How to Avoid the Silent Killers of Entrepreneurship

Sometimes as entrepreneurs we can get stuck in our current ways because it is what we know, it is what works and is comfortable. However, at what point do our current methods start to hold us back from growing? I have been caught in this trap a few times to varying degrees, and though the signs are sometimes different, it is something I needed to address ASAP to keep my business going. When we become comfortable in what we do, we stop pushing ourselves. This douses our growth as well as the original entrepreneurial fire that launched us in the first place.

Here are a few signs I have experienced and how I have navigated around them.

Decline in Sales
This may seem obvious, but sometimes the decline can be very incremental or we attribute the decline to another reason like market changes. This is soooo easy to do. It is currently 2016 in Alberta and the economy and oil is falling. I can easily attribute any sale declines to the market, however I also need to ensure that I am always adapting to the changing environment to keep my business going.

To avoid this pitfall, track your sales, and note any anomalies of declines or increases. Be honest with yourself when identifying the reason for the ups and downs, then take steps to adapt.

You Fizzle Out
You know that restless feeling you get when you are bored? This is a sure sign that you are too comfortable with where you are at and need to change things – fast! I was at this point a while ago and I couldn’t pinpoint the exact reason until I found something to get excited about in my business.

I was bored with the way I was doing things and in some ways I was far too comfortable with the processes I had set up. I am the first to agree that you need systems and processes in a business to bring consistency and structure. But when it becomes so consistent that you can do it in your sleep and everything is the same, where is the excitement?

To fix this, I looked long and hard at my business and myself. I considered the following:

  • What am I doing every day?
  • What do I like about my business?
  • WHY am I in business?
  • What value do I offer my clients?
  • What changes can I make to get excited about my business again?

It struck me that I needed to switch up how I was positioning my services; this required tweaks, not overhauls. I like this because I was able to break it down into manageable goals and celebrate each milestone, which continually fuels my passion and excitement for my business.

Customer Dissatisfaction
This is a massive red flag to watch for and one to fix immediately. I am a very results-driven person, and a while back I noticed that my clients were not seeing the results on Facebook that they had previously experienced and come to expect. This was when Facebook started changing its algorithm and pushing their ads hard on business pages. As a result, my clients were not seeing the organic reach they had previously experienced, and they were coming to me asking why. I could have attributed it to Facebook’s changes but I chose to take responsibility for it, re-strategize the way we were managing Facebook, and fix the situation so we could get back to seeing the results we wanted to.

Have you been noticing that your customers aren’t as satisfied as they could be? That your spark and drive have fizzled? That your sales have declined over time? Don’t simply blame the economy, technology updates or other external factors and keep going as you have been — resolve to make your business better. I can help you to figure out how, with fresh strategies and renewed vigour. Right now is the perfect time to call me and give your business a boost!

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