9 Reasons Your Business Isn’t Growing
Is Your Business Growing?
Frustration sets in when you’re working long hours, killing yourself, your revenue is dropping, profits are non-existent and you’re out of ideas. Every, and I mean every, business goes through periods of stalled growth. Some for a few months, some for years.
The difference between the successful, rapid growth businesses that you hear about in success stories and those that hit a ceiling and can never breakthrough are very minimal. So small, that they go unnoticed by most.
Breakthroughs don’t happen because of luck or even skill most of the time. They occur due to changes in a few key habits and activities of the business owner and their teams that drive success.
When a business isn’t growing I look for these 9 reasons first…
9 Reasons Why Your Business Isn’t Growing
Reason #1: You don’t have a marketing strategy.
Most fitness businesses are marketing with reckless abandonment. You’ll run a challenge here, ask for a referral there and promote a charity boot camp a few times a year hoping to get a few leads to keep new clients coming in the door.
However, without a strategy those activities will likely produce a minimal number of leads and leave you more frustrated than ever. Your marketing strategy needs to include your Core Offer, an Ideal Client Profile, Local Market Positioning™ and an action plan to deploy your marketing message to your community.
A great marketing strategy will tell you what marketing activities will give you the best opportunity to attract new leads. It will also give you the message to use when promoting those activities and even where to promote them so you attract the right clients.
Without these marketing foundations you’ll constantly be frustrated and left scrambling to grow your business.
Reason #2: You’re not measuring your progress.
You can’t know how well you’re performing (or not performing) if you aren’t measuring the right things. And it seems like most business owners are allergic to tracking and reviewing their numbers.
To truly assess your performance and forecast success you need to be tracking 4 sales and marketing metrics and 4 performance metrics. I’ve wrote extensively on those metrics in a different article that you can review HERE.
Your marketing metrics should be updated and reviewed weekly to determine if you’re on pace to hit your goals or if you need to make an adjustment. Your performance metrics or KPI’s need to be updated and tracked monthly to assess performance and make any necessary adjustments.
Without these numbers even the best business coach is simply guessing when making recommendations for business growth.
Reason #3: The business owner is doing busy work.
When you first start your business you’re doing everything. That’s okay and required in most cases if you want to survive the early period of growth. However, at some point you have to let go of some of the tasks and spend your time doing more of the higher level strategic work in your business.
There are only 24 hours in a day, trust me I’ve researched it 🙂 Unless you’re a mutant like Gary Vaynerchuk or just young and dumb (I’ve been there), you can’t work 18-hour days forever. Quick side note: even Gary Vaynerchuk takes weekends off to spend with his family. The same can’t be said for most fitness entrepreneurs I know.
Most of us find out the hard way and need to learn our lesson by running ourselves into the ground. If you’re not there yet listen up…it doesn’t have to be that way. Once your business can afford it (remember you need to know your numbers) it’s time to start looking at options to get some of the simple tasks off your plate.
That may mean hiring an admin or even outsourcing some of your other tasks. Any task that you can pay someone else $12-15/hour to complete should be on the list of items to delegate.
Reason #4: You have a negative mindset.
For many there is a belief that you don’t deserve success or that you can’t succeed. There could be hundreds of reasons but the wrong mindset can completely disrupt a business owner and business’ growth.
Take a minute to recognize the thoughts that go through your head and the conversations you have with yourself about growth or success. Do you focus on the negative and worry about failures? Or, do you have positive conversations with yourself and believe you can succeed?
It sounds hokey but I’m telling you from experience that it can be a crippling setback for business owners and their growth. It can also be the reason you’ve hit a ceiling. If you’ve never thought about being more successful than you are now you likely won’t reach the next level.
I’m no expert on this and struggle with it every day, but I can tell you that your mindset will determine your level of success. It’s not the only thing but it’s a big part of the right formula.
Reason #5: You’re bored.
We see this with many of our high performers who’ve seen lots of success. They simply get bored with their business, it’s become easy. When that happens they tend to break things and cause problems for themselves so that they can fix them. It’s what keeps them motivated.
That’s how I felt in my last 18-24 months of running my fitness business. It had to be frustrating for the team to deal with my meddling and disruptions. The solution is usually asking “what’s next?” It might not mean selling your business like I did.
Many of our top performers are spending their time focusing on the highest level of strategy for their business and pursuing other ventures while their business grows. We have people starting nutrition software companies, running masterminds, starting a Facebook marketing company and more.
This is usually only a problem for the top 10% of fitness entrepreneurs. It’s not common if your business is doing less than $20,000/mo and you have a good team in place.
Reason #6: You have no systems.
“Systems” is a fun word to throw around but most people don’t understand them. It’s not just a checklist that someone follows. That would be like calling your program design or training system just a workout.
A true system has several moving parts that work together, provide you with feedback on performance and can be optimized. Overly complicated systems can also be a setback. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be implemented.
Reason #7: Your culture is suffering.
Culture is made up of the people in your business and the core values of your business. If either are out of alignment your culture will suffer and your business won’t be far behind.
People problems include having the wrong people on your team or having them in the wrong places. Not sharing your core values or following the policies you’ve put in place are signs of the wrong people.
Trying to put a trainer in an admin role is an example of people in the wrong place. A lot of times they just don’t ‘want’ that position, but they are doing it to be a part of your team.
It’s also common for businesses to copy core values from successful, well-known companies but not truly understand them or believe them. Core values aren’t created; they exist in your business already (even if you don’t know it). Your role as the owner is to extract the right core values and communicate them to your team.
Reason #8: Your business lacks communication.
Communication is critical as your business grows. You need to be able to communicate your vision, goals and critical initiatives to your team clearly and concisely.
It’s easy to forget that you know everything there is to know about the business. You also know exactly where you want to go and how you think you can get there.
Your team does NOT. They need to hear this message several times—studies have shown up to 7, before they remember it. Share your vision, values, goals and initiatives with your team frequently and consistently and you’ll find they will work hard to help you reach them.
Reason #9: You have no vision.
It’s funny how many business owners I talk with that have no clear vision for their business. When I ask where they want to be in 3-5 years they give me a really generic answer and I can tell there is no purpose behind it.
If you want to get unstuck and grow, you need a crystal clear vision for your business that will act as a compass when you are making decisions on what to do next.
With a vision comes purpose. Every action you take should move you one step closer to your vision and goals. If not, you’re wasting time and energy. You need a vision to determine your goals for the next year, quarter, and even month.
Your Score and Action Steps
Out of the 9 reasons listed here how many described your business?
It’s rare to see a business that doesn’t have at least one of these issues present, even the really successful ones. All that tells you is that you’re vulnerable to hitting your ceiling. If you see 3 or more of these issues in your business you’re likely already struggling with growth or it’s coming soon.
Prioritize the issues that you discovered and then find a solution to solve them for good in your business. Tackle them one by one, over the course of an entire quarter if you must, until you start seeing growth again.
Need Help Getting Unstuck?
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If you feel like your business isn’t growing as fast as you want or it’s not providing you the lifestyle you want make sure to register now!