This is a favorite question of mine when meeting with potential clients after they express the inevitable frustration that comes with unmet goals or lackluster performance. The answer is often “the economy.”
This reveals a particular blind spot amongst many entrepreneurs and executives. When I delve deeper into their competitive situations, more often than not, I learn that the potential client has competitors who are doing rather well in spite of the economy.
The implication is that, if one or more competitors can thrive, the prospect should also have the ability to do better. While it is true that the opportunity to thrive does exist, the ability to outpace the competition often boils down to the willingness of management to change. This is where the blind spots are often revealed. As a business coach, it is easy for me to see. The challenge then becomes getting the client to recognize those blind spots.
You see, it is quite often the entrepreneur or executive him/herself who is standing in the way. Or, more specifically, it is their failure to see beyond the obvious challenge and identify opportunities for them to gain market share or to improve margins. Don’t get me wrong. One can’t simply pretend the economy isn’t a huge challenge for Americans. It is, but it doesn’t have to end there.
It is disturbing how many business people are simply hunkering down and waiting for customers to start spending again. They don’t allow for the possibility that they can take proactive measures toward improved performance. They know there is nothing more they can do!
I recently had a solo entrepreneur tell me that there was absolutely nothing under the sun that he could do differently to increase revenues. He had been stagnant for three full years and was proud of his loyal customer base. He didn’t allow for the possibility that he had overlooked opportunities to upsell to those customers and that his direct competitors had all increased their market share. It wasn’t until we got deep into the discussion that it dawned on him that he had completely overlooked some key opportunities and that he had been standing in his own way!
If you have an uneasy feeling that you too might be standing in your own way, contact us now for a free initial consultation so that you can go beyond survival mode and actually thrive!