I wish I had a simple answer to this challenging problem.
This Globe and Mail article, How to unlock bottlenecks in your business, by Chris Griffiths provides some clues, making the point:
Sales is where your bottleneck should be, and this is probably where you think your bottleneck is, but I doubt it. Most small business owners are so focused on where the next sale or new customer is going to come from that overlook the internal bottlenecks that are constraining their ability to maximize the customer demand they already have.
I understand that you can’t save marketing investments until the day you run out of orders – it’s a continuous activity. But the priority and investment that marketing requires may not be lining up with what is really holding your company back.
Today’s problem is more likely internal bottlenecks. Cash flow is always the big one, but never the only one.
Sit with your team and ask for insights on what kept them or the business from generating more revenue today. What can you do differently tomorrow?
Without recognition and an outspoken discussion about even minor bottlenecks in your entire business systems, you may be investing efforts in the wrong places – possibly even creating opportunities and possibilities that can’t be fully realized until you free up the slowest moving part of your business.
Make finding and unblocking bottlenecks in your business a daily activity and you’ll discover the true low-hanging fruit in your business, which is sure to get prioritized results at the lowest cost.
Where are your own bottlenecks, and have you been able to solve them?