20 Obstacles to Business Growth

Written By Dave Lavinsky
Yellow road barrier

Top 20 Business Obstacles

There are many mental and personal blockages that can hinder you from achieving your full potential in business. Blockages in business can be compared to fatty deposits around your arteries that impede blood pumped from the heart from reaching its destination.

Here are 20 common business obstacles:

1. Lack of Skill

– As information increases, many business owners soon find out that there is much to learn. Whether it’s getting up to date on new tax laws, learning about social media, or practicing negotiation techniques, take the time to keep your skills sharp.

2. Bad or Negative Attitude

– While it may be easy to learn new skills, attitude is what makes or breaks a company. Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right! Check your attitude frequently.

3. Lack of Focus

– I always tell people that if they do one thing, they can do an A+ job; but that the second they do something else, they can only do a B+ job on each. And the bottom line is that to succeed in business, you must do an A job or better. So, make sure you focus on specific projects so you can excel at them.

4. Procrastination

– Procrastination is high among the top five time wasters. Creating deadlines is an effective way of preventing procrastination. Though it may feel restrictive or even stressful, having a deadline can activate your brain and infuse new thoughts and ideas.

5. Monotony

– It pays to try out something new once in a while. There is always a new instructional video with a different method from the text book methods learned in school. Doing something differently offers you the necessary relief from the routine and repetition that is common in many businesses.

6. Control Issues

– Sometimes the tiny voice in your head may urge you not to give up control, so you end up micromanaging everything. It is important to have faith in the people you hire. Hiring qualified people for your business helps you to focus on specific tasks and minimizes your chances of overworking yourself.

7. Overworking Yourself

– Sometimes you may overwork yourself even without realizing it. When you get overworked, you become less productive. Take it easy, go on vacation if possible. Your decision-making abilities become compromised when you are tired. Stick to a schedule and get some rest.

8. Seeking Approval

– In business, you may sometimes unconsciously or even consciously wait for someone to encourage you or give you permission to take a step. Acknowledge your own abilities and make decisions on what is best for business, not based on pride of emotional approval.

9. Lack of Creativity

– Keeping a journal can remedy a lack of creativity. Sometimes a new idea will pop up at a random time or place. Jotting down ideas and inspirations helps to unblock your mind. Apart from noting down random ideas for future reference, journals provide a useful way to track personal progress.

10. Thinking Small

– With the current technological capabilities, it is easy to access success stories. Surround yourself with people who think big. Read books, blogs and watch motivational videos, etc. In business, if you aim low, you strike low. Aim high.

11. Poor Organization

– Failure in many businesses is simply the result of poor organization. Customers you didn’t call back will do business elsewhere, etc. There are many tools both online and off available to improve organization. Consider using a virtual assistant to support administrative tasks.

12. Fear of Borrowing Money

– Borrowing in business can be vital for innovation and growth. A business that simply seeks to maintain the status quo can easily slip. If you are afraid of borrowing to grow your business, your competitors can eat into your market share with better advertising, faster response times, and newer products.

13. Unwillingness to Spend Money

– you can’t be a miser and succeed in business. Sure it worked for Ebenezer Scrooge for many years, but he was a miserable being. Businesses need investment of capital to grow and keep up with changes market and technologies.  Whether your own money or the bank’s money, be willing to spend.

14. Unnecessary Stress

– In the current business environment, it is easy to get stressed by constantly processing loads of information. Delegate tasks, avoid taking on more than you can handle, and build solid systems. Then every so often take some time off.  Even taking a walk around the block or gazing at fish in a tank can help you to unwind.

15. Unhealthy Habits

– It beats logic to become successful in business at the expense of your health. Treat yourself kindly. Exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep, and allow yourself to have fun. Laugh, meditate, and do what you enjoy doing as long as it is good for your health.

16. Bad Environment

– Dark, messy, cluttered or cramped premises do your business a grave injustice. Cleaning or changing your office can be the shot in the arm required for growth, creativity, and motivation. As the saying goes “you are a product of your environment.”

17. Fear of Success

– It is more common to hear about fear of failure. Fear of success is just as real, but a lot more subtle. Are you hesitant to pitch your product to the biggest buyer in town because you would have to double production? This fear can prevent you from doing what is required to succeed.

18. Lack of Trust

– Trust is a vital for any business to prosper. A business without trust is like a house divided against itself. It can only fall apart. You need to trust your team, partners, vendors, and even customers. If you don’t, you will constantly worry, and make decisions that can inhibit your company’s growth.

19. Poor Communication

– When communication is ineffective, this can pose a serious blockage in any business. Information, feelings, images and desires all have to be conveyed accurately for communication to be effective. Clear communication is vital for people to pull efforts and resources in the same direction.

20. Your Own Limits

– How successful do you think you can be? Can you be the next Warren Buffet? Bill Gates? Oprah Winfrey? Have you decided that you are happy with 10 sales a month? Why? What about 15 sales? When setting goals, don’t rely solely on what you know you can accomplish. Look at what is happening in the industry and create bold stretch goals that push you beyond your self-perceived limits.

How To Overcome Business Obstacles?

Overcoming business obstacles requires a proactive and strategic approach. Here are some general steps and tips to help you navigate and conquer challenges that may arise:

Identify the Obstacles:

Clearly identify the specific obstacles or challenges your business is facing. This might involve conducting thorough assessments, analyzing data, and seeking feedback from employees, customers, and stakeholders.

Develop a Plan:

Once you have a clear understanding of the obstacles, create a detailed simple business plan template outlining the steps you need to take to address each challenge. Set achievable goals and establish a timeline for implementation.

Seek Expert Advice:

Don’t hesitate to seek advice from industry experts, mentors, or business consultants. They can provide valuable insights and fresh perspectives to help you overcome the obstacles more effectively.

Strengthen Your Team:

Ensure you have the right people in the right positions within your organization. Invest in training and development to enhance their skills and competencies. A strong team can better handle challenges and find innovative solutions.

Adapt and Innovate:

In a rapidly changing business landscape, the ability to adapt and innovate is crucial. Stay updated with industry trends, technological advancements, and customer preferences to adjust your strategies accordingly.

Manage Finances Wisely:

Financial constraints can be a significant obstacle for businesses. Keep a close eye on your finances, control expenses, and explore cost-effective solutions. Prioritize investments that can yield positive returns in the long run.

Embrace Technology:

Leverage technology to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and stay ahead of the competition. Automation, data analytics, and digital marketing can be powerful tools for overcoming various obstacles.

Focus on Customer Satisfaction:

Customer satisfaction is key to sustaining and growing your business. Listen to customer feedback, address their concerns promptly, and continuously strive to exceed their expectations.

Build Resilience:

Business obstacles are inevitable, but building resilience will help you bounce back stronger. Maintain a positive mindset, encourage a culture of learning from failures, and never lose sight of your long-term vision.

Collaborate and Network:

Engage with other businesses, industry peers, and organizations. Collaborative efforts and networking can lead to mutually beneficial solutions and opportunities.

Monitor Progress and Adjust:

Regularly track your progress against the plan you developed earlier. Be willing to make adjustments if necessary, and don’t hesitate to pivot when new information or insights emerge.

Stay Compliant:

Ensure your business operates within legal and regulatory frameworks. Non-compliance can lead to serious obstacles and setbacks.

Remember, overcoming obstacles is an ongoing process in the world of business. Embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, and let them propel your business toward greater success.

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