Northern Powerhouse

The Business Northumberland blog

Delivering a business support programme, we meet small businesses at all stages of their journey in almost every sector of the economy.

Business owners spend years carefully building a company, often taking on the bulk of the workload themselves with the goal of continuing to grow as customer bases increase.

In our experience, there are five areas in which an individual can be their own stopper to growth;

1. Making everything about you

One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is spending more time promoting themselves than their business. While a company’s owner may be reflected in the overall tone of the business, the company and its products or services must always come first.

When a business owner gets so caught up in the attention that comes from speaking at conferences and having his or her photo plastered on marketing materials, focus shifts away from the brand, which easily confuses the audience and makes the business about the individual rather than its products or services.

2. Reliance on social media

Not all entrepreneurs are extroverts. Meeting people is an important part of building a business. While some of the work can be done through social media, face-to-face connections are important.

We know networking isn’t for everyone – we even wrote a guide about it – but networking isn’t just about sales. It allows you to broaden your audience, meet new like-minded people and find out about things that are happening in your business community. Social media is a great way to connect with people. But it shouldn’t be the only way.

3. Reluctance to delegate

Often, business owners wait too long after help is needed to ask for it, mostly in an effort to save money. As a result, business owners may find themselves maintaining their own website, deploying their own marketing campaigns, fulfilling orders, making the tea and sweeping up.

While these day-to-day activities are essential to successful business operation, they also keep the owner hidden, rather than networking or bringing in new business.

When hiring even one person will free a business owner to squeeze in more meetings or attend networking events, it might be time to start building a team.

4. Have I made a mistake?

Mistakes are inevitable in the course of growing a business.

The key is not in whether the mistakes are made, but in whether we can learn from the mistake.

So, if you do make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up about it – take stock and move on.

Don’t let fear of making a mistake stop you from trying something new. Start small or speak to someone for advice – there’s a lot of support out there, you only need to ask!

5. I’m simply the best

No one person will be good at every aspect of his or her business. To achieve success, it’s important to be unafraid to ask for help from friends, advisors and consultants.

Creating and growing a business has its challenges, and there are plenty of resources to help, many on a fully funded basis.

Our Business Growth Advisers and Trainers are on hand to provide support – or point you in the right direction - so please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone or drop us an email.
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