Reduce Barriers – Increase Profits

September 19, 2017

All businesses encounter barriers to operations and profit regardless of size. Obviously, a larger business with numerous directors and managers can huddle together in an attempt to solve operational issues. A small business owner on the other hand usually does not have the luxury of gathering together a group of high-level employees for a problem-solving session. Problem solving for a small business owner or manager might be a one-person job.

It is important for small business owners to realize when barriers are not handled promptly and properly, the various barriers can greatly impede business operations and, ultimately, net profit. The mindset must be that there is a solution…a way around…every barrier that is encountered in a business. Perhaps, the solutions are not quick or easy, but there are solutions to every business barrier. Some solutions might be standard while others might have to be more creative.

Review the following typical barriers to operations and solutions that might be appropriate for your business:

Marketing Not Working

Certainly, ineffective marketing is a plague that hits many businesses from time to time. Flat or (worse yet) declining sales is the end result. Rather than accepting a stagnant situation as a barrier to increased profits, figure out how to eliminate the existing barrier. Change one marketing variable to see whether the change creates a positive or negative impact. Then change another variable always testing for effectiveness. Depending on how sales are generated, delve into that area, as well. Maybe the sales process is the barrier and not the actual marketing campaign. 

After Sale Complaints

Even though a sale has been made, after sale complaints are a barrier to further sales by the customer or potential customers who have heard or read about an unpleasant buying experience regarding a business’ products or services or customer service after a sale. Long-term growth in a business is not based on one isolated sale after another. Long-term growth depends on repeat business as well as word of mouth testimonials and referrals from satisfied customers. Businesses should never underestimate the importance of after sale customer service whether that is service for a product sold, questions regarding service work, or listening to a complaint and remedying the situation immediately. As a small business owner, pay close attention to after sale complaints, determine why a customer was not satisfied, and change whatever might be necessary, so the situation is not repeated. After sale complaints should be a learning experience for a business rather than a barrier to future business.

Superior Competition

So, the competition is considered to be better than your business. This happens all the time where one business outshines another. If you find your business in this situation, don’t be satisfied with the status quo and allow this to be a barrier to growth. Start asking questions. What makes them superior or deemed to be superior? How can my business get to the same level as my competition? Why is my competition outperforming my business? A critical, self-examination of one’s own business can be a starting point in overcoming the barrier of superior competition. Since there are numerous ways to gain product, service, and business recognition, as a small business owner understand what your business does best and start promoting it. 

Unmotivated Employees

Unmotivated employees can be a huge barrier to business productivity and profits. Considering that employees are the lifeline of any business, they must be motivated. Employees might be the link between customers and the business or might be behind the scenes performing typical production or backoffice work. Whatever the job function might be, employers must get full performance from each individual employee. When this is not the case, then change is due. Assuming the employees are right for the job, then part of the environment might need changing: a different workspace setup, improved communication, flexible work hours, incentive options, remote work, or revised benefits. A great way to energize employees is to seek ideas from them. What do they see as a way to energize themselves? Perhaps, it is not realistic to implement all of their ideas, but some of their ideas might be a start in the rejuvenation process.

Reduce Barriers – Increase Profits

Understanding how to either reduce or eliminate barriers in a business can be the difference between stagnation and elevation.