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Sunday, 13 November 2016 12:13

5 Things That Sap Momentum From Your Business

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When a business loses momentum, it loses one of its greatest advantages. Here are five things that can stop your business dead in its tracks.

When you’re a growing business, momentum is invaluable.

It keeps your team looking forward, and thinking big. It feeds that buzz in the room – the one that isn’t directly related to the pile of crumpled coffee cups. It makes working till sunrise feel like the only decent thing to do.

In short, momentum gives your business its all-important mojo.

And you really don’t want to lose it. After all, about a third of new employers crash and burn within their first two years.

So, take heed. Here are five certified mojo killers that, given the opportunity, could seriously sap your business momentum.

1. Expanding too fast.

Growth may be your ultimate goal, but excessive, unchecked growth? That can actually put the brakes on your business – by destroying the things that, right now, makes it special: its culture, its values, its all-hands-on-deck mentality.

Top tip: As your business begins to take off, do make sure you’ve the right skills and managerial support in place – but don’t rush into hiring decisions. Every new recruit should complement and reinforce your culture. Also, take the time to regularly check your course, getting everyone together to review your shared vision and values.

2. Failing to trust your team.

If you don’t trust your people to deliver on their own, you risk making them less engaged in your business’s heroic struggle. You also risk wasting your time – time that should be spent on much more important stuff. This is a problem that’ll only worsen as your company grows.

Top tip: Share the responsibility for success with each new person you employ. Be transparent, trusting and communicative. Your people will feel empowered, happier and more motivated, and your business will feel the benefit of them firing on all cylinders – producing ideas and approaches you’d never have thought of by yourself.

3. Setting only long-term goals. 

When you launch a new product, top a thousand customers, or reach a revenue milestone, everyone feels the adrenalin kick. Those little kicks are essential to keep your business barreling forward. Super long-term, vague or non-existent goals leave people drifting, and put a slow but lethal drain on your mojo.

Top tip: One of the joys of being small is that it’s easy to communicate objectives, and keep everyone buzzing about meeting them. In addition to building momentum, setting short-term goals in each key business area – and sharing them with your team – will do two great things:

  • It’ll force you to find ways to evaluate the performance of everything you do – be it sales activity or marketing campaigns
  • It’ll keep you tweaking and perfecting your strategy

4. Taking your eyes off the customer.

Staying customer-focused sounds simple enough. But in reality, “ignoring customers” accounts for the failure of more than one in every ten startups.

Top tip: Regularly review the problem you’re helping your customers solve, and the factors – economic, social, political or technological – that can affect it. At the same time, look for related problems that you might, one day, be able to help with, too.

5. Resting on your laurels.

After a flying start, it can be tempting to take your foot off the gas – letting your business coast, while you serve your suddenly sizable customer base. Those laurels may be comfy, but resist resting on them for long. It’s vital to keep taking risks, and seizing opportunities.

Top tip: Staying full of momentum, and mojo, means staying hungry. Unless you’re reaching the absolute limit of what your business systems and resources can handle – and you’ve no way to upscale fast – you should keep marketing, innovating and driving growth.

Don’t stop ‘til you get enough. (And don’t stop then, either.)

Create the right conditions and momentum will come as naturally to your business as a rock rolling downhill. And that will keep you rolling on, even when – as every business does – you hit unexpected bumps in the road.

Source: forbes.com

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