Most small businesses experience growing pains. In fact, we would challenge you to find a business that hasn’t. But when do these growing pains turn into obstacles which are stumping your business growth? It could be a seemingly small issue in your sales pipeline, which without your knowledge is acting as a roadblock to long term, sustainable growth.
In order to break down those barriers and clear the path to continued development, you must understand their root cause.
Let’s identify the most common obstacles which hold businesses back.
Used by almost every small business as a (seemingly) simple way to do things, spreadsheets can end up causing a lot of pain for SME’s looking to grow. Relying on manually entering your sales and business data into spreadsheets leaves significant room for problems and error. Although they can seem like a smart way to start out, as your business grows, spreadsheets can slow down growth.
Firstly, there’s good old-fashioned human error. No matter how much concentration is applied manually entering data almost always leads mistakes, which can cost your business valuable accuracy. On top of this, once data is logged, the storing and sharing of it can cause problems. Perhaps your business is losing track of versions of a spreadsheet, or perhaps teams are spending vital time rummaging through folders for access to important information.
Running up inventory costs
Any inventory business knows the importance of holding the right amount of stock. Holding too much stock is expensive, but there it is just important to ensure you are holding enough stock, in order to avoid disappointing customers.
The problem is many inventory businesses struggle to get it right. This could be due to a lack of good sales data to forecast future demand, or a poor system for tracking which inventory is going where. Whatever causes the problem, the results can be expensive and disappoint customers-two things which you want to eradicate in order to grow.
A disorganised warehouse
Holding too much stock is not only expensive, it also makes accessing your inventory a mission not for the faint-hearted. Overcrowding the stock room is a common problem in small businesses, and once things get disorganised, your warehouse is no longer serving your business properly. For any inventory business, getting stock out the door as fast as possible is at the top of the checklist.
Whether you operate B2C or B2B, building great relationships with your customers is vital for returning business. The most important building block is exceeding expectations- take time to organise your stock room, so you are ready to distribute products as soon as an order is placed.
Poor business intelligence
Business intelligence is a vital part of growth since it allows decisions to be made based on quality and relevant information. When done well, great business intelligence will help you make smart decisions. However, many small businesses rely on digging through old spreadsheets and manually produced sales reports to gather information. The results of this is decisions made on haphazard information, which don’t accurately reflect what your business needs in order to grow. Building a portfolio of accurate and constantly updating business intelligence can help small businesses to overcome many roadblocks. Your business data should be there to accelerate growth, not slow it.
It’s important for small businesses to understand the problems their business is facing, and how to overcome them in order to truly boost growth. To learn more about how Workhorse help small businesses grow with valuable inventory management tools, download our eBook today.