What Is Stopping Your Small Business Success and How to Fix It

Tips for small business success

Why does one aspiring entrepreneur quickly reaches small business success whilst at the same time, another one struggles? Why do some small business owners painfully sweat to set their business up and attract clients while others seem to magically get business without putting much effort into it? Which are you – a struggler or an attractor?

I bet you know immediately which category you fall into, however understanding WHY you are in a specific category and then taking action to change direction is a completely different thing. It’s often hard to take an objective look at yourself and see what you are (or are not) doing that is prohibiting or stalling your success.

This difficulty is often why we hire coaches, therapists or other professionals to help us create change. Outsiders can see things we can’t offer objective advice and tend to help us make strategic changes faster than we would on our own.

In my experience if you are not achieving the small business success that you desire, it could be one of two things (or both of these things); external hurdles and internal hurdles; let me explain these.

Let’s take a look at both of these in more detail, so you get what I mean.

External hurdles

Honestly ask yourself if you are promoting your small business effectively and to the best of your ability. Here are a few simple questions to answer:

I actively participate and engage on social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter

The last time I sent a direct mail piece, made cold calls, or reached out to a new group of people was ___________

The last time I attended a networking event that my target market attends was _______________

The last time I wrote an article or blog posting in a medium my target market reads was __________

The last time I truly pushed myself and got uncomfortable was ___________

I can honestly say that I take at least one marketing action every day. __________

The last time I spoke or did a training session was ____________

The last time I was really out of my comfort zone was when marketing myself was _________

If you’re not super happy with one or more of the above answers, then you only have yourself to blame, and only you can change this around and get small business success.

Internal hurdles

The physical actions you take to market and grow your business are critically important for growth and sustainability. Just as important are some of the intangible aspects to running a small business, your internal beliefs and self talk.

Whether you are doing some or all of the marketing tasks listed above or not your internal flow or energy has everything to do with your results.

Ask yourself these questions to gauge your internal motivations:

My thoughts are constantly recognising my business accomplishments, not the failures _______________________

I believe and trust in myself. I do not tell people I am freelancing between jobs just in case a position opens up somewhere _________________________

I actively pursue personal development opportunities _________________

I feel gratitude and abundance in my life and my business ____________

I am completely, 100% committed to creating a profitable small business. _________________

I KNOW I am successful ___________________

Success often comes from how you are feeling, what you are expecting to happen, and how much “weight” you put on a particular situation. As an example, suppose you bid on a new client project.

After you put your proposal together do you then sit by the phone waiting for it to ring, knowing that if it doesn’t you’re not going to have enough to make your rent this month and feel like the world will come to a screeching halt? If so I’d bet that you’re not going to get the project. Too much thought and emphasis is on what will happen if you don’t get the project rather than if you do.

If it’s true that you need this proposal to pay your rent this month I would submit the proposal, take a congratulatory breath for getting it done and having that opportunity, and then get your butt moving to find another proposal to submit.

If you have several projects in the hopper and know that even if none of them pan out, that the money will come from somewhere and your needs are always met, then something will come through. It always does. Often, small business success all boils down to internal beliefs, thoughts and expectations.


Granted, sometimes the internal stuff can be trickier to uncover than the physical, however recognising them and changing them if necessary is a mandatory step many must take in order to achieve results.

Take an honest look at the results you receive as well as the actions you take. If your actions aren’t congruent with the small business success you desire take a look inside and start really listening to yourself. Something is incongruent somewhere and you have to dig it out to create change.