It’s one thing to get a small business off the ground. It’s quite another to ensure it stays up there. Entrepreneurial success can be measured by several metrics, such as revenues and sales, but I’m going to examine the one that can be the toughest to achieve: lasting, sustainable growth.

Some business models include hitting regular sales targets and revenue milestones as stepping stones to growth, but they’re part of a much bigger whole and something I can help you tackle.

There are many factors that entrepreneurs should keep in mind when looking to expand, so let’s take a quick look at five issues that, if unresolved, could stunt your business’ growth.

1. Not knowing your customer

The customer may not always be right, but you always have to know what they want. Companies trying to wing it without a clear insight into their clients’ pain points will eventually experience difficulties.

Knowing your customers inside out, understanding how you can meet their every need – and identifying when you can’t – will ensure both your relationship and your business will blossom.

2. Poor value proposition

Some sectors are tempting to dip a toe into because they’re growing at such a fast pace. However, if your company’s value proposition isn’t up to the mark, it will be almost impossible to rise above the competition and achieve solid growth.

It is crucial to have a clear idea of your brand, and what your business offers that’s either unique or game-changing in comparison to what’s already out there. Get it right and you’ll reap the rewards.

3. No marketing strategy

Even the smartest, coolest business needs a marketing plan because, without it, there’s no way to tell the world about your amazing product or service, and no pathway to growth.

Taking the time to develop and invest in a comprehensive, engaging marketing strategy will help spread the word about what your business offers, enrich your brand and bring your ideal customers flocking to your door. Growth guaranteed.

4. Not enough capital

It might seem easy for someone like me to trot out a line about investing in this or paying for that, but if the business budget just won’t stretch, what can you do?

The short and, possibly uncomfortable, answer is go back to first principles and take a good, hard look at your financing. For any business to thrive it’s crucial to get long-term capital in place.

Fewer than one-third of small businesses go under because of financial issues, so the statistics are on your side as long as you ensure there’s enough cash in the kitty.

5. Poor leadership

Every small business owner should have faith in themselves and their enterprise, but the truth is, not everyone’s cut out to be an entrepreneur.

It’s important to have confidence in your product or service – it’s very hard to sell what you don’t believe in. However, unwise business decisions, such as chasing after customers who don’t fit your business model, or ignoring what the competition is doing, can quickly stunt growth.

If any of the issues raised in this post have resonated and you would like to chat further about ways to grow your business, drop me a line at www.agnesmarketing.co.uk/contact.

About the Author Lindsey Moore

Lindsey Moore has spent the last 15 years growing, advising and empowering small businesses. These conversations aim to provide inspiration, motivation and energy to those looking to start, scale or pivot their business, by hearing the stories of others who have been brave, followed their heart, kept their nerve and grown something quite remarkable.

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