Playing now

Playing now

Entrepreneurs, are you a threat to your own business?

Back to search results

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?


Small business survival toolkit

Get your free guide, business plan template, and cash flow forecast template to help you run your business and achieve your goals.

Download your free toolkit

Subscribe to our Sage Advice Newsletter

Get our latest business advice delivered directly to your inbox.

Ask the author a question or share your advice

When you leave a comment on this article, please note that if approved, it will be publicly available and visible at the bottom of the article on this blog. While your email address will not be publicly available, we will collect, store and use it, along with any other personal data you provide as part of your comment, to respond to your queries offline, provide you with customer support and send you information about our products and services as requested.  For more information on how Sage uses and looks after your personal data and the data protection rights you have, please read our Privacy Policy.

Sage Advice Logo