Obstacles to Growth – what are yours (and how can you tackle them)?

hurdlesAs you may know I’m a business growth consultant and the second question I ask new clients is “what are your obstacles to growth” (I’ll tell you the first question I ask later on).

It’s obvious if you think about it: identify the things that are stopping you from achieving your objectives and you’re halfway to overcoming them.

Sure we all think we know what they are (everybody tells me this) but knowing and articulating are two different things. I find that having to write down your OTGs changes everything.

Let’s look at the top 10 OTGs I encounter; wonder if any of them resonate with you.

  1. Not enough good quality new clients being won.
  2. Losing too many clients to the opposition.
  3. Can’t get good sales staff (you don’t need to BTW).
  4. Losing too many pitches.
  5. Not winning all the revenue you could from clients
  6. Can’t actually get through to potential new clients
  7. Hard to differentiate yourself from the competition.
  8. You don’t seem to have enough time.
  9. Management team lacking in some way.
  10. A lack of tools to help people win and keep clients.

Bottom line is each of the above OTGs, and the many others I haven’t listed, can be overcome in the same way as you’d eat an elephant – one mouthful at a time.

Once I’ve defined a new client’s OTGs the next step is to build a Growth Roadmap. It couldn’t be easier and you can do it yourself.

All you need to do is define a number of projects or initiatives that, when combined, will overcome each of your OTGs.

Bear-trap alert: don’t worry about the detail at this stage. Too much detail at this stage will bog you down and wear you out often causing you to abandon the change programme. Keep it high-level.

Then you pick out the most pressing OTG and move the initiatives that relate to it from the Roadmap to a plan. Now you can fill in the detail such as actions; costs; resources; time-tables and so on.

Then repeat until all your OTGs have been banished (to be replaced by some new ones of course).

It couldnt be easier – it’s how I earn my living and I can assure you it works.

So this is the key message then: don’t try to tackle all your problems at once: pick the most pressing and smash it before moving on to the next.

And that first question. Obvious really “what does success look like for your business and how can you quantify it?” You can’t start a journey until you’ve defined the destination.

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Posted in 1 Foundations For Growth, Blog, Entrepreneurship, Leadership

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