Starting a small business is hard to do. It requires careful planning, sacrifice, taking risks and a significant financial investment. Growing your small business is even harder and requires even more time, money, and efforts. I see so many entrepreneurs start their businesses and then hover in the survival mode zone for years. For most people, business is fun.... but its more fun when your business is growing.
Mark Cuban said, "Business is the ultimate sport." If he's right, then growing your business is a form of winning. No matter what anyone says, it's always more fun to win.
There is something so wonderful about growing a business. I think one of the reasons I love it so much is because you feel like you are getting something done rather than just staying afloat. It's a feeling I wish every business owner could experience. This is what inspired me to start The Nate State of Mind and NerdOut Multimedia so that I could help new and emerging businesses grow and win.
Many entrepreneurs often ask me for advice and assistance with struggles and speed bumps along their journey of growing their businesses. While many businesses are different, the top three issues they are faced with seem to be the same across the board.
Here are some of the pitfalls I see small businesses and start-ups struggle with:
1. Lack of sales. This may seem a little silly and obvious, but I believe sales cures all-- providing you have a quantifiable business model. You must grow your sales channel every day. There are tools available to every business to help grow sales: sales reps, sales funnels, and email lists are a great way to convert web traffic into customers.
2. Lack of planning. So many people get worn down with the daily minutia of running a business that they often fail to play offense. You can't score any points if you're only focused on playing defense. You must be proactively looking for business and be prepared to recognize opportunities that come available. They don't always knock on your door, but they are out there for you to find every day.
3. Lack of goals. Most of us know we want to acquire more customers or make more money. What we don't know is what that success looks like on paper. Write down what you know then reverse-engineer it until you know exactly what you want and what steps you need to take to reach each goal. Start with small goals that lead up as milestones to the big goals. If you want to double your income, it won't usually happen overnight. But if you plan to increase each month by a certain percentage of sales, you'll eventually hit that double-income goal anyway.
The best way to get started is to get started. Today is yesterday's tomorrow. The future is now.
For more tips and guidance about starting a new business or growing one up, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!