The road that my family lives on is a thoroughfare from one side of town to the other and is, consequently, very busy. We were aware of that fact when we bought our house, but the high volume of traffic does become annoying and worrisome at times. About 4 months ago, that all changed.
You see, one end of the street has been completely blocked off since that time. Traffic has decreased considerably: enough, in fact, that my little boy can ride his bike on the side of the road without my worrying about him too much.
So what caused this roadblock and the decreased traffic? A sinkhole. The road runs over a culvert, and somehow, a portion of the asphalt caved in, leaving the road with a gaping hole — totally unsafe for traffic.
While this sinkhole has actually had some benefits for the residents of our street, sinkholes in a small business can be devastating. Just like running into that sinkhole would wreck a car, ignoring sinkholes in our small businesses can do permanent damage.
The following are some common small business sinkholes:
1. Analysis Paralysis
I mention this sinkhole first because it is my worst enemy. Analysis paralysis is over-thinking, over-planning, and over-obsessing about something rather than taking action, thus “paralyzing” the task.
This sinkhole might be affecting you if you have lofty plans for your business, but you spend so much time brainstorming and planning that you never accomplish your goals.
2. Wasted Time
Perhaps you’re addicted to Twitter, or your Facebook habit has become overpowering, or you obsess over every blog post you write. While each of these has its benefits, too much time spent on any one social media venue can keep you from tasks that need to be accomplished.
Whether it be caused by few sales or harsh, unkind customers, discouragement sucks the life out of a small business owner, hindering that much-needed momentum.
4. Jealousy at the Success of Others
This sinkhole goes along with discouragement, because seeing the success of others while you wait for success to reach you can definitely be discouraging.
Whether it be a fabulous business blogger, a prolific Twitter user, or that business owner with the drool-worthy Facebook fan page, there is always going to be someone better than you at something. It’s just a part of life. Rather than being jealous, though, look for areas where you can learn from those people. Reach out and contact them, praising them for a job well done. Perhaps you excel at something that they are lacking in. Offer to help if you can.
If nothing else, you could become those people’s biggest cheerleader. Look for ways to be kind and helpful. You never know when what goes around will come around. :)
Now over to you. What sinkholes do you experience in your small business? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.