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5 Unsuspecting Pitfalls That Could Be Sabotaging Your Business

What’s the best way to overcome these menacing marauders of success? Becoming aware of them. Take a moment to consider whether any of these behaviors might be hindering your business from reaching new heights.

If you don’t know what success looks like, how will you ever know if you’ve achieved it? Failing to have a business strategy or set clear, measurable goals makes it nearly impossible to focus your resources on the activities and processes that drive results. Research shows that those who set goals are more likely to succeed, especially when they are specific and tied to a larger group objective.[1] Taking the time to strategize is also key to weathering uncertainty and market volatility, which has been especially true in a year like 2022. Those without a plan are forced to react when the market shifts, while those who anticipate change are better positioned to survive and adapt when demand is down.

Do you consider yourself a “lone wolf?” No matter how talented you are, trying to do everything yourself puts you on a fast track to experiencing burnout. Relying on others frees you up to focus on your strengths instead of getting bogged down by your weaknesses or tasks that require too much of your time. Whether it’s outsourcing your marketing, hiring someone to handle administrative tasks, or teaming up with colleagues or referral partners to strengthen your services, you’ll ultimately benefit from allowing people with different skills and perspectives to contribute to your business. Bottom line: Don’t be afraid to ask for help, even when you think you don’t need it.

There’s a reason companies like Starbucks are so successful. No matter where you are in the country, you can expect the same cup of coffee every time you order a Starbucks. It’s consistent, repeatable, and predictable. Inconsistencies in your customer experience will lead to higher attrition rates, so it’s critical to provide the same level of service with each transaction. According to a McKinsey study, creating a consistent customer journey can increase customer satisfaction by 20% and boost revenues by 15%.[2]

Think about how clients move through the buying cycle with you. Do you have a standardized process for communicating with them at key milestones? If you get a repeat customer, will they have the same (or better) experience as they did before? Also, consider your brand image. Is it identical across all platforms? Does it accurately reflect how you do business? If your website lists one of your brand values as putting customers first, but you rarely listen to and incorporate client feedback, customers will notice. Inconsistency erodes trust, while consistency and authenticity cultivate customer loyalty.

Speaking of brand image, when was the last time you evaluated your online presence? The internet is the first place consumers go to inform their buying decisions, so if customers can’t find you online, or if they come across your website that hasn’t been updated in 10 years, you’re probably losing business. Invest in things like building a mobile-friendly website, creating content that boosts your search engine optimization (SEO), posting regularly on social media to increase your organic reach, and collecting quality online reviews. Of course, this is an area where you definitely should ask for help, and the payoff is well worth it.

It may seem counterintuitive, but casting a wide net is not the most effective way to broaden your client base. You’ll expend more time and resources weeding through unqualified leads, rather than working with prospects who have a high potential to convert. An ideal customer is someone who benefits the most from your services and will provide the greatest value to your business. In other words, they’re likely to buy and remain loyal after the sale. The more specific you can be about the types of customers you want to work with, the more effective you’ll be at targeting and reaching the right clients.


We all fall victim to self-limiting beliefs and behaviors from time to time, but you’re not powerless to change them. Recognizing the practices (intentional or unintentional) that are holding you back will empower you to overcome them and achieve the success you’re capable of.



[1] Journal of Applied Psychology, “The effect of goal setting on group performance: a meta-analysis,” 2011.

[2] McKinsey & Co, “The three Cs of customer satisfaction: Consistency, consistency, consistency,” 2014.


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