A bottleneck is a limiting factor. What (or who) is the biggest limiting factor in your business’s growth and success?
One way to spot a bottleneck is to ask yourself, If I could have more of any one thing to expand my business, what would it be?
- It could be more prospective customers walking into your store, in which case your lead generation activities are your biggest bottleneck.
- It could be more salespeople to process and close all the leads you already have, meaning your lack of trained sales staff is your biggest bottleneck.
- Or it could be more production capacity to handle more business in a quality manner, in which case your current production capacity is your biggest bottleneck.
After you determine your biggest bottleneck, you can focus on suppressing that limiting factor so it no longer limits your business. One way to look at it is to consider growing your business a game of continually finding and pushing back bottlenecks.
Eventually, you need to build the systems, team, technology, and outsourced solutions to help you push back your bottlenecks over the long-term.
By the way, do you know what the single most overlooked bottleneck is in most entrepreneurial companies? It’s you!
Look at your business. What are your company’s bottlenecks?
- Is it finding new prospective clients?
- Is it processing those leads and converting them into paying clients?
- Is it fulfilling the product or service you just sold? Are you the bottleneck? Is your limited amount of inventory or manufacturing capacity? Your fulfillment systems? Your technicians, consultants, or “doers”?
- Is it handling the general administration of the business?
- Is it the lack of talent or team members? You’re in desperate need of talented people but lack the pool of talent to select from? You lack the systems to sort and effectively hire the right people? You lack the systems and resources to effectively handle a larger team?
- Is it effectively managing the financial part of your business? Are you effectively tracking your financial performance? Are you efficiently and effectively managing your cash flow? Are you effectively managing your use of debt?
- Is it that you don’t have a clear and unified vision and big-picture strategy for your company? Is it that you have internal conflicts and competing priorities from the top on down? Is it that you lack a coherent strategy and clear goals to work toward as a business?
After you’ve identified your company’s biggest bottlenecks, find ways to push past them.
David Finkel is the best-selling author of more than 40 books and courses, including The Maui Millionaires for Business. He is a successful business owner who has bought, built, and sold several multimillion companies over the past 10 years. To learn more about his tools for business owners, visit him on the Web at Maui Millionaires.