How do you grow a blog?
- How do you improve your SEO?
- How do you increase your number of followers?
Step 2 To Overcome Obstacles to Business Growth: The Pivot
I came to the realization that I was going about things the wrong way, so starting about a month ago I began making some changes:
- I joined a group of fellow personal financial bloggers. We support one another in our marketing efforts.
- I revamped the look of my site and made it more blog-friendly and added the blog to the home page.
- I spent countless hours working on the website SEO.
- I started using an SEO research tool to help improve my keyword research.
- I added more content to my website.
- I started posting to social media once again.
- I started focusing on methods to increase my number of email subscribers.
- I’m getting my site ready to monetize in the next few months.
Although I’m still in the early stages of making the above changes, so far, my marketing efforts are paying off.
My subscriber numbers are up, my organic Google traffic has gone from about 20 Google hits a day to 50, my total website traffic has increased by about four times the daily visitors, and best of all, I’m re-engaged and ready to grow once again.
What’s Holding You Back
Are your business’s sales stagnant?
How about company morale?
Or are you an employee working for a company and finding yourself bored or unengaged?
If your sales have been stagnant for years, and you find either your business or yourself getting to the point where things aren’t going well, maybe it’s time for you to make some changes to your marketing efforts. Maybe it’s time to try something different in order to kickstart your business?
Maybe your efforts, or lack thereof, have become the obstacles to your business growth?
There’s an expression I’ve referenced in other blog posts … “if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.”
If you’re going to commit your life to your business, work countless hours seeking success and wealth, and have staff who are doing the same, then you owe it to not only yourself but to everyone else around you to maximize the results of your own and your staff’s efforts.
- Leverage their success.
- Leverage your own success.
- Read books and listen to podcasts.
- Learn from others.
- Try new things and fail.
- Fail again and again, because you’ll learn that failure isn’t the opposite of success, it’s a stepping-stone to success.
Unfortunately, your business won’t get to the next level until you, as the business owner, recognize that YOU are the obstacle to your business growth. It’s the things you are or are not doing, that are keeping your business back. To kickstart your business growth, start doing things differently.
Good luck with your wealth-creating journey.
If you liked this post, you might also like this one: How Do You Know When It’s Time to Sell Your Business? It’s Not All About the Money.
You should also consider subscribing to my blog. I publish one article a week on small business and wealth creation. You can subscribe here.
Also, I published a book during the summer of 2018, “The Kickass Entrepreneur’s Guide to Investing, Three Simple Steps to Create Massive Wealth with Your Business’s Profits.” It was number 1 on Amazon in both the business and non-fiction sections. You can get a free copy here.