As a former CEO and entrepreneur, I spent years learning how important continuous growth is to the success of a business. It doesn’t matter if you are a start-up or established entity. If you aren’t growing, you’re going backward. Without increased growth, there are no means to build and sustain your business model. I also learned blame for stalled growth falls on the executive team. Sure, there are unforeseen circumstances and other curve balls that can stunt or cripple growth unexpectedly. However, when it comes to stalled growth, it’s the c-suite members that are held accountable. That being said…
Seven Signs of Stalled Business Growth
Here are seven signs your executive team could be stalling the growth of your department, division, or company:
1. You cannot sleep at night. It speaks for itself. Lack of sleep is from worry. And worry comes from knowing something isn’t right and needs to be fixed.
2. Sales are flat. Your competition is growing faster than you are. You are losing orders to your competition. In which case, you need to ask: Do you have the right products for the marketplace? Is your sales plan realistic? Do you have the right team in place?
3. Profits are non-existent or stagnant. Your vendors are not being paid and constantly calling and threatening to cut you off. You are having trouble collecting your receivables. You are experiencing high employee turnover. You are making your budgets, but cannot figure out why the bottom line does not reflect it.
4. Your company is going in many directions, and you cannot decide which direction the company should take. What a company starts out to do is not always what it ends up being successful at. An example is Flicker. Flicker started as a social media company and added pictures. The company did not have the funding or manpower to go in all directions. They decided to back picture sharing, and the rest is history.
5. You are afraid of making the wrong decisions, and your employees will not make a decision without getting approval. Analysis paralysis kills growth. If you can’t make up your mind, then you aren’t conveying to your staff what your beliefs and priorities are most important. This results are decision-making hesitation due to lack of clarity of business vision.
6. Your products and company are getting mixed reviews from social media sources. If you aren’t getting rave reviews online, something is wrong. Product and service purchasing has gone the way of social research. Your customers are surfing the net before they buy. Without glowing recommendations, you are losing sales.
7. You are not sure who to trust and either trust the wrong people or trust no one at all. Trust is a vital component to business growth. You’ll never have all the facts or know all the outcomes. You’ll have to make informed decisions and then trust those around you to make sure things go as planned. If you aren’t trusting, you aren’t growing.
If any of these signs sound familiar, it’s time to get help. Let’s be honest: if you could have fixed the stalled growth, you would have by now. Know when to seek assistance so you can get back on track and moving forward. Just like professional athletes, executives need to seek the advice of a coach to help them correct and improve their performance. Getting an outside perspective on your situation will greatly enhance your ability to identify new approaches that can help you reignite growth in your company.
Your Next Step
P.S. – Do you need an Outside Director, Advisory Board Member, Trusted Advisor, or Interim CEO? Someone who can help you see your business and your goals through “Fresh Eyes.” Contact me and I will work with you to look at where you want to go and help you find the best way to get there. Sometimes all it takes is someone with a fresh viewpoint, unencumbered by company politics or culture to help find the right solution.
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