Identify What Is Holding Your Business Back

Holding your Business Back

Do you know what is holding your business back?

Do you find your day-to-day activities are less efficient than you’d like them to be?

Has business growth slowed to a crawl or stopped?

Does your team seem to struggle to work together efficiently?

Many small businesses can barely get the day-to-day operations done, let alone focus on initiatives to grow and expand. Before you know it, time has passed and your business is not going the way you’d like it to.

If you are ready to stop holding your business back, then it is time for a S.H.I.F.T. in your processes. Let’s break it down.

S – Specify your desired outcome.

It’s imperative that you know exactly where you want to end up in your business. Using general expressions, like “We want to grow” or “We want to increase revenue by 35%” or “We want to be the market’s leader” won’t cut it.

Decide what success looks like overall in both the quantitative and qualitative sense. Doing so puts your team in the position to get onboard, since they know what they are reaching for. Take the necessary time to clarify your goals and communicate them clearly with your team.

H – Highlight any obstacles.

Don’t be afraid to take stock of any and all obstacles that may come up. Not talking about your problems will leave you floundering. When you categorize what may interfere with your success and then figure out a way to remove the obstacles, you have empowered yourself and your team. Only when you know the problems can you effectively deal with them.

I – Identify the human element

It’s important to know who is involved in your efforts. Know who can help you and who can frustrate your processes. Too many businesses try to make changes in their operations without taking into account all the people involved.

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do you team members get along?
  • Are they ready to make a shift?
  • Do you know and understand what motivates your team or what their needs are?
  • Do you have the right people in the correct positions?

Take the time to focus on your team and encourage them to play a productive part in the changes – especially when you are a small business… everyone makes a difference in the company.

F – Find alternatives

Every company that has a Plan A should also have a Plan B and a Plan C. There should even be a “last resort if nothing else works” plan just in case something urgent comes up in the shifting process.  Remember that there is more than one way to accomplish something.

Take some time to brainstorm all the different options that might work. Set criteria for decisions that will be made and for determining what other paths may work to get you the same outcome. When you focus on the requirements, you establish what matters to you the most, your values and your priorities.

T – Take disciplined action

It’s critical to know what you will do each step of the way. No matter how great the idea, if you don’t put it into action, nothing will happen.

Think through who, what, when, how much for each idea to create a clear path your team can follow. Be sure they understand timelines. Ascertain what can be delegated or outsourced.

For many companies, being able to move beyond what is holding them back and having a team that embraces the changes is exciting. We’ve witnessed this work numerous times in a variety of environments including small businesses.

Maybe this is your year to make a shift to success in your company!

To learn more, check out Bev Flaxington’s latest book:

About Beverly Flaxington

Beverly D Flaxington, MBA, The Human Behavior Coach® has written 7 books, with three bestsellers. She brings her vast experience as a management consultant, Certified Hypnotherapist, executive and career coach, Certified Behavioral Analyst, Certified Values Analyst and holder of two patents for groundbreaking programs to all of her writings. Bev founded her own small business and works with small business owners on a daily basis helping them overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.

Bev is a regular blogger for and writes a weekly column called Ask Bev for Advisor Perspectives Magazine answering questions about human behavior and relationships in the workplace. Bev is a Lecturer at Suffolk University teaching Leadership & Social Responsibility. She has taught Entrepreneurship 101, Small Business Management, Dealing with Difficult People and Organizational Behavior.

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Check Out Bev Flaxington’s latest books:

Make the Shift: The Proven Five-Step Plan for Corporate Teams

Understanding Other People: The Five Secrets to Human Behavior

 "Seek to understand so that you meet others in their space, not insist they join you in yours."

"Obstacles are merely opportunities in disguise – learn to focus on those you can control and influence."

"Your self-talk is your best friend, or your worst enemy. You choose."

"Ideas need specific steps in order to become reality. Be specific and granular and make progress a little at a time."

"Your greatest strengths can be your biggest areas for improvement in different situations. Know yourself so you can leverage where appropriate, delegate when necessary and outsource for success!"

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