…And what you can do to avoid or fix them.
In a previous email to my list, I shared a critical mindset shift that’s absolutely required for your revenue growth.
You need to view how you acquire customers differently.
Without this change in your strategy, your growth will stagnate at best and drop at worst.
Seeing your customer acquisition as a system.
And right now, we need to continue down that line of thinking for a minute.
Because chances are you haven’t yet made the same mental shift in how you view your business.
And you’re likely paying a price for that.
The price tag?
Bad hires. Drop in quality of what you deliver. Feast-or-famine revenue. Sporadic lead generation and sales. Lifestyle creep consuming profits. Afraid of hiring.
What helps? Treating your business as a system.
If you don’t treat your business as a complete system, with several sub-systems, you’re going to continue repeating these mistakes, over and over again…
Until you’ve either had enough or you’re forced out of business.
There’s zero drama or hype to that. It’s the harsh reality of not getting your business in shape.
Let’s look at these mistakes – and now that you know about systems, recognize that these are symptoms of a larger root issue (of not treating your business like a system).
Common Mistake #1: Not hiring soon enough – or hiring the wrong people when you do. This is often because you haven’t mapped out what the responsibilities are in your company, or what tasks should be done by whom.
Lack of clarity in this area leads to hiring too late or hiring the wrong person for the job – or the right person in the wrong position.
Not hiring leads to you continuing the cycle of stress, overwhelm, inefficiency and feeling like your business is out of your control.
Common Mistake #2: You don’t focus heavily on sales. Your pipeline dries up or is unpredictable. You fail to dig “the cashflow well” your business needs to survive, let alone grow. You don’t have a repeatable sales process that consistently adds revenue.
Common Mistake #3: Your marketing is either spread too thin or you’re focusing on tactics, not strategy. You think customer acquisition is the only thing you need. It can actually make things worse.
Let’s pretend you get a big influx of new customers. Can your processes handle that? Can you get the same level of quality work done for all of them? Do you have enough people to support the new work?
Probably not. And that’s a problem.
Common Mistake #4: Your Gross Margin is out of whack. Are your margins good enough where you’ll actually make a profit on this?
Are your costs increasing on par with new revenue? This is a big, red flag. And sure sign of trouble to come.
Common Mistake #5: You’re afraid of hiring (but don’t want to admit it). You have misguided notions of “staying lean and small” and keeping your margins to maximize profits.
Or because your business model and financials make every new hire a cost (that’s never recouped) and you can’t see how it actually can increase revenue and profitability.
Or you’ve relied on a “team of VA’s” to do your bidding.
Well, reality check: you don’t have a “team” when you have VA’s.
And you’re the overworked bottleneck, stumping and preventing growth.
Common Mistake 6: Letting “lifestyle creep” consume profits so you have little to reinvest. You mismanage company finances by making it pay for your (questionable) life decisions. You suck out revenue to buy furniture, or a car, or a watch, or whatever.
You’ll either deplete your cash reserves, profits, miss payroll or simply get stuck in constantly “stealing” money from your business.
Common Mistake #7: Treating your business like a toy. Working with entrepreneurs for many years I’ve seen too many of them stagnate their growth or slowly disintegrate the company all because their egos were inextricable from daily operations.
To put it bluntly, you’re treating your businesses like it’s a toy.
One day you want to play with it one way, and then the next day you want to play with it another. It makes you feel good temporarily, but as with all cheap and transient pleasures it comes with lots of negative effects.
Common Mistake #8: Abdicating responsibility when you hire. Instead of delegating and setting clear expectations, you throw a bunch of tasks at your new hire and say “take care of it”. And then you get upset when they’re not performing well or doing it exactly as what you had in mind.
Common Mistake #9: You don’t coach & train employees and contractors to be better at their jobs. This gives you the benefit of having your team get better and more efficient at performing tasks, and it also builds a strong culture. A better performing team equals better performing company.
What do you get with just one or two of these?
You have to work overtime every week.
Employee turnover is high.
Any systems in the company are barely functional and need constant effort from you to keep the company going.
And yes, you can scale a B2B company or consultancy.
But you need to do so without blowing it up. And earning more revenue, with more profit and still not working yourself to death.
It starts with getting your business “in shape”.