While magazines and online articles usually tout the businesses that have experienced explosive growth, most businesses remain small. In fact, I did some research and found that only 17% of businesses ever grow beyond 300K in annual revenue.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a business that does less than 300K a year. I am thankful for anyone that has a business of any size. The reasons I’m writing this is because as I meet business owners, most of them feel stuck at some growth barrier and want a breakthrough.
So, why do most businesses stay below 300K in annual revenue? It’s not:
- Desire: Most business owners I know are working their tail off
- Lack of Learning Opportunities: Those are everywhere & even free to access with online business help
- Ideas: Most owners I know have more ideas than they can implement
So what is happening? Why can’t 83% of the businesses breakthrough?
Here are the five reasons I see:
1. Refusal To Delegate
Nothing keeps a business small like a leadership ball hog! I wrote a report called Freedom Killers: The 5 Things That Kill Entrepreneurs’ Freedom & Profit. In the report I talked about how the first person I hired was a bookkeeper. I paid about $75/month when I started out to have someone keep our books. Nothing freed me up faster than this, and it allowed me to go sell something.
You should literally write down a list of 10-15 things that you are doing that others can do. Then write people’s names beside it, even if they aren’t on your team yet. Start a dream delegation list now and you will be surprised how it will become a reality.
2. Not Comfortable Selling
Most entrepreneurs sell enough to get a steady business going but then quit selling. A CEO friend of mine that runs a $75 million company said, “You should focus on one thing until you pass one million in annual revenue, selling.”
Cool offices and nice business cards don’t really make a difference early on. Just get out there and sell something today.
3. Unwilling To Pivot
Being bullheaded about your idea early on is a mistake. While you shouldn’t change directions weekly, you should have a date set that says, “If this isn’t selling $___________ by ________ date, we will pivot.” When you are a small business under 300K, you must be willing to abandon ideas and go after new opportunity.
The market will tell you yes or no for your ideas, just listen to it.
4. Not Having Paid Coaches
I talk about this a lot with stuck entrepreneurs. If you can’t get past a barrier, hire someone that has passed that barrier. It’s such a simple answer but few people actually take the step. I’ve found that advice is worth what you pay for it. I love free advice but I’ve found that I actually apply more of the paid advice I receive.
If you say, “I don’t have the money to do this!” You never will. Most coaches I hired were during stuck seasons where money just wasn’t flowing! I suggest Strategic Coach, Les McKeown, and EMyth coaching.
My very first coach was Diane Conklin and she helped take me from $80,000 in debt to six figure income in 90 days. If you’re interested in having over 100 minutes of audio coaching between the two of us, you can get it here for a limited time.
5. Thinking “What’s Now” Instead of “What’s Next?”
Most businesses stay stuck because the business owner is focused on the business. We think about delivering what we sold and hoping that the company will grow. I would suggest you take a full day away from the office to think about growth opportunities. TURN YOUR PHONE OFF and just focus on one question, “What will produce the most growth for our business in the next 90 days?”
It could be a new referral program. It could be starting to use Facebook advertising. It can be anything! Just make sure you pick something that directly impacts revenue!