You’ve been running your business for some time now. And while those early years were touch and go, you’ve found your rhythm. You have a great team behind you, and a growing base of loyal customers. You’re making money, and just about managing to stay in the black. But how do you take things to the next level? Being an entrepreneur doesn’t come with an instruction manual or roadmap. Indeed, you may feel as though you’re blindfolded. Stumbling around in the dark and reacting to changes to your circumstances as and when they occur.
Deep down, you know that to be successful you need to be more proactive. But how do you take off the blindfold and chart a course for sustainable growth? By addressing the issues that have obscured your vision in the first place.
You have more data than you know what to do with
It’s theBig Data age, so it stands to reason that you record and log substantial volumes of data. But is there a centralised repository for all your data? Do you have access to data from every department? Or do you have individual departments operating as semi-autonomous data silos? When you don’t have access or visibility, your data can be more of a hindrance than a help. Which is why it’s important to invest in Business Intelligence software. It can help you to mine your data for actionable insights while also allowing you to share data between departments so that everyone is pulling in the right direction.
You’re trying to do everything in-house
You’re adamant about wanting to do everything your own way. And while this is understandable and a defining trait of a great entrepreneur, it can also be your undoing. The more you try to do in-house, the more diverse and diffuse your responsibilities become. And the more thinly you can find that you have to spread yourself. We’ve already talked about how outsourcing may be the answer to your business problems. Entrusting other companies to handle your Payroll Bureau and other HR functions, Digital Marketing, Accounting etc. isn’t a betrayal of your brand. It simply frees up more of your attention (and, potentially, your capital) to focus on a strategy that will lead you to growth.
Micromanaging always comes from a place of passion and perfectionism. Your business is your baby, and you want every facet of your operations to be perfect. Yet, while this is understandable, it can lead you to erode your employees’ autonomy and potentially inhibit their professional growth. Not to mention taking your eyes away from the prize.
By all means insist on excellence.
But pursue it by training and empowering your employees, not by doing their jobs for them!
You’ve stopped listening to your customers
When you first started out, you likely carried out a lot of market research to establish a quantifiable demand for the products or services that you offer. You had a string idea of who your target audience was and what they wanted. But over the years, you’ve become so caught up with the day to day operations of your business that you’ve neglected your market research. And when you stop listening to your customers, you stop being able to preempt their needs.
Address the issues that pertain to you now. Otherwise, you never know what you could find yourself blindly walking into!