If you’re frustrated or disappointed with the way your small business is performing, it is time to improve it by solving the problems and constraints at source.
The good news is that by reading this article after searching the Internet and landing on my blog, it shows that you’re getting ready to make the changes you need to make your business profitable with a positive cash flow.
Admitting to yourself that you have a problem which needs to be solved is a big step in itself and, of course, it is the first vital step to finding a solution.
That puts you well ahead of the many owners who suffer from the day-to-day grind of keeping their businesses alive but for some strange reason, aren’t prepared to do anything about it.
I’d like to offer you a FREE coaching / mentoring or advice session on the telephone or Skype that lasts for about 60 minutes – I call it my Second Opinion Session (click on the link) and the acronym SOS seems very appropriate if you feel it’s time to call for help.
Remember, you’re not on your own. Just about every business owner has problems and you might like to take part in the one question survey I have on my website, asking you to identify your biggest problem anonymously >>> What Is The Biggest Problem You Have? (click on link)
Improvement Depends On The Right Diagnosis Of The Business Problems
Something is holding your business back and making it hard for you to have the success you want.
There is a famous saying…
Prescription without Diagnosis is Malpractice
In simple terms, picking an improvement solution without first diagnosing the underlying problem will get you into trouble.
Unfortunately we’re all guilty of trying to find short term fixes that make the symptoms go away in the hope that the problem is superficial.
Sometimes it works.
Sometimes it gets us into deeper trouble because it lets the problem fester, grow and do more damage.
It’s true for your health, for your relationships and for your business.
How To Improve Your Business By Diagnosing And Solving Your Business Problems At Source
I’m going to take you through 21 reasons why your business isn’t the success you want to help you to pinpoint what’s happening beneath the surface of the symptoms of:
- Not enough profit or even making losses
- Not enough sales revenue or customers
- Cash flow shortages that could lead to a crisis
- Employees not doing what they’re supposed to
- Supplier problems
These 21 reasons will then lead off to separate articles that will give you more details on how to improve your business. Some will apply to your business and some won’t.
To Improve Your Business You Need Control
There are two types of people.
- Those who accept primary responsibility for what happens to them and know that they can make changes to improve their situation.
- Those who refuse to accept primary responsibility for what is happening around them and blame other people or the general environment.
The economy sucks (Spring 2013). You can let it drag you down or you can do something about it.
Fortunately there is big difference between entrepreneurs and the rest of the working population.
Many employees are stuck with a victim-mentality and let things happen to them with little control.
Business owners generally believe they can make things happen.
They often have a positive mindset that, even in adversity, there is an opportunity to be found and exploited. They can have control. They can make a difference. They can make improvements.
I hope you have a positive mindset too.
How To Use The List
It’s a good idea to get a piece of paper and write the numbers 1 to 21 down along the side. Then make your own assessment – perhaps graded into:
1 – often a big problem
2 – sometimes a problem
3 – not usually a problem
4 – never a problem
That will help you to keep track of the big issues and where the performance issues seem to be clustering together to form a pattern that could mean a compounding effect.
The Three Big Causes For A Business To Struggle
- The owner(s) and senior managers
- The business itself
- The market
The problem may lie principally in one of those areas or it may ripple through all three.
21 Reasons Why Your Business Isn’t As Successful As You Want…
Section 1 – How Are You Holding Back Your Business And Causing It To Struggle?
1 – Have You Lost Your Mojo For Your Business?
For help on solving this problem, please read the article below about finding your business mojo again.
2 – Have You Stopped Working Hard Enough? (Time, Energy & Thinking)
3 – Are You Unclear On Your Goals And Priorities?
4 – Are You Poor At Controlling How You Use Your Time?
5 – Are You Bad At Working To Your Strengths And Delegating Activities Linked To Your Weaknesses
6 – Do You Feel Lonely And Isolated With No One To Bounce Ideas Off?
7 – Do You Start Many More Projects Than You Finish?
8 – Have You Become Complacent About Why Your Business Has Been A Success In The Past And In Denial Of The Current Situation?
Section 2 – The Core Business Issues That Are Causing Difficulties
9 – Are Your Products And Services Seen As A Commodity By Customers Because Your Business Is Not Differentiated?
10 – Does Your Business Lack Competitive, Value For Money Offers?
11 – Do You Struggle To Attract Enough Enquiries From Prospective Customers?
12 – Do You Find It Hard To Convert Enough Enquiries Into Paying Customers?
13 – Are Many Customers Disappointed With Your Product or Service After Buying And Don’t Keep Buying?
14 – Do You Lack Follow-Up Products And Services To Sell After The Customer Buys The First Time?
15 – Are Your Operating Costs Too High For The Prices You Have To Sell At?
16 -Do You Have Poor Quality, Untrained And/Or Unmotivated Staff?
17 – Does Your Business Not Work Well When You Are Not There?
Section 3 – Business Difficulties Are Coming From Outside
18 – Is The Market In Long Term, Permanent Decline?
19 – Is The Market In A Cyclical Decline That Should Bounce Back In The Long Term?
20 – Is Your Market Extremely Competitive Where Prices Have Been Driven Down So Low, Profits Have Been Competed Away?
21 – Is The Market and Customer Needs Changing Quickly Or Facing A Potential Major Shift In The Way It Works?
Improving The Business
While I have listed twenty one problem areas with potential for improvement, it’s likely that the issues are linked together.
For example, a recession will lower sales volumes and squeezed margins to reveal issues that will have existed for a long time without causing too many difficulties. Economic boom can often cover up the cracks.
It’s also likely that issues are linked together, mutually reinforcing each other.
As I write the improvement solutions articles, I’ll be coming back to this one and creating links which will make it an extremely valuable diagnostic resource.
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[sos]Don't forget to download and read my FREE Report - The SIX Steps PROFIT Formula: The Simple Rules That Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know available to download at Six Steps Report (Please click).