What are your greatest weaknesses? Remember, back in the days before you ran your own business and you were asked that question during a job interview? You hated that question then, and you probably hate answering it now. But if you want to grow your business, you have to know where you’re falling short.
Here’s how to see your weaknesses for what they are and make them strengths:
Stop being a jack-of-all-trades
In the early stages of a business, entrepreneurs often try to do everything themselves. Maybe you’re not a numbers person but you’re doing the bookkeeping. Why? If you know math isn’t one of your strengths, do the right thing for your business. Delegate the accounts to someone who loves number crunching. Find a way to eliminate the stuff you’re not good at (and by doing, makes your day less enjoyable). A common success principle is to spend 80% of your time working with your strengths and only 20% on your weaknesses.
Exploit your failings
It may seem counter-intuitive, but one of the most powerful ways you can transform a business weakness is to expose it. Be totally upfront about it, and then turn it on its head. Perhaps your company has been criticized for slow service. In this fast-paced world, most companies emphasize speed. Find a way to make slow the new fast. Let everyone know your customers shouldn’t come to you for speedy service — and why your turtle-like pace is actually a virtue. Your company takes longer than others because you spend time with your clients and provide attentive customer care. Your big weakness is now a selling feature.
Evaluate the impact of your weaknesses
How do you know when a weakness is just that — and when it’s truly harmful to your business? You can assess the impact of any weakness by listing your weaknesses and rating their impact. What poses the greatest threat to your business? How will you turn your weaknesses into strengths?
Thinking about your drawbacks and how they impact your business doesn’t have to be a downer. In fact, taking an honest look can only open up the pathway to greater success.
How will you use your business weaknesses to your advantage?
Discover the secret sauce for small business success
With so many ingredients that go into a successful small business, it can be hard to nail down the right recipe for you. We've hand-selected contributors from various backgrounds who specialize in different aspects of business to share their best advice.