3 Reasons Businesses Struggle to Grow

Written November 21, 2014

Of North American Businesses, only 24% have steady growth.

That means three out of four businesses are experiencing little to no growth at all. Studies have shown many are actually struggling to survive.

Over the past 14 years, we’ve worked with the owners and managers of thousands of small businesses to help them grow. Before partnering with us, every one of these leaders realized they had far greater productivity and revenue potential… but something was holding back their business.

Without telling you (yet) what their problem was, here are some statistics:

  • You and your managers spend 63% of your time battling this same problem
  • 90% of efforts made to solve this problem typically don’t work
  • It costs you around $37,800 for every failed attempt to solve this problem

Now, I’m still not ready to tell you what the problem is… I promise to do so later in this article. Though I will tell you exactly why organizations battle it. And at the same time, you’ll learn why the majority of business struggle to grow.

#1 Reason for Slow Growth – Poor Decisions

When you think about it, almost every decision you make is made with the purpose of improving your productivity and profitability. Whether the decision is to lease a new copy machine, move to a new location, purchase new software or technology, etc.

Struggling companies have a tendency to make impulsive decisions without weighing the pros and cons. Decisions based on instincts usually end up hurting productivity and profitability rather than improving it.

But the worst decision of all that struggling companies make is to do nothing; or continue on with “business as usual.” If productivity and profits are slumping and nothing is done by the organization’s leaders to improve, it usually leads to teamwork, customer service, reliability, apathy and moral issues in the near future.

#2 Reason for Slow Growth – Poor Systems

Michael Gerber in his best selling book The E-Myth writes of the importance of systems. These systems create the standards and policies that Market Leaders use to grow their businesses… fast.

Struggling companies don’t create systems. And if they have, they usually don’t follow them. Yes, standards and policies take time and energy to create. They also take some of the spontaneity and fun out of business.

However, if you want to grow your business, start creating your mission, financial, production and sales systems now. I promise you; once you become a Market Leader, business will become a lot of fun again.

#3 Reason for Slow Growth – Poor People

When a struggling company hasn’t created systems and tends to make bad, instinctive decisions, in most cases their staff will be full of “Workplace Survivors.” Struggling companies seem to attract, hire and then retain people that hold them back.

This is the problem I promised to reveal earlier in this issue. The number one cause of slow (or no) business growth is the “wrong” people on your team. You can only be as productive and profitable as your “weakest link.” Just one poor performer will hold your business back.

If you tend to make poor, instinctive decisions and haven’t created a successful HR System, you’ll continue to find and hire people who don’t fit your culture, team or productivity standards. And with the wrong people, your business will never grow.