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7 Ways You Are Stunting Your Business's Growth

Carissa Reiniger
Carissa Reiniger

Some of your behaviors are preventing your business from growing as you want it to.

You are working countless hours, sacrificing your time, being tenacious when things are not going your way and feeling exhausted most of the time. Unfortunately, being a small business owner can sometimes feel like a thankless job.

On the surface, when things feel like they are at a standstill, no matter how hard you try to grow, you might automatically think that what you need is just a little more time or just a bit more money and then things will finally turn for you. Knee-jerk reactions to this way of thinking may make you seek a loan to increase your cash flow or extend your operational hours to increase your capacity, but in reality, those might not be the things you need at all.

An honest self-assessment is crucial in understanding how our actions are impacting our success and what's need to end that cycle. The answer could be that some of your direct behaviors are contributing to your current lack of growth. Here are seven behaviors might be preventing you from growing your business.

Showing a lack of commitment

Are you committed to seeing your business grow and scale to the next level, or are you merely going through the motions? For your business to grow, you need to commit to making changes that lead to long term growth. Challenging the status quo and being committed is the first step in adopting the right mindset.

Behavior Change Science states that in order to secure success, it is essential for an individual to gain commitment and stay focused on that goal every day and every minute. All the actions that you do each day will lead you closer to the big goal. Remember, you are in control of your destiny. After all, it is your business, and your team relies on you as the leader to produce positive results.

Not setting clear financial goals

If you do not set goals, you are directionless and blown by the wind. Being directionless will see you changing your product or service offering and marketing to whomever you get the chance. Being directionless spreads you thin and wastes the resources you are trying to conserve for growth.

What you need to do is set modest, realistic and attainable goals for yourself. Start by establishing an annual one-year growth goal, think of a big goal. Your yearly goal should then be broken down into quarterly goals down to monthly to-dos and into weekly to-do items. Setting goals gives you clarity on where you are going, what are the actions that you need to take to get there and what you are trying to achieve. Then, prioritize your daily activities to get you closer to those set goals.

Not tracking your behavior and actions

If you do not know where you are, you can't see where you're going. Keeping track of your activities keeps you accountable for your actions. Accountability is crucial for you to build a profitable and sustainable business. To do this effectively, an accountability partner is preferable. If you don't have someone keeping you accountable, you will more than often cheat yourself into failure.

Rigorously tracking your behavior and action items will enable you to start making data-driven decisions, based on hard historical facts of what has proven to be successful for you in the past. We know, it might be easier to read about it than actually doing it. Start today by auditing your calendar and credit card statement, reflect on each minute of your time and every dollar out of your pocket. Are you using your resources wisely?

Having low self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is crucial to growing your business. Self-efficacy is one's belief in their ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task. If you do not build self-efficacy, it will lead to chronic indecision, inability to prevent and overcome hurdles and ultimately perpetuate bad habits that are stunting your growth potential.

Resisting the need for coaching

Admitting you do not know everything and you need help is sometimes the most challenging thing to do. Your ego may get in the way since you are used to doing things your way in the past. Also, knowing the fact that it is your business might lead you to think that no one can give you valuable advice.

Your experience and education will make you believe that nobody can offer anything of benefit to you, which is not the case. It would be incredibly helpful if you were guided in strategy by an expert who has been through similar experiences and can offer valuable advice and insights as well as an outside perspective into your business health. Do not be afraid of asking for professional input. 

Isolating yourself

Isolating yourself is one of the worst things you can do. We are often our own worst critic. Most of us have a tendency of being incredibly hard on ourselves if we make the wrong decision and something goes wrong, or worse, we fail. Don't measure yourself against unrealistic standards, living under the constant weight of self-imposed pressure.

Having self-confidence in our abilities is incredibly important and helps us move things along. Seek support in others who have been through similar challenges. You will find comfort in knowing that you are not the only one who has struggled. You do not have to be alone, and you shouldn't be. We are meant to have people near us to talk about the good and the bad. Behavior Change Science outlines that you have to activate support in order to get the results you're looking for. Evaluate the support you have around.

Not instilling good habits

The first thing that is important to understand is that most of the time, it is your old habits that are preventing you from growing your business. You must be open to change, change for the better. Be purposed on every dollar or minute you invest and track your actions hourly, daily and weekly to get the results you want. You are the leader of your business and so, adopting the right mindset, a positive mindset, and instilling good habits both in yourself and your team, is at the basis of your success.

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Carissa Reiniger
Carissa Reiniger Member
Carissa Reiniger is the Founder & CEO of Silver Lining Ltd. She started Silver Lining in 2005 and created the Silver Lining Action Plan – SLAP! – a methodology that has helped over 10,000 small business owners in 9 countries set – and hit – their growth goals. She incorporated all of the principles of behavior change science into one comprehensive business growth program to help bring out the best out of you and lead your business towards profitability and success. As part of her mission to help more small business owners make money doing what they love because she genuinely believes that we CAN change the economy one small business at a time.