The three fundamental problems all small businesses share

There are Three fundamental problems that all small business owners share. All the challenges that you’re facing in your business are just symptoms of the three fundamental problems (which are the cause). Unless you address the three fundamental problems, the symptoms will keep coming back to plague you.

Here they are:

1) You know what you know, but you don’t know what you don’t know

2) You’re good at what you do but you’re not good at everything

3) You’re small and you have to do it all

You know what you know...

There’s a lot we need to know in business, but we can’t know everything. In business, there are three levels of knowledge:  

1) Things we “need to know”

2) Things we need to “know where to go”

3) Things that are “nice to know”

The problem is, often we get caught up with the “nice to know” stuff and ignore the first two levels. The danger is that our knowledge gaps cause us to make bad decisions and stop us from taking the right actions.

You’re good at what you do...

Being good at what you do is not enough. To thrive, your business needs to develop skills in five key areas: sales, marketing, finances, operations and leadership. Skill gaps in these areas can slow your growth and even cause you to go backwards.  It’s like a basketball team that has a brilliant offensive game, but their defensive game is rubbish.  No matter how good you are on attack, if the opposition can run right through you and score points, you’ll end up at the bottom of the table.

You’re small...

Small businesses don’t have the resources larger businesses do. Things need to get done, regardless of whether we know what to do or if we’re any good at doing them. In small businesses, fewer people have to cover all the bases and it’s often the owner that ends up wearing most of the hats.

This impacts on your business in three important ways:

1) You work too hard

2) You do things badly

3) You drop balls

The new way forward..

How do you overcome these problems? Next month, I’ll tell you about a new breed of small business entrepreneur that takes a new way forward to outcompete the big boys.