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What Internal Barriers Limit Your Business Success? - Column #204

Marcus Straub
       Marcus Straub

If you’re like most business owners and managers, you strive to keep your operations running smoothly and efficiently with as few interruptions to the flow of business as possible. Developing a bigger picture awareness of operations is vital to preventing or removing any blockages limiting success and happiness.

Internal barriers or blockages to business success come in many forms: ineffective hiring practices, bad management, poor on-boarding and training, a lack of teamwork, negative culture and team members whose lack of desire and bad attitude prevent them from performing at consistently high levels. There are also less than effective systems and procedures, poor customer service, inconsistent quality of products and team members who lack the skills and behaviors necessary to communicate effectively. These are just some of the common blockages owners and managers must identify and eliminate to improve business performance and achieve success.

How aware are you of internal conditions limiting your operations? If you’re not mindful of blockages, your lack of awareness will prevent you from addressing them at all. Is this really a viable option if you want your business to stand out in the marketplace?

If you are aware of blockages in your business, then you’re positioned to take the critical next step of understanding what they are, where and why they exist and how much they cost you in real terms.

To clarify how to identify and eliminate potential blockages keeping your business from optimal levels of performance and success, let’s look at a few common culprits:

Attitude: While skills can be taught to those who want to learn, attitude is a different beast altogether. Although many are hired for their talents, it’s their attitudes and resulting behaviors that determine if they’re a blockage or asset in your business. Team members might be qualified to perform their jobs at a high level. But if they bring a consistently negative attitude to the workplace, their performance will be less than their best and invariably they’ll disrupt operations in multiple ways. Negativity and bad attitudes are a serious virus you can’t allow to spread throughout your company culture.

Communication: Poor or ineffective communication is a primary, and often times leading, barrier to businesses success. For this reason, effective communication that accurately conveys information, images, objectives, feelings and desires so all parties are on a similar, if not the same, page must be highly valued and strongly encouraged. Clear and specific communication allows people and systems to work together seamlessly for superior results.

Talents and skills: All members of a professional team must possess the basic skills necessary to perform their jobs. If not, they’ll hinder the smooth and efficient operations of the business. While a person lacking necessary skills could constitute a good hire, they must compensate for that with a good attitude and strong desire to learn and grow. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time, effort and money to bring them on.

Desire: A lack of desire means team members don’t care enough to deliver superior job performance. When people don’t care, they also lack commitment and loyalty and are less efficient and productive. These team members will consistently produce lesser quality products and services, resulting in unsatisfied customers. Just one team member can hurt the overall positive efforts of an entire team. They have a dampening effect on team morale and damage the work environment. When an owner or manager tolerates this type of attitude, they lose credibility with the rest of the team.

Think of blockages in terms of a traffic jam. Progress and efficiency grinds to a halt. Frustration grows, tempers flare and everyone starts looking out for themselves. Errors increase, accidents occur and the blockage only grows worse. Once you’re through the traffic jam, all of these things are reversed and you experience feelings of relief and satisfaction as you’re free to continue down the road to success and happiness.

Not effectively addressing blockages in your business only compounds the situations limiting overall performance. Explore your business to see what blockages you can discover. Consider hiring a qualified professional to assist you in identifying and eliminating blockages in your business for good.

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