Barriers to growth


Dariusz Zbytniewski


Barriers to growth  


Customers are the source of real growth. But what do they really care about? How do you reach them? What happens when you put them first? We combine in-depth insights with practical expertise to help you build a customer-focused—and growth-oriented—organization.   


On the basis of numerous projects for large companies and those from SME segment 10 growth barriers were identified. They are characterized below together with potential solutions to the diagnosed problems. 


Mindset. Is mindset of your top executives or medium level managers holding your business back? Is the fear to fail to deliver solutions that increase the innovation, efficiency and flexibility of your company is stopping you in growing the business? Be aware that mindset is acting as a barrier to the growth of your business and consider how managers/owners can think differently to enable growth.

Solutions: Assessment of the organization and its individual functions (production, sales, marketing, customer service), lessons learned from wins and losses.  Recommendation of changes, so that mindset and attitudes of the managerial staff are not a barrier, but stimulate growth. Coaching


The priority of day-to-day activities over long term growth. Is ongoing management of the Company giving the managerial staff/management/owners enough time to plan and implement the business strategy and to carry out activities that may have a significant impact on the company's growth? Has the company defined objectives in the short, medium and long term? The crucial challenge is the ability to move from operational to strategic management. For a company, strategic plan and vision are the critical points of entry into the path of sustainable development

Solutions: Diagnosis of the organisation, delegating tasks and responsibilities, capacity to develop and implement strategies. 


Knowledge, experience and skills. Do you or your team need to increase their knowledge, experience and skills to enable your business to grow? What additional leadership and management skills do you and your management team need to take your business forward? Consider investing in knowledge, experience and skills for you and your team to enable your business to deliver growth. You may also want to access the support of specialists who can help you grow your business.

Solutions: Defining competence gaps and how to close them. Coaching, interim management 


Unchanged operating model. When was the last time your company introduced changes in the organization, products, customer service? Are you running the business the same as when you first started it, but struggling for growth?  Are suggestions for improvement meeting the challenge of "why change? it always has been" To grow, your business needs to be flexible, open to change, innovative, creative and prepared to do something different. Consider what needs to be different in your business to enable growth. 

Solutions: Analysis of the company's business model in terms of best practices in the sector, drawing up a roadmap for the transformation of the organisation 


Inefficient systems, processes and procedures. Are your systems, processes and procedures inefficient and ineffective? To enable growth you may need to improve your processes and procedures and invest in IT and software. Consider what you are putting up with on the operational side of your business that is preventing growth.

Solutions: analysis of processes and procedures and change recommendations. Implementation of the management systems increasing the effectiveness of the organization.  


Not managing the business. Are you struggling to understand how your business is performing? Are you adopting a reactive management approach? To enable growth you need to be proactive and actively manage your business, including keeping focused on your business strategy, planning what you need to do to achieve the strategy, ensuring action is being taken, reviewing how you are getting on against your plans, prioritising and re-prioritising as things change and reviewing and updating your business strategy on a regular basis. You also need to know what is happening in all areas of your business by monitoring key performance indicators, regular communication, feedback and meetings with staff and key stakeholders and listening to customer feedback.

Solutions: Regular reviews and updates of the business strategy, understanding of customers' and their experience in contacts with the organization, understanding of employees' expectations   


Risk aversion. Are you afraid of taking risks in your business? There is a balance in a business to find an appropriate level of risk that is acceptable to the management and shareholders. If you are too risk averse you may be hindering the growth of your business and if you take too much risk your business could fail. Business growth involves taking measured risks in proportion to your business and not overstretching the business.

Solution: Development and implementation of a risk management plan in the company before the occurrence of risks. Drawing up procedures to minimize any threats in the company's operations.  


Not resourcing to deliver growth. Is your business struggling to grow through lack of resources e.g. staff, suppliers, equipment, finance, investment etc.? To grow your business it needs to be adequately resourced. You may need to employ additional people, outsource work, invest in equipment or new premises or you may need additional finance or investment. Consider whether any of these areas are holding your business back.

Solution: Assessment of the company's resources in terms of meeting its strategic objectives. A plan to acquire additional resources.   


Inadequate or inappropriate sales and marketing activity. When was the last time you reviewed your sales and marketing activity? What sales and marketing activity are you doing? Too many businesses assume that they will keep generating sales without adequately investing in sales and marketing or without any review or changes to their sales and marketing activity. The right sales and marketing activity is critical to enabling business growth. However what is right today may not be right tomorrow so flexibility and creativity in your sales and marketing activity are essential.

Solution: Audit of sales and marketing functions, recommendations for changes based on best practices. Implementation of sales management tools.      


Poor customer service. Is poor customer service impacting your business? What do your customers think about your service? You may be finding that your business is not growing due to customers being unhappy with the service they are receiving. Excellent customer service is a prerequisite of sustainable business growth. Consider what changes you need to make in, how you are servicing your customers.

Solution: Regular assessment of the customer experience with the Company and service provided. Customer-centric transformation of the organization. Design and implementation of loyalty programs.



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