Overcoming Barriers to Business Growth

Business ownership is often like a roller coaster ride. While we all want our companies to be on a nonstop journey upward, the reality is that there are usually a series of highs and lows along the way. Every entrepreneur understands what it’s like to reach a plateau or be in a slump, and then strive for the next great breakthrough.

At every part of the ride, keeping our companies at optimal efficiency and profitability requires an entrepreneurial mindset. This means avoiding complacency and focusing on continuous improvement. Here are three elements business owners must embrace to overcome barriers to growth and enable their companies to reach new heights.

@ashley.broomall via Twenty20

Embrace Change

“Change is the only constant in life.” ~ Heraclitus

Just as this quote made sense when it was first uttered 500 years ago by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus around 500 BC, it also holds true to today. Entrepreneurs who resist change and cling to old ways of doing business are doomed to irrelevance.

Just because your business has been thriving over the past few years or decades, that is no reason to stop evolving. While you may enjoy a competitive advantage in your market currently, if you refuse to explore and adopt new ideas, you are letting your edge slip away and could soon see the consequences of your stubbornness reflected in poorer profits and a lower valuation.

We are in the midst of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” where innovations in technology are impacting companies and transforming entire industries. These technological advances are being applied to reduce costs, improve operational efficiency, and enhance the customer experience. You may be able to avoid upgrading in the near term, but eventually you will not be able to keep up with other players in your industry if you do not embrace change.

In some cases, technologies, practices, and business models that were current just a few years ago (or even a few months ago) are no longer relevant. Staying on top means continually watching for trends, developments, and changes in the marketplace.

You should also consider what embracing change means to the overall value of your business, as well. Ask yourself: Would a buyer pay more for a company with outdated systems and business models – or for a business using cutting-edge technologies and practices?

Embrace Risk

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” ~ Mark Zuckerberg

Business owners understand the benefits of risk. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” and “No guts, no glory” are the core philosophies of every true entrepreneur. Staying in the slow lane only leads to stagnation and decline.

While not every risk will lead to success, a lack of risk will always keep you stuck in place. Even if a particular risk does not yield positive results, you can still use it as a valuable learning experience, as you move steadily toward your goals.

Of course, smart and sensible risk-taking is a far cry from being impulsive and reckless. Savvy business owners take the time to weigh financial, operational, and reputational risks and benefits before springing into action. At Peek Advisory Group, we enjoy partnering with clients to perform due diligence and guide them in the risks and profit potential associated with mergers, acquisitions, and the launch of new products and services.

Embrace Innovation

But that’s how we’ve always done it…

The above phrase is one of the most crippling when it comes to growth, improvement, and originality. Forward-thinking organizations understand the importance of establishing cultures that foster innovation and creative problem-solving.

Facilitating brainstorming, “what-if,” and mind-mapping sessions often leads to breakthroughs that would never have happened using the same old stale methods and models. When you tap into the creativity of your workforce, you will be surprised at the solutions and ideas they conceive.

Embracing change, measured risk-taking, and innovation is a perfect recipe for overcoming barriers and enabling your company to optimize its potential, profitability, and valuation.