Why Businesses Can’t Scale
Part 1

5 Common Challenges

Small and growing businesses face 5 common challenges as they try to scale. These challenges oftentimes will mute their ability to scale, and sometimes even kill the business. This is part 1 of a two-part series where we talk about the challenges of scaling a business.

This is going to help give you a framework during the discovery process to identify the areas where your solution can add the most value and transform the lives of your clients. When you pick up on these challenges during the discovery process, be sure to spend adequate time understanding them so you’re better positioned to paint the future state, and you stand a better chance of winning the deal.

First, be on the lookout for INCONSISTENT PROCESSES. Inconsistency is very common in growth businesses, primarily because either the process wasn’t intentionally built out, or the business owner just kind of figured things out as they went along.

When processes are all over the place, you don’t know why you’re winning or losing. In fact, at this stage, the business operator shouldn’t be focused so much on getting a process perfectly right, as they are getting it consistent. Once a consistent process is in place, it functions like a GPS. Even though we may have to make tweaks along the way, we know we’re headed in the right direction.

confusionGrowth businesses also have their critical DATA IN MULTIPLE DISPARATE, UNCONNECTED SYSTEMS. As businesses grow, key players within will buy different tools to help them solve particular business problems. Whether it be a project management tool, CRM, or marketing or accounting systems. They end up with a suite of different products that don’t talk to each other, and their data is in silos all over the place, a lot of it even in spreadsheets. 

As you’re engaging in the discovery process, be sure to ask about their existing systems and the level of effort and time it takes to get the data together that they need to run the business.

As businesses grow in size and they add team members, these first two issues can cause major FRUSTRATION among the owner or executive team. Think about it – they used to run the entire business in their head, but as the business grew, it grew out of their control. The frustration stems from a combination of excessive work – they’re having to keep a close eye on the business at all times, and pressure – now they have multiple families depending on them. They are also risk-averse – they don’t want to “mess things up” and lose what they’ve built. In short, they feel trapped, and their business, instead of a blessing, becomes a burden.

In Part 2, we’ll explore two key challenges that growth businesses face after they’ve made the decision to uplevel their systems and processes, and we’ll talk through some key concepts you can use to help you deliver more value to your prospects, and win more deals.

See the rest of this series on the “Building a Better Business Case” Playlist.