Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with Barry Moltz gets business owners growing again by unlocking their long forgotten potential. With decades of entrepreneurial experience in his own business ventures as well as consulting countless other entrepreneurs, Barry has discovered the formula to get stuck business owners unstuck and marching forward. After successfully selling his last operating business, Barry has branched out into a number of entrepreneurship-related activities. He founded an angel investor group, an angel fund, and is a former advisory member of the board of the Angel Capital Education Foundation. Barry’s fifth book “How to Get Unstuck: 25 Ways to Get Your Business Growing Again” is currently available on Amazon. For more information, visit: www.barrymoltz.com.
SmallBizLady: WHAT KEEPS MOST SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS STUCK IN THE SAME PLACE?
For many small business owners, running a company isn’t what they thought it would be like. They have enough success to keep going, but not enough to actually build a real company. There are always worried about cash flow & replacing employees who always seem to quit or get fired. And, they feel like they’re on the hamster wheel – expending too much energy = burnout.
SmallBizLady: WHAT DO SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS TYPICALLY DO TO TRY TO FIX THIS?
They try to work harder and longer hours but get marginally better results. They look for a magic bullet that will take them to take it to the next level- a new consultant, customer or employee. Unfortunately, that brave knight on a white horse never seems to come. They never truly commit to the small changes that will get them unstuck, moving forward.
SmallBizLady: WHICH ARE THE MOST COMMON AREAS WHERE SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS GET STUCK?
6 major areas:
- sales and marketing
- management and leadership
- social media
- customer service
Small business owners may be good at a few of these but not all of them.
SmallBizLady: WHAT ARE SOME MAJOR EXAMPLES OF HOW SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS GET STUCK?
Treating their business like a job and not making any the investments to building a stronger business. They say yes too quickly to whatever customers want. Small business then drifts from the original focus. Thinking the latest windfall will last forever. Becoming sure they have the “Midas Touch” by surrounding themselves with “yes” people who tell them how great they are no matter what happens. Letting today’s “emergencies” dictate. And, multitasking, they allow constant interruptions by people and smartphones which means they don’t get as much done.
SmallBizLady: WHAT CAN SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS DO TO GET UNSTUCK?
Develop a sales and marketing system that always keeps the pipeline full. Invest in the right team – People plus profit = Profit. Take a break! Don’t fear falling behind or missing an opportunity if you go away for a long weekend. Try not to measure success by being busy, instead: be productive. Take calculated actions. Stop calling or emailing big customer opportunities that never reply.
SmallBizLady: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST MARKETING MISTAKES SMALL BUSINESS MAKE?
They are marketing in places where customers can’t find when they are looking to buy. Their business never gets into the “maybe pile” – never has a chance of getting chosen by the customer. Their fear of rejection stops them from selling. They are afraid of the word “no.”
They avoid sales and hire inexperienced staff. And, they stop marketing as soon as revenue increases.
SmallBizLady: WHAT ARE SOME OF BIGGEST MISTAKES SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS MAKE WHEN DEALING WITH EMPLOYEES?
Hiring weak employees. They’re afraid of people knowing more than they do making them look bad. Allowing lousy employees to overstay their welcome. Be slow to hire and quick to fire. They hire for skills, not attitude, in a rush to hire anyone to fill a job. Make sure your new hire fits into your culture.
SmallBizLady: HOW DO EGO AND INSECURITY AFFECT SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS?
Small business owners are always telling employees what to do because they are “the Boss” and think being the boss means ordering people around and threatening them if it does not get done. They never ask for help and believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Additionally, the thought is small business ownership is a solo sport and are the biggest “I” in “team.”
SmallBizLady: WHAT IS THE BIGGEST FINANCIAL MISTAKE SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS MAKE?
- They don’t know how to read their financial statements:
- Learn how to read financial statements
- They never review them or ask for help to understand what they mean for their business
- As a result, small business owners often make business decisions blindly
- This leads to borrowing and spending based on expected results, which gets them into more debt
SmallBizLady: HOW SHOULD SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS THINK ABOUT FAILURE?
Small business owners are afraid of being a failure, so they don’t know when to quit or admit it’s over. Typically, they stop taking risks. And as a result, they keep going, despite increasingly low chances of success.
SmallBizLady: TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW BOOK?
It’s called Small Business Hacks: 100 Shortcuts to Success with @Rieva. It’s a cheat sheet for all the things small business owners will encounter but don’t know how to do. We give the answer in 7 steps or less.
SmallBizLady: WHEN IS IT AVAILABLE?
Jan 2018 – but if you want to get one free early, email me at Barry@moltz.com
If you found this interview helpful, join us on Wednesdays 8-9 pm ET; follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter.
Here’s how to participate in #SmallBizChat: http://bit.ly/1hZeIlz