Bite-Size Chunks of Wisdom

February 2019

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Every business experiences “growing pains” as it moves from infancy to adolescence and finally, maturity. Whether or not your business grows out of its awkward stage depends — on lots of things — starting with the pain itself.

Some of the growing pains that business owners commonly share with me include:

  • Limited cash flow
  • Insufficient financial reserves
  • Conflicting priorities
  • Leads not converting
  • Challenging and/or difficult employees
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Self-doubt
  • Lack of control of your days, let alone your future
  • Easily getting caught up in the minutia
  • Unrelenting overwhelm

Can you relate? I bet you can. And, in a weird sort of way, isn’t it nice to know you’re not alone? Growing pains are common among small business entrepreneurs. And, like many business owners, you can likely add a few more to the ever-growing list of challenges that come with growing a business.

Underlying Causes of Business Problems

No matter the industry in which your business exists, the challenges are eerily similar. Many of the growing pains that you experience occur as a fallout of any — or all — of these elements:

  • Unfamiliar that growing pains are a common business occurrence
  • Unaware of practical solutions
  • Uncomfortable in speaking openly about your growing pains
  • Desire to sweep them under the rug, ignore them, and hope they will disappear

More specifically, growing pains intensify in force when co-existing with any of these factors:

  • Ad hoc planning.
  • Missing implementation of loosely crafted goals and plans
  • Absent growth strategy
  • Scant revenues
  • Unproven business model
  • Underpricing
  • Poor operational development
  • Roles and responsibilities not clearly defined
  • Missed opportunities
  • Ill-defined marketing and sales funnels
  • Loss of objectivity
  • Excessive optimism when setting expectations and goals

Beyond Band-aids

Would you ever place a band-aid on a gaping wound? Or treat a brain tumor with aspirin? Of course not! Yet, we commonly “treat” the symptoms of our growing pains hoping for a durable resolution.  Although it may relieve immediate pressure, it certainly isn’t sustainable. Under stress, the band-aid pops off and we’re back to square one. It’s just not worth it!

While attempting to grow your business in a silo, we often don’t know what we don’t know. We’re too close to our own situation to see — with any clarity and distinction — the causes of our pain. This is why we’re increasingly advocating for business owners to participate in a mastermind group.

The Solution? Mastermind Groups

Most of us are familiar with mastermind groups. They bring advice, learning, and support to its members, focusing on what’s most important. In fact, they are more vital to today’s business success than ever before.

Facilitated by an experienced small business strategist and coach, discussions tap into the collective knowledge of the group to help you stay ahead of the rapid-fire changes happening in your business. Additionally, bouncing ideas off each other offers solutions that actually work! It’s a perfect sounding board for accelerating your success.

Mastermind groups provide an opportunity to speak candidly in a trusting environment. With complete transparency, there’s no concealing, skirting the issue, or getting around the source of your growing pains.

With expertise from those who have experienced identical growing pains, you can rest assured that countermeasures recommended by your colleagues are guaranteed to bring you relief — and the maintainable result — you’re after much more quickly than if you try to suffer through it yourself.

The sooner you’re able to implement viable solutions to your “growing pains,” the more quickly you’ll experience a less-stressful phase of business growth and development

Ultimately, the trajectory of your business depends on it.


If you’re tired of being a lone-ranger and are considering a mastermind group for your business, consider joining us at Eureka!  Designed exclusively for the small business owner with less than $1M in revenue and/or fewer than 10 employees, conversations are relevant and timely.

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re moving at a mile a minute. With so much to do to run a successful business, and even more to learn, it can be challenging to find time to develop the key strategies to move your business forward. Even if you did have the time, would you know what projects would move your business forward? A business assessment can help identify the business growth and development opportunities in your business. 

A Business Assessment Delivers

There’s more to a business assessment than meets the eye. Some entrepreneurs assume a business assessment points out what’s wrong with their business. Although that’s one perspective, we prefer you use the business assessment as a tool to identify opportunities to grow your business rather than as a weapon against yourself or your business.

More importantly, a business assessment:

  • creates clarity
  • helps you learn
  • allows you to plan
  • promotes strategic use of your time
  • identifies business areas to strengthen
  • provides a foundation for smart business decisions

How to Use a Business Assessment

One of the greatest challenges with running a small business is taking the time to step back from your business in order to objectively evaluate what’s really going on. A business assessment provides the fair and impartial vantage point needed when making sound, strategic decisions about the direction of your business.

Select a business assessment tool that identifies insights for your size business. All you need is to run a google search for “business assessment” and you’ll have a plethora of assessments to choose from. Or, you can download the Core Business Assessment we created for service firms with less than $500,000 in revenue or manufacturing companies with less than $1.5 million in revenue. Even if your business has receipts greater than $500,000, it might be worth conducting the business assessment to uncover any opportunities to shore up your business.

Be truthful when evaluating the condition of your business. Although it’s natural for the always-optimistic entrepreneur to see the current status of their business through rose-covered glasses, it’s really in the best interest of your business to be objective during the business assessment process to get a clear picture of what’s really going on in your business. And, if you’re unable to maintain impartiality, admit it and engage a trusted advisor to assist.

Make note of your progress. Pay special attention to the elements of business development already completed. Give yourself credit for your achievements. Remember, a business assessment is not  to berate yourself but rather to identify the next piece of development that awaits you. Growing a business is an ongoing learning opportunity. Your business assessment helps identify the learning on your horizon.

Identify the next best piece of business development. Although you’re likely to identify several focal points of business development available to you, it’s overwhelming to focus on too many aspects simultaneously. Select the one opportunities you can achieve within the next three months. By remaining focused on “the one thing,” you’ll find it easier to evolve and grow your business while maintaining the business you currently have without adding unnecessary stress to your life.

Repeat the business assessment process quarterly. Building a business assessment practice into your quarterly planning guides you through the growth and development of the essentials needed to grow your business to success that is sustainable and predictable.

A business assessment ensures your business has what it needs to deliver on your goals. It helps you expand and grow your business in a way that is smart and strategic. It provides a solid foundation for making sound decisions.

Most importantly, the real power of a business assessment is the process itself. It’s the time when you put your business on pause, step back from the day-to-day grind of running your business, to objectively evaluate what your business needs to make sure it’s headed in the right direction.

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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