Business growth and marketing go hand-in-hand, which means that when one is stagnant, it is almost a surefire bet that the other will be stagnant as well. Regardless of niche or industry, there are 4 main things that can - and will - stifle both if you don't know what to watch for.
1. A big ego
Celebrating minor victories, accomplishments and goals is an important facet of business, without which the setbacks and unexpected changes would be overwhelming. However, you have to make sure you do not let these victories or accomplishments expand your ego.
Often, people successful in business, or successful running their own company, think they have every answer. After all, they did things successfully the first time, so naturally they know exactly what they are doing.
Consider this: A man receives an inheritance and uses that money to buy a commercial rental property so that he can become a real estate investor. He does little research, but the cost of living increases where he buys, so this man enjoys success.
But that does not mean that he knew exactly what he was doing. He did not do his due diligence. He just stumbled upon those lucky variables. However, chances are that guy is going to let his ego get in the way and assume he knows all about real estate investing… at least until his next venture fails to generate a profit.
Sure, this example relates to a different kind of business, not a modern service or product based company, but it makes an excellent point.
- You cannot let your ego stop you from realizing what else you have to learn. Even the most successful businessmen and women are constantly learning, and constantly seeking knowledge from others.
- If you let your ego get in the way, you will be afraid to admit that you need to learn something, that you did something wrong, or that someone else might have a better idea. People will not judge you if you ask questions or get the help you need from someone else.
Worse still, egos leave you complacent and resistant to change.
- Ego leads you to think that you have already done everything your company needs.
- This stops you from seizing innovation or benefiting from the myriad opportunities out there that might help move your business forward. Just because you successfully used social media marketing for three months does not mean there are not new social sites out there from which your business might benefit.
Consider Gary Vaynerchuk and his empire, VaynerMedia. This organization would not be what it is today if he had been afraid to embrace social media platforms like Twitter back in 2007 or a video podcast in 2006. New at the time, these platforms offered great ideas someone else provided, ones which benefited his company.
2. Consistency - or a lack thereof
Moderation is key. If you are too consistent, that means you are averse to change. You just keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. If you are too inconsistent, you never see anything through to completion and never stick with it long enough to make it work. Instead, like a child with ADD, you get impatient and move on to the next big thing without letting things run their course.
3. Lack of leadership
Mundane as it might sound, some of the better companies out there have high managerial positions whose job it is to make sure that things do not fall of other people's plates.
- Everyone needs a chief calling the shots.
- That chief is the one who has to hold everyone accountable to the goals and the mission of the company.
- Remember, other people are prone to forgetting things from time to time, so it is up to a good leader to run around and make sure people do not forget.
Consider this: A company wants to implement a new advertising campaign to show off their newest computer program. One manager tells the employees below them to draft an executive summary to show to the CEO. But that manager did not talk to the employees directly - they sent an e-mail. The employees often fail to check their email regularly, and even when they do, they do not close the loop; they fail to respond back that they received the direction and are taking action.
The manager thinks their job is done because, after all, they gave the instruction. They did not check on the confirmation, the progress, or even look for a finished product. Nothing, in this situation, is set up to confirm that everyone is communicating, receiving their instructions and following them to completion. Who knows if that executive summary will ever get completed, let alone completed well.
4. Poor communication
Communication is, obviously, imperative to the success of any business growth and marketing success. So where can your company go wrong?
- If you lack a plan, you will not hit target goals, let alone grow.
- If you have such bad communication that everyone is off doing their own thing without any oversight, things will inevitably fall through the cracks.
The same example about the manager and the executive summary applies here. Communication would prevent things from being overlooked. It would ensure everyone knew their instructions were received and that tasks were completed. Too many open loops hurt everyone, whereas a holistic system of communication takes care of every loose end.
Gary Vaynerchuk Builds Businesses. (2017). GaryVaynerchuk.com. Retrieved 8 March 2017, from https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/biography/