In Part 1, we talked about strategic planning, leadership, financial issues, marketing, and client retention as potential constraints on your small business’s growth. In this post, we’ll identify some other places where your small business might be getting stuck. 

Failure to adjust to changing markets

What got you here may not get you there, meaning that you may have had success, but the market has shifted and you need to pivot. 

The rate of change is getting faster and faster. The economy, supply chain, and technology are constantly evolving and you need to keep up. 

The most toxic phrase in business, and one that will ensure your business stagnates or fails is “We’ve always done it this way.”

Inefficient operations

It is a good practice to periodically review your systems, processes, technology, and overhead to ensure you are spending your time and money on the right things. Finding efficiencies in your business will boost profitability and help set you up to scale. 

Lack of diversification

If you launched a product or service and had great success with it, congratulations, but you may have put your company at risk if there is a market shift.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You may be able to serve your same audience in different ways, or extend your product or service to a new audience.  

Location and geography

Should you have a virtual business or physical presence? And if you started one way, should you shift to the other, or have a large online presence and physical locations. Amazon is primarily an eCommerce company, but it is trying out select physical locations. Barnes & Noble closed many of its physical locations, but is now starting to open more retail stores again. 

If you’ve had a successful restaurant in one location, could the concept be successful elsewhere in the same state? Or in another location across the country? Maybe or maybe not.

Regulatory issues 

Depending on the type of business you have, regulatory issues may be a primary concern. If you have a regulated business or are in need of local, state, or federal subsidies, you will need to stay current with all the requirements and pending legislation. 

If you are in the process of starting your business or expanding, make sure you understand the regulatory landscape. 


While understanding your competition is important for most businesses, certain market segments have fierce competition (cyber security, cloud storage, beauty salons), while a luxury brand may be able to create a unique niche for itself and customers may not even consider competitors. 

There are a ton of business consultants out there, but my commitment to working with solo consultants makes my services more specialized and right for a certain type of professional, and not right for a larger business, although my professional background includes that type of client work.

As we head into the second half of the year, I hope you will consider all the factors that may be stopping your business from having the success you would like.

I am wishing you a great six months – let’s do this! 

Photo by Aubrey Odom on Unsplash