The view from our office
There is an English expression that pretty much everyone I know is familiar with: “You can’t see the wood for the trees” (Woods….trees….I’m guessing I know where the inspiration for this post comes from). There are a few ways of using this saying but, roughly speaking, it’s often used to describe a situation where someone can’t see the whole situation clearly because they are too closely involved.
We can all relate to that, particularly in business.
(I mean, how many marketing companies do you know who have websites they still haven’t updated?)
As I’ve mentioned before , most people think that sales will be their biggest challenge to scaling their business. Now I’m not saying that increasing sales will be easy, but in my experience it’s usually not the sales that causes these businesses to fail.
They fail because their company isn’t able to make the adjustment in the level they are required to deliver on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. They have adjusted their sales patterns to achieve the higher targets, but they are still working within an internal system that was set up when they were delivering at a much lower level.
This is also true for the majority of business we see who seem to reach a plateau that they can’t quite break through. The company that grows to £1.2M and can’t really seem to break through to the next level up. It’s rarely because they have run out of clients or have suddenly become shit at selling to them. It’s almost always because they have not prepared their company to deliver at the higher levels.
It’s systems, processes, people & capacity that stops growth, and it’s these areas that we see cause good businesses to fail. The problem, of course, is that almost everyone within these companies are too close to the problem to be able to see their way out. People are creatures of habit. They do things the way they have always done them. That’s fine for a lot of situations, but things start to creak the moment you pile on a rapid amount of growth.
(growth really is a double-edged sword for most businesses. On the one hand they need it and they want it, on the other hand it exposes a lot of weaknesses that, if left unchecked, can be fatal)
Over the coming months I’m going to use this blog as an opportunity to elaborate a bit more on the different reasons we see good businesses fail, and you can do to make sure your business doesn’t suffer from the same fate.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line.