How to Identify What’s Limiting Your Business Growth
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Growing your business is never an easy goal to achieve, especially over the last few years with pandemics and recessions rearing their ugly heads.
When you’re not hitting your growth targets, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what’s limiting your business growth.
It could be that you’re overspending, your product isn’t being well received, your working processes aren’t very efficient, or you’re focusing too much on outbound marketing and not enough on inbound marketing.
Whatever the issue is with your business growth, you need to address it quickly and get things back on track if you want to grow your business sustainably.
To help you out, we wanted to share a few key areas of your business that could affect your growth and how to fix them!
Analyse your financial data
One of the critical areas of business growth is finance. The more revenue your business makes, the more it will grow.
So, if you feel like you’re struggling to grow your business, your finances should be the first place to look.
The most significant issues you need to look at here are:
- Low Revenue (not bringing enough money into your business each month)
- High Expenses (overspending on your business each month)
If you’re smart about your spending and keep things within your budget, but you still struggle to grow, you’re not bringing in enough revenue.
If you’re bringing in a good amount of revenue each month but aren’t accurately tracking your spending and budget allocation, you could be overspending and wasting profit.
To avoid and overcome things like this, you should analyse and keep track of your expenses.
Identify essential expenses each month like office rent, staff wages, taxes etc. and then set realistic budgets for the rest of your outgoings like software and tools, marketing, and team events.
If you’re overspending, look to reduce expenses by finding cheaper software solutions, look at more cost-effective marketing channels, and try not to overspend on lavish team events.
When you know how much your monthly expenses are likely to be, you can set monthly revenue targets to ensure you’re bringing in enough money, not just to cover the costs but to give you profit to invest back into your business and help it grow!
Conduct market research
Another big thing that stunts the growth of a lot of businesses is not having a deep enough or the wrong understanding of the markets they’re trying to break into and grow in.
How can you expect to make an effective growth plan without understanding who you’re trying to reach, who your competition is, what the demand level is in your industry, and where your business is now?
To create a strong growth plan for your business, you need to carry out in-depth research and organisational tasks like:
- Competitor analysis
- SWOT analysis
- Audience research and segmentation
- Understanding customer pain points
- Product feedback from customers
- Branding research
- Auditing your current market position
All these things will help you better understand where your business is now, how your competitors are performing in comparison, and most importantly, what your customer’s wants and needs are.
This will help you identify and incorporate your competitor’s winning strategies into your own plans, create a winning strategy focused on reaching and fulfilling your customer’s needs, and sustainably accelerate your business growth.
Review your internal processes
Creating the right internal processes can help you manage your time more effectively, make your operations more cost-efficient, and help you scale your business without overburdening your team and overall workload.
It’s important to review your internal processes and ensure they’re actually working for you.
Whether it be:
- Client Onboarding
If there’s a weak link in the chain of your business processes, it could be holding you back.
The key to creating efficient processes is testing.
Build processes, implement them, gather customer and team feedback, and analyse data to see if they’re working as they should be. If they are, great! If not, then adapt them until they do.
Always look to build flexible processes that you can change and adapt as your business grows. The most efficient way to work now could look massively different for you in a few years’ time if your business and the industries you’re in grow and evolve.
Assess your leadership structure
Your people are the fuel that makes your business run, and their leadership and management structure makes a huge impact on their development, motivation, and performance.
If your team aren’t led, managed, or trained effectively, they won’t reach their full potential, which means your business won’t either.
To assess how you’re leading your staff, you need to look at five key areas to look at:
Communication – Are you clearly communicating project details, expectations, and deadlines to your team? Bad communication leads to mistakes, delays, and big drops in productivity.
Support & Guidance – Giving your team the proper support and guidance helps them develop their skills and reach their full potential. This means offering training and development, as well as mentorship and coaching.
Empowerment – Give your people the tools and training they need to do the job, and then just let them do it! Micromanaging is a huge killer of productivity and motivation. Most of the time, a person with more freedom and flexibility in their role will perform better.
Recognition & Rewards – Are you recognising and rewarding your people when they do fantastic work? Pay bonuses, bringing treats into the office, taking the team out for the day, or even just kind words of appreciation all go a long way to keeping motivation and productivity high.
Alignment of Goals – Ensuring your business goals are aligned with your team’s goals is vital for staying on track. The role of a leader is to ensure that everyone is motivated and efficiently working towards the same objectives.
Focusing on these areas when managing your team helps to keep motivation, productivity, and overall employee happiness high, which means mistakes, delays and employee turnover will be low.
Don’t underestimate the impact great leadership can have!
Identify external factors
Sometimes, factors outside your control can impact your business growth.
Right now, in 2023, there are quite a few to contend with:
With the current inflation rates and the ongoing recession here in the UK, it’s even harder to grow your business.
With people more reluctant to buy, and more money pressures on your business, it’s not exactly the ideal conditions to grow your business.
But does that mean it’s impossible? Absolutely not.
When inflation hits, many business owners think the best course of action is to batten down the hatches, reduce their marketing spending and just focus on operations.
But the issue is, it’s not just new customers that get cold feet; your existing customers might too. So, if you jump on the brakes and bring your marketing to a grinding halt, and then start to lose customers too, then you’ll be in an even trickier spot.
Instead, investing in more focused marketing campaigns and working on your customer retention will help to maximise revenue coming in and help you keep it!
You can learn more about why doubling down on your marketing in a recession is essential in one of our other blog posts: Why You Shouldn’t Cut Your Marketing Budget in a Recession.
For any business, demand is an essential factor for generating sales.
If there’s no demand for a product, no one will buy it.
But this example isn’t about product demand; it’s about the demand for eCommerce services as a whole.
When the Coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, eCommerce saw a 30% increase in demand because no one could get down the shops. At the time, everyone thought it would be the straw that broke the Camel’s back, and we’d see the end of high street shopping thanks to COVID.
But now, almost three years later, the pandemic is over, and people are starting to return to their old shopping habits by visiting physical stores.
This means that the increase eCommerce saw due to the pandemic has now levelled back out to nearly normal levels, seeing a decrease in demand for eCommerce services.
So, if you’re starting to see your eCommerce sales drop, that’s why.
It might not be that your marketing isn’t working or people don’t like your products; it could just be that the buying habits of your customers have changed.
When things like this happen, you need to invest in new marketing strategies and offers to re-engage your customers and get more orders coming in!
Another thing you can’t control in business is how many competitors you have and how well they perform – especially if you’re a new entrant to a market already dominated by other brands.
The key here is to analyse what they’re doing right and incorporate it into your own strategies, but be careful not to lose what makes your brand different.
For small companies, standing out from the crowd and becoming a bit of an underdog can have a huge impact on brand awareness, revenue and growth.
Just look at the current craze over Prime. Although there are huge companies like Lucozade, Monster and Red Bull out there bringing in a lot more revenue, all we’re hearing about is an energy/sports drink brand created by two famous social media influencers, and how some people are selling single bottles for over £100.
Why? Because Prime has something other brands don’t, hype and scarcity.
With both founders, KSI and Logan Paul, promoting the drink to their millions of followers and with UK supplies of the product being minimal, their products are gone from supermarket shelves in seconds.
If they lost that, I think they’d be like every other brand out there, and the novelty would start to wear off for many of their customers.
This is a bit of a different example from the others, but with the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, it’s just something to be bare in mind when looking at potential impacts on your business.
Conflicts between countries can have a big knock-on effect on the economic climates and supply chains in countries worldwide.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, there have been a lot of shortages and price hikes that have impacted UK businesses.
One of the biggest ones has been the soaring fuel and energy prices.
As a result of the rising prices at the supply level, the costs for businesses to ship products to customers and the cost of international shipping and freight went through the roof. Also, companies have seen the prices rise by 424% for gas and 349% for electricity.
In terms of supply chains, there were and are some ongoing impacts on the supply of wheat, grains, fertilisers, metals, plastics and semiconductor chips. This means over the last year, the food production, farming, construction, and manufacturing industries have all taken a hit due to a conflict over 1,500 miles away from us.
Although these aren’t likely to be the sole cause of your business growth issues, they could certainly be contributing factors.
Get some fresh ideas on how to grow your business
If you fancy some fresh ideas on how to overcome your marketing challenges and grow your business sustainably, then book one of our Free 1-2-1 Growth Workshops hosted at Damteq HQ!
You’ll have a free 90-minute session with Damteq’s Founder, Adam, and a few of our Digital & Growth specialists, where you can get some game-changing tips and advice on how to fix your marketing and set your business on track for massive growth.
The workshop will be tailored entirely to your business and the challenge you face, and you’ll also come away with the following:
- A free website and user experience review
- A free Google ranking audit report
- Advice on the latest and greatest digital trends and tools
- Advice on how to generate leads for your business
- Marketing strategy guidance based on your specific challenges and goals
We’re booked sessions over the next few months with limited availability, so get booked in now!
Note: Due to the mention of the Russia/Ukraine conflict in this blog post, we thought it was only right to include a mention of the Red Cross’ Ukraine Emergency Appeal. You can donate here. ??