Many things look like business problems but are actually leadership problems.
- It may look like an overwhelming chaotic business but when you dig deeper, you find a leader with poor time management skills.
- What on the surface appears to be a branding flaw turns out to be a leader who secretly afraid to stand out because his products aren’t “perfect”.
- Even running out of money can be anything from a leader who is too impulsive or not measuring ROI of advertising or expanding too quickly to satisfy his ego.
I have seen hundreds of entrepreneurs in my practice and I can tell you that the #1 thing that sabotages them is not…
- That they weren’t smart – they were
- Because they had poor products or service – they didn’t
- Because they ran out of money – the mismanaged money
It was because of the entrepreneur’s own Business Blind Spots (BBS), which are merely old negative protective habits based in false fears, that developed years ago! What they didn’t see took them down. That’s because they either…
- kept working on areas they shouldn’t be in or
- weren’t working on areas they should have been focusing on but didn’t notice.
Those areas could involve branding, marketing, sales, managing, customer service, budgeting, pricing, etc... But these business areas are only the tip of the iceberg and not as important as the 9/10 of the iceberg under the surface. That’s because if you just focus on the tip, like taking a marketing course, you may use it on the wrong market, or neglect something important while you do this or you may not be the best person to do this at all. These are short term fixes. There are many ways to get this wrong. That’s why you first need to understand the bigger part of the iceberg – your BBS - for it to last.
Marcus came to see me because he was frustrated about not being able to break through the $750K gross revenue of his specialty clothing co. He was blaming it on picky customers. He told me they were “ungrateful”. But he didn’t actually have a “customer base” problem. Working with him, I was able to identify his biggest business blind spot: He was trying too hard to please his customers. This would lead to him getting angry with his own customers whenever they returned the product. He took it as a personal slight against him. But, as you may have already guessed, he was losing good customers this way.
I advised him to hire someone to do customer service. At first, he said he couldn’t afford to do that, but after losing 2 more clients and $10K (each) in business, he realized he could no longer afford to NOT do it.
Over the next several months, he removed himself from customer service – he put his selections online, decreased the overwhelming # of choices (again, his Pleasing Part) in style and colour to a manageable level and hired 2 additional people for marketing and operations. With my guidance, over the next 2 years he changed his manufacturer (which he had kept far too long due to fear and obligation (more People Pleaser). These changes allowed Marcus to do what he does best – design and taking his product to new markets. His gross revenue topped $3M and his net profits have increased by 3oo%,
If you are hitting a revenue ceiling and have unsuccessfully tried to change several things in the business, it may not be a business problem. You may be coming up against one of your business blind spots. Set up a call with me by clicking on the link below, and we'll discuss how I can help you see and manage your BBS. https://dreamsforreal.com/bbs-application-form/
Live Your Dream
Dr. Sam Gerstein
Business Strategy Coach, MD, Author