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3 Keys to Uncovering the Problems Small Business Owners Don’t Know They Have

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By Mark Bailey, PGS Business Consulting, Reno’s Top Rated Local® Small Business Coach

Schedule a free 20-minute chat here to find out how you can increase profits for your business, have more free time and grow sales.

Owning a business should be everything we dreamed it would be. It should be exciting, rewarding, and fun. We should be eagerly looking forward to the next day. If you’re not experiencing these signs of entrepreneurial bliss, then you have problems. But you’re not alone, companies big and small all share similar issues.

Problems manifest themselves in many ways and what we feel or experience are actually the symptoms. As small business owners, we feel these painful symptoms but rarely seek a diagnosis. The symptoms will continue until we actually discover and solve the root problem(s).

Over years of working with small business owners, the following are some of the most common words I’ve heard during our initial coaching session.

Time

There are never enough hours in the day. I’m always running around like a chicken with its head cut off putting out one fire after another. I’m unable to take time away without everything falling apart.

Money

We always seem to struggle to make payroll. We can’t pay our creditors on time and we’re (insert your number here) months behind. We struggle to put food on the table and buy clothes for our kids.

Customers

I need/want more customers. We want better customers. You know the ones that are easy to deal with, spend lots of money, they never complain and they pay on time.

Employees

My employees are always late and/or call in sick a lot. They can’t get the work done properly and/or in the time provided. They aren’t good with customers. They don’t follow directions. And the list goes on.

What these clients all shared are essentially the symptoms they are feeling or experiencing. These symptoms are a result of one or more unresolved problems. Only when we break the business down into its three core elements can we uncover the underlying problems.

Marcus Lemonis CEO of Camping World assesses every business by what he calls the people-process-product principle: “Great people, an excellent and relevant product or service, and the best possible process for creating, delivering, and selling that product or service.”

Consider this principle as a three-legged stool for example. If any one leg is weaker than the others, your business has problems. Left unresolved, these issues can lead to failure. We can break down any small business into these three key components: people, process and product and discover how each one can affect the success or failure of that business.

It’s not rare or extremely difficult for a struggling business to recover very quickly and with a relatively small investment. Sometimes all that’s needed are some very simple improvements in your product or service; your operations; and/or your personnel (right people in the right position, better training, incentives, etc.).

I cannot tell you the number of people I’ve seen waste years and years of precious time, hoping that something that cannot and will not work is suddenly going to improve without making any significant change to the people, process and/or product. Choose not to be one of these people. Your success is just around the corner if you’re willing to make appropriate changes and put forth the effort.

If you feel stuck and can’t seem to get your company performing to your expectations, take a look at the people, product and processes in place at your business. The symptoms you’re experiencing are a result of problems residing in one or more of these three areas.

Mark Bailey is offering free 20-minute small-business consulting sessions. Schedule online here.

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