After 30 years as a business mentor and as a business owner myself, I’ve encountered some common themes along the way when it comes to issues in business. From poor communication to lacking clarity, there’s a number of pitfalls that business owners don’t even know they are sliding into. So here is my shortlist of the seven issues likely to affect business.

Too few clients

Whether it’s too few clients or too few of the right clients, knowing who you are selling to, or providing a service for, is critical to success in business. Too often, business owners are directing their energy at the wrong area and failing to market to and attract the clients who will ensure their business success.

Poor communication

How are you communicating with your potential clients and where? Effective communication and networking means talking to the right people at the right time in the right way. Good communication equals happier customers and more sales.

Too much time at work

Many of us fall into the trap of spending too much time working in our business without achieving the desired result. If you know what you want to achieve, who is the best person for the job and how it works into the bigger picture of your business success, it will allow you to spend less time behind your desk and more time enjoying your life.

People management

Failing to manage and communicate with your staff effectively is a critical and common mistake in business. By delegating tasks to the right people at the right time, employing the right person for the job and implementing the procedures and processes that allow them to do that job, you allow for better employee relations, fewer employees and ultimately reduced overheads.

Lack of clarity

It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day running of a business and fail to see the bigger picture of what you are hoping to achieve. If you can decide where you want to go, the goals you want to achieve and most importantly how you are going to get there, you can get on with the job of running your business with the knowledge it is getting ahead.

Not enough sales

Seems obvious doesn’t it, but this one takes some thought. If you’re not making enough sales why is that the case? Consider:

  • The profit drivers: Are you marketing your product to the right people? Who are your best buyers and how do you get more of them? What are the critical steps in your marketing, sales or other processes that affect profit? What needs to improve?
  • Enquiries: Where do they come from? How many are they? What are they? How to get / improve the right type of enquiry.
  • Your sales pipeline: What does it look like? Does it leak? Where and why? What effect does your activity have on this? Is it positive/negative?

 Not enough money

The answer to gaining more money from your business will likely be somewhere within the factors above. If you increase your sales, reduce your overheads, and know what you want to achieve, the monetary results will speak for themselves.

The pitfalls of business may be numerous, and there may be more than one problem within a single business, but the best news is the solutions are plentiful too, and they can be easily implemented and achieved. It just takes planning and working your plan to achieve.