6 Ways You Are Holding Your Business Back -- and What to Do About It

As your business grows, your original road map may not be the best path to success. But letting go of your vision (and control) is not easy.
6 Ways You Are Holding Your Business Back -- and What to Do About It
Image credit: Benedetto Cristofani
Magazine Contributor
4 min read

This story appears in the October 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Launching and growing a business is never easy -- especially when it's time to let go and let others do some of the work. Sometimes, you can actually be holding back your company from growth. So, what do you do if you're the problem? Six entrepreneurs chime in. 

1. Trust your team.

“I used to review each line of copy we put out in the world -- then my team told me I was creating a large bottleneck. I had to learn to tolerate incongruities with the way I think our should come to life and the way it actually does. Today, I see most brand creative when our customers do. It’s not easy, but empowering our team gives me space to think about the brand's evolution.” -- Jeff Raider, co-founder and co-CEO, Harry’s

Related: How This Founder Learned to Trust His Team

2. Listen to your spouse.

“A team and I worked tirelessly to develop a product that lets families securely store photos in the cloud. But when I talked about it, people kept saying they wanted photo books -- and I ignored them. Printed photos? So last century! But my wife, Vanessa, had an epiphany and gave me an ultimatum: Use to make creating photo books completely automatic, or pull the plug. The concept took off, and Vanessa officially joined us as co-founder.” -- Nate Quigley, co-founder and CEO, Chatbooks

3. Accept your flaws.

“A former employee recently told me I was the most demanding person she ever worked for. I thought I was easygoing! I started thinking about the impact I have on others and realized I’m a mix of chaos, compassion, perfectionism and inconsistency -- and I would hate to work for me. Now I employ people who are smarter than I am who can also be the buffer between me and the hard working teamswho make our vision a reality.” -- David Wolfe, co-founder and CEO, Leesa

Related: Why Admitting Your Mistakes Will Make You a Better Leader

4. Forget what you know.

“I come from a B2B product-development background, and when we launched our consumer-­facing beer tap, I wanted to market it by relying heavily on the technical specs. I saw our product as a hardware solution to subpar beer. But when our creative team presented their vision -- including new packaging and brand guidelines -- I realized I had to get out of their way and let them hit that sweet spot. We’re actually selling the experience of delicious drinking, not an answer to some problem on paper.” -- Phil Petracca, co-founder and CEO, Fizzics

5. Loosen up.

“Of a Kind launched in 2010 selling only limited edition designer products. It gave us focus at first, but eventually we felt hemmed in. Our audience was telling us they were interested in nonlimited items and new product categories, but because it didn’t fit the model my cofounder and I had created, we decided they were off-limits for too long. It wasn’t until 2012 that we broke our own rule, but now our business has benefited.” -- Erica Cerulo, co-founder, Of a Kind

Related: 6 Ways to Ask for Help Without Being Embarrassed

6. Ask for help.

“After 20 years in business, I still viewed our insurance company as my baby. As we tried to grow beyond $70 milion in revenue, I was so intent on being involved in everything, I actually slowed down operational efficiencies and business development. We needed people with more experience to help us scale, and in one year we hired three C-level executives and seven directors. Splitting responsibilities and accountability made scaling easier, and our online company ratings jumped 300 percent.” -- Jim Krampen, co-founder, Seven Corners


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