Every business is different, but one thing that remains consistent are the barriers that every company faces in terms of its ability to grow. Barriers of growth are all of the obstacles that stand in your way: from your customers (or lack thereof), to your employees, the capital your company does or doesn’t have access to.
If you aren’t sure whether you have any roadblocks preventing your business from scaling, check out these 5 barriers of growth we often see in companies and how to break through them:
Cash flow visibility
One of the biggest barriers of growth is cash flow visibility. If you can’t see whether your company is generating more cash than it’s spending, you’re either in trouble, about to be in trouble, or beyond trouble.
Cash flow issues can result in late payments, which then rollover into additional interest payments and penalties that eat into your profits.
A company’s performance is tied to its cash flow, therefore, insight into your cash flow not only ensures that your company has enough money to cover basic operating expenses, including payroll and monthly utility costs, it facilitates and supports growth. Not only is it critical that you understand your cash flow, your company should take a proactive approach to ensure cash flow never obstructs your growth.
Lack of strategic planning and vision
Where do you see your company 9 months from now? 3 years? 10 years?
A company without a vision not only fails to grow, they will fail to survive. As the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Companies who lack strategic planning often lack structure as well. Disorganized environments can promote stress among your team and, again, lead to turnover from all around unhappiness or layoffs due to underperformance.
A strong strategic plan will help a company to establish relevant goals which allow it to achieve its vision. A strategic plan should include both short and long term goals, with each goal clear to everyone in the company and supported with actionable to-dos and targets.
Creating a strategic plan will help eliminate barriers of growth by giving you foresight into any problems and allowing you to prevent them before they occur.
You’re only as strong as your weakest link. Therefore hiring employees who aren’t, or can’t pull their weight will affect the growth of your company. When members of your team are forced to pick up the slack of their colleagues, the outcome almost always results in turnover. Companies with high turnover have a harder time recruiting talented employees to fill open positions.
Not only is it important to the growth of your company to hire knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled professionals, but your employees should also be provided with training and leadership to support their growth and allow them to be successful.
Poor customer service
According to Forbes, “businesses are losing $62 billion per year through poor customer service.” So unless you’re Dick’s Last Resort, poor customer service is probably not built into your business model.
Bad customer service can be detrimental to your company in many ways. It can drive down profits, damage your company’s reputation, and can cause you to lose both your current and future customers. A poor reputation will also deter top talent from wanting to work for your company. And since nobody wants to deal with an unhappy customer, you may also lose your employees.
Customers want consistent, timely, and personalized service, therefore providing exceptional service should be a top priority. By talking directly with your customers, promptly addressing problems, and listening to your employees, you can ensure that poor customer service will not be a barrier of growth within your company.
Finding new customers and keeping them
For every one customer you lose, you need two more to support the growth of your company.
So how do some companies continue to scale while others either remain stagnant or simply fail? Because successful companies know their target market. Knowing your customers means engaging with them to better understand their wants and needs, what their pain points are, and how your company can provide the solution.
Maintaining and sustaining growth means finding new customers. And finding new customers requires spending money. This may involve traveling to face-to-face meetings, establishing a budget for online advertising, or investing in training to ensure your sales team is knowledgeable on your product or service.
If your company seems to be losing customers, you need to find out why. Setting actionable goals to decrease and prevent churn will not only help your company retain customers, but keep them happy and returning.
Signature Analytics can work with your team to prevent your company from hitting any barriers that could stand in the way of your growth. Find out how by requesting a free consultation today.