10 Biggest Bottlenecks That Keep Your Business from Growing

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Image of author

Sindri Tomasson

Sindri Tomasson

Jun 14, 2024

Table of Contents

  1. What Is a Bottleneck?

  2. Different Types of Bottlenecks

  3. Pro Tip: How Well Are Your Marketing KPIs Performing?

  4. 10 Common Bottlenecks That Keep Your Business from Growing

  5. Identify and Overcome Bottlenecks in Business Today

What Is a Bottleneck?

Imagine pouring water into a pipe and expecting it to flow smoothly out the other side. Ideally, you’d want every drop you put in to come out, right? In business, it’s much the same – but the reality is that most businesses only see a fraction of what they put into their operations coming out as successful results.

Bottlenecks in business act like clogs in that pipe, slowing down day-to-day production and hampering overall efficiency. These bottlenecks can arise from two primary sources: increased demand or inherent inefficiencies.

For example, if one of your departments is led by someone who struggles to get things done, that person becomes a significant bottleneck. Their inefficiency will ripple through the entire business, slowing down progress and productivity.

According to experts, 58% of bottlenecks are due to inefficiencies within the workflow, while 42% result from increased demand that the current systems can’t handle.

Different Types of Bottlenecks

  1. The Owner: Resistance to change can create bottlenecks.

  2. Leadership: Lack of empathetic leadership can hinder progress.

  3. Growing Sales Team: An understaffed or unskilled sales team can slow growth.

  4. Training and Development: Insufficient training can result in inefficiencies.

  5. Operational Processes: Inefficient workflows can cause delays.

  6. Systems and Technology: Not leveraging technology effectively can be a bottleneck.

  7. In-House Capacity: Overloading employees without knowing capacity limits can create bottlenecks.

  8. Productivity: Not using productivity tools can hinder growth.

  9. New Business Mechanisms: New processes need thorough review before implementation.

Pro Tip: How Well Are Your Marketing KPIs Performing?

Monitoring your marketing KPIs is crucial for understanding how your efforts translate into results. With Databox's Monthly Marketing Performance Dashboard, you can track:

  • Website sessions, new users, and new leads

  • Lead generation vs. goals

  • Overall marketing performance metrics

  • Email response effectiveness

  • Blog post traffic

  • New contacts by source

  • Visits and contacts by source

Contact us today to see how your business can easily implement good systems


10 Common Bottlenecks That Keep Your Business from Growing

Here are ten impactful bottlenecks businesses face and how to overcome them:

  1. Learning to Be a Leader Effective leadership requires continuous learning and adaptation. Kevin McGuire from Metro Precision Painting shares that becoming a great leader involves reading leadership books, seeking mentorship, and planning weekly staff meetings with clear goals.

  2. Learning to Delegate Proper delegation involves identifying the right person for the job and communicating tasks clearly. Zeitholz’s Sam Santa emphasizes the importance of entrusting responsibilities to maintain operational efficiency and foster a healthy work culture.

  3. Lack of Process Not having well-defined processes can slow down operations. Sasha Matviienko of Citadel suggests standardizing workflows to train employees better and streamline efforts, ensuring consistent quality in service delivery.

  4. Unclear Communication Effective communication is critical. Adam Stoker from Relic highlights the importance of implementing training guides and documenting processes to ensure smooth transitions and maintain productivity.

  5. Failure to Acknowledge Problems Recognizing and addressing issues promptly is vital. Krista Haws from Dripped Coffee points out that denial of failing processes can hinder growth. Regularly review and adapt processes based on team feedback.

  6. Lack of Employee Training Comprehensive training programs are essential. Steve Anevski from UpShift Work underscores the importance of setting clear expectations, classifying supervisors, and maintaining open communication channels to improve customer satisfaction and revenue.

  7. Shortage of Staff Addressing staffing shortages through personal outreach and offering strong benefits is crucial. Joris Zantvoort from FishingBooker explains how recruiting skilled developers can help implement new initiatives and maintain growth.

  8. Spikes in Workload Managing workload spikes by prioritizing tasks and balancing responsibilities among team members can prevent burnout. Mladen Maksic from Play Media shares how they handle increased client demands while training junior team members.

  9. Scaling Operations with Increased Sales Andy Hoek from Invalshoek.nl emphasizes the need to improve processes and hire the right people to manage growing operations and maintain service quality.

  10. Scaling Online Presence Ensuring your website can handle increased traffic is essential. Ben Thomson from Organik Web advises having a scalable website core to match your business’s growth, preventing poor user experiences.

Identify and Overcome Bottlenecks in Business Today

Identifying and addressing bottlenecks is crucial for business growth. Use tools like dojaOS' dashboards to monitor progress and spot issues early. By staying vigilant and proactive, you can ensure smooth operations and sustained growth.


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