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Are You Sabotaging Your Own Business Growth? | 8 Signs

Brian Cristiano Nov 30, 2021

Feel like you've got your foot on the gas pedal yet your business growth isn't going anywhere?

If so, the first place to look for problems is in your own actions.

Believe it or not, but most of the time when CEOs feel their wheels spinning but aren't moving at all... It's a result of their own actions!

Essentially, they shoot themselves in the foot as they're trying to step on the gas pedal because they’ve been incorrectly taught what truly drives growth. 

Does this feeling resonate with you?

In that case, we're sharing 8 signs that your business is failing to grow due to your own actions!  If any one of these signs strikes a cord with you, then there's a good chance you're sabotaging your own growth.

Every CEO is capable of achieving their growth goals.  Success is only a matter of whether or not they stand in their own way of reaching them!

 

8 Signs That You’re Sabotaging Your Own Business Growth & Development

 

Entrepreneurship is hard enough as it is.

Are you making it harder than it needs to be by sabotaging yourself?

If you feel like you're working harder than ever yet you're not getting anywhere, then you could be shooting yourself in the foot!

Here are 8 sure-fire signs that you're doing just that.  

Notice one of these signs in your own business?  No worries, make the simple, necessary adjustments to get back on the right course.  

Growth is 100% in your power. 

 

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1. You’re Not Capitalizing On Your Unique Value Proposition

 

Take a moment to ask yourself this serious question: Why would one of your customers choose you over your competition?

Is it because your product quality is superior?  Or, is it because your customer service is by and large the best in your industry?  Whatever your answer is, it should be a factor that makes a prospect look at your business and say, 'Hey, they're different!'.

Whatever the reason why, ask yourself this next question: Are you leaning into what makes your company unique enough?

By that, we mean are you capitalizing as much as possible on your company's unique value proposition? 

If not, then you're shooting yourself in the foot in terms of company growth, especially if you're trying to increase your market share by acquiring new customers!

Here's why: Your unique value proposition is your key to standing out in the market.  Unless you highlight it as much as possible, then you ultimately blend in with your competition.  And if you blend in with your competition, why would anyone ever choose you? 

That being said, ask yourself whether or not you've scaled back on your unique value proposition.  Then, consider why you felt the need to scale back in the first place.

Unfortunately many business owners scale back on their unique value out of fear.  They convince themselves that in order to grow, it's a safer bet to do as their competition does instead of standing out.

However, don't make that fatal mistake in your own business!  In the end, blending in with the competition will only reduce your odds of business growth.  

Don't let standing out back you into a corner of fear.  Instead, go ham to show off what makes your business different.  

Uniqueness is one of the most valuable things you can have as a company.

 

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2. You’re Choosing Quantity Over Quality

 

Remember when your parents used to tell you that it’s more important to have high-quality friends/clothes/experiences than it is to have a high quantity of friends/clothes/experiences?  

If so, know that that wisdom also applies to business growth!

Unfortunately when CEOs try to kickstart growth, they neglect this wisdom in several business areas, including their:

  1. Target market
  2. New products and services
  3. Marketing strategy

First off, whenever you start to think about growing your business, one of the first things you should do is reconsider your target market.  Especially if you want deeper market penetration, you need to ask yourself who your perfect customer is.

Unfortunately, many CEOs don't get specific enough with their target market because they believe doing so will shrink their potential customer base.  

While being more specific with your target market will likely shrink your base, what is more important is that your base is filled with high quality leads, rather than a high quantity of low-quality leads.

Second, if you're planning on creating new products or services on top of your additional ones, keep in mind that the sheer size of your product line doesn't matter if quality sinks.

If you’re planning on increasing the number of products or services available, just make sure it's not at the expense of quality. 

Lastly, one of the worst mistakes CEOs make is developing an over the top marketing strategy with too many moving pieces.  As a result, marketing quality decreases significantly, and they're left wondering why it’s not pulling in new leads. 

When it comes to marketing... quality >>> quantity!

When growing a business, opting for quality over quantity is usually better in the end!

 

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3. You’re Not Asking Questions

 

Here's another question for you: What is the single best way for you to have control over company growth?

Believe it or not, but asking questions is not only the single best way to have control over growth, but also your most powerful sales tool!

If you're a regular here on the Business Growth Insider, then this should come as no surprise to you.

Asking direct questions to the right people, particularly your sales leads, will enable you to grow like never before.

How so?

When you ask direct questions, you're getting the exact information you need to know how to grow in the most effective way possible.

For example, when you ask more questions during your sales calls, you get to know EXACTLY what your customers need delivered and how they want it delivered in order to be satisfied.

Instead of talking, the key is to get as much information out of your prospects as possible!

That way, you can take that information to craft out your best product or service ever!  And with your best deliverable yet, you're obviously more likely to grow.

Does this sound too simple to you?

If so, we're not surprised!  Most CEOs and salespeople have been conditioned to spend more time talking and less time listening.  As a result, they don't achieve the growth results they want and are left scratching their heads.

Take our advice and go the simple growth route by asking more questions to gain more knowledge to grow your business more and in less time!

Bonus tip: In addition to asking your sales leads questions, link up with a CEO coach and ask them even more questions.  Of all the people in the world to give you growth advice, it's them!

 

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4. The Growth Plan Is Wildy Complicated

 

Want growth?  For starters, you're going to need a thorough business plan.

However, there's one huge mistake that many entrepreneurs make when trying to take their company to the next level.  That mistake is creating a wildly complicated, complex business growth plan!

What makes a complex plan so detrimental?

Think of it like this... When you have a specific business goal in mind, achieving it is a challenge.  But, when you start to fill your plans with unnecessary, complex steps, strategies, and tactics, you create a breeding ground for additional problems to come about!

Moreover, by making your plan complex, you inevitably make growing significantly harder than what it needs to be!

Believe it or not... No successful business ever got that way via complexity!

What you're better off doing is developing a simple, straightforward plan where each step has a purpose and will ultimately clear the fog that's between where you are now and where you want to be.

Why do so many CEOs make the mistake of defaulting to complexity?

The reason why CEOs default to complexity is because they've been conditioned (like most of us have) to believe that complexity leads to success!

This mental conditioning has many sources, but primarily our outdated education system!

Instead of teaching how to think, students are taught what to think!  And, we are taught to think that, the more complicated something looks, whether it be a math equation with multiple steps or a political system, the better it is.

That being said, take back the power of your mind by not letting mental conditioning get the best of you.

In the end, complexity will knock your growing business on its face.

 

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5. Your Team Members Aren’t Motivated

 

Let's be serious here... Are you really going to be able to scale your business if you're the only one in on the game plan?

Probably not!

Therefore, you're shooting yourself in the foot if you don't spend as much time motivating your team members for growth as you do yourself.

What are the best ways to motivate employees?  Some of the best tactics include:

  1. Providing opportunities for learning and development
  2. Creating a reward system
  3. Fostering a culture of collaboration

First off, a great way to motivate your team members is to show them that you believe they are worthy of being invested in.  To do so, invest in a continuing business training program and offer it up to your employees.

As a result, they feel rewarded AND they'll get education that can be reinvested into the business.

Second and obviously, creating a system that rewards hard work is the most obvious way to go.  Bonuses, gift cards, and even taking team members out to dinner are all great options.

Additionally, find ways to pat your employees on the back on a daily basis.  Sometimes a simple recognition along the lines of 'Hey! Loved the strategy you laid out, it's really opening my eyes to new possibilities', can go a long way.  

Finally, few things make employees feel worse than being on the outside.  For example, if you're off setting business goals while the team has no idea what they're working for, then they'll have little motivation to do anything.

Therefore, make it a habit to sit down with your entire team to run down your upcoming goals.  Then, ask them for their input in terms of how you all can work together to bring those goals to life.

The whole solopreneur game isn't as full-proof as you think.  To get to where you want to be, you need the help of your team.  And unless they're motivated, then they have little to no reason to help!

 

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6. You’re Leaving Your Current Customers In the Dust

 

Whatever growth strategy you go with, one mistake that you'll never forgive yourself for making is neglecting your current customers!

Far too many CEOs spend 99% of their time trying to penetrate new markets or grab up new customers in their current market, which only leaves them 1% of their time to nurture their current customer relationships.

While they might gain some new clients, their old ones walk out the door because they don’t feel valued.

As a result, they don't actually end up growing because for every new customer they gain, an old one bids farewell.

Learn from other entrepreneurs before you make the same mistake... If gaining new clients means you have to sacrifice your old ones who have been loyal to you, then it's not worth it. 

To prevent this disastrous situation from happening, consider investing in hiring new salespeople to take on the additional customers!

By doing so, you'll have extra space for new clients to join in, while your existing loyal customer base won't feel left in the dust.

Your current customers are like valuable diamonds.  You wouldn't throw away a diamond, would you?

 

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7. The Sales Cycle Is Exceedingly Long

 

If you were in your sales prospect's shoes, would you enjoy going through the sales process?

More specifically, if you had to sit through all of the phases of the sales cycle from their chair, would you have a good time?

If your answer is no, then you need to make immediate changes to your sales cycle!

Straight-up: If you think that sitting through each of your sales calls and pitches sucks, why would you put your prospects through it?

To put it simply... Nobody likes to go through an unnecessarily long process with countless steps to it.  Rather, people like to talk about their problems, establish trust, take away the information they need, and then make a decision!

Therefore, don't make your sales cycle a miserable experience.  Shorten it up to an appropriate length, remove unnecessary steps, and do what you can to make it fun for prospects!

How can you make it fun for them?

In order to be more fun, interject your personality into each step of the cycle!  Prospects don't want to talk to robots... they want to talk to people!

This is a particularly important point because success in business has much to do with the relationships you form with your customers.  And the best way that you can form relationships is to create trust and a bond between you and your prospects by simply being a relatable, likable person. 

Like we mentioned above, our education system has unfortunately conditioned us into thinking that complexity is the key to success.

But as you already know, that couldn't be further from the truth!

So, take the unneeded complexity out of your own sales cycle because it'll only make your prospects miserable and want nothing to do with you.

 

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8. You’ve Got a ‘Worst Case Scenario’ Mindset

 

Mindset.  Mindset.  Mindset.  It's something talked about a lot these days.  But, what exactly is it?

A mindset is the accumulation of the thoughts you think.

If you think mostly negative thoughts, then you likely have a negative mindset.  On the other hand, if you have mostly positive thoughts, then you likely have a positive mindset.

Why is mindset so important in business and life in general?

Here's why: The dominant thoughts you think create the emotions you feel.  The emotions you feel will determine what actions you take.  The actions you take determine your outcomes.  Therefore, the thoughts you think (your mindset) is the root cause of your outcomes!

So, if you think mostly negative thoughts about you and your business, you're likely to feel crummy about yourself and your business.  And if you feel that way, then you're less unlikely to take positive actions towards business growth.

That being said, you might think you're doing all that it takes to achieve success right now, but in reality your mindset is setting you back one thousand miles without you even realizing it!

Unless you get your mindset in check, then you might as well forget about growth altogether!

Instead of letting your mindset get the best of you, take back control of it by thinking positive thoughts.

Think positive thoughts... Feel positive feelings... Take positive actions... Get positive results.

If you think this all sounds too simple, then just remember about how we've been conditioned into thinking that simplicity doesn't breed success!  But in reality, simplicity is the root of success.

Before taking any action related to growth, honestly examine your own thoughts to determine whether or not you have a negative mindset.  

If you do realize that you have a negative mindset, most of the effort you put into growth will end up being for nothing.

 

Final Thoughts On Sabotaging Business Growth

 

If your foot is on the gas pedal yet you're not moving, the first thing you need to ask yourself is whether or not you are shooting yourself in the foot that’s on the pedal.

The good news is that, if one of these above signs resonates with you... All you need to do is make a simple change or two to get back on the right path.

Furthermore, all you have to do is get out of your own way to let growth ignite itself!

Sometimes the man in the mirror can be the real culprit in our problems.  Will you get out of your own way so that growth can take off?