Do you find yourself drowning in the day-to-day work of your business? Maybe you’re spending all day making sales calls, setting your own appointments, or even cleaning the studio by yourself. Are you unable to grow your business because you don’t feel there are enough hours in the day to run it, much less work on expansion?

It is true that your business can’t grow without hard work. However, there’s a limit to your business’s growth if hard work is the only thing driving it forward. In reality, you need to start working smarter. Instead of doing more and more work within your business, focus on creating systems and processes for how that work is done so that you can scale your results and grow without limits.

Avoid making the mistakes that most entrepreneurs make when first trying to expand their business by steering clear of these four common roadblocks of business growth

1. You Haven’t Documented Your Processes

There are many repeatable processes in your business, such as lead generation, lead nurturing, and hiring and training your team. If the exact instructions for carrying out each of your processes are all in your head, you’ve created a business which depends solely on you. If you’re the only one who knows how to do things the right way the first time (and every time), you can’t delegate anything.

How can you scale if you’re the only one who knows how to run your business?

There’s a simple solution for this. Identify and list every processes you use — even the ones that seem totally obvious (for example, how to reply to a new client enquiry). If you’re a visual person, map it out using a whiteboard or a flowchart tool like Lucidchart.

Then, write a detailed description of each step in one of your processes. Give that process document to other members of your team who are not familiar with it, and have them use it to execute the process to see where they run into issues. The goal is to outline the process so thoroughly that anyone can perform it by reading the step-by-step instructions, without having to stop and ask you questions. If they execute the process and get poor results (or can’t finish without asking for more information), then revise the process until it produces the right results every time.

Then, repeat this method until all the processes that you spend time working on are documented. It may seem tedious, but it’s the key to delegating and producing consistent results. Think about this: If you went on vacation, would your business be able to run without you? Being a slave to your own business is no way to live, and it isn’t an efficient way to scale your company.

2. You’re Stuck Trading Time For Money

Serving more clients = earning more money. It’s simple math, right? When the only way you can grow your business is by doing more work, your business’s growth is directly proportional to the number of hours you put in each week. This is especially true if your business revolves around work only you can do, such as speaking, coaching or consulting. This situation might be bearable for a while, but eventually you will find yourself completely maxed out and unable to take on a single additional customer, bringing your growth rate to a plateau.

The tough reality of this business model is that you’re stuck trading time for dollars — but your time is a finite resource. Even if you can train other team members to develop the same skills and trade their time for money as well, your growth rate will always be dependent on how many people are on the team — meaning that your growth rate will plunge the day that one person decides to move on, and it won’t recover until you’ve taken the time out of your schedule to train a replacement.

If your business functions on a one-to-one basis, growth will be slow and unpredictable. The way around this roadblock? Shift your thinking to a one-to-many model. There are many ways to multiply the number of clients your business is able to serve by creating products and services that are not restrained by the hard limits of your time. For example, you can build a membership site that contains some of your best strategies taught in a series of videos and sell access to an unlimited number of customers. Instead of doing only one-on-one coaching, you can create group coaching workshops or events where you train dozens of clients at once. Only when you shift your thinking away from the one-to-one model to a one-to-many model can you escape the time-for-money trap.

3. You’re Losing Customers As Fast As You Can Gain New Ones

Did you know that it costs seven to 10 times less, on average, to retain customers than it does to acquire new ones? The high cost of attracting new leads and converting them into customers can take a toll on your business’s growth rate if you’re not doing a good job at retention.

If customers are predictably walking in one door then out the other, your growth rate will effectively be zero. The rate at which you lose customers is your “churn rate,” and if it’s too high, it makes it impossible to scale your business.

According to a study done by Bain & Company, increasing your customer retention rates can increase your profit by anywhere from 25% up to 95%, depending on your business model.

If an unacceptably high churn rate is bringing your growth to a standstill, there are a few things you can do to turn things around. First and foremost, take a deep dive into your customer service processes and policies. .

If you have high churn on an informational product, such as a membership site, it may be time to rethink your content release strategy. If customers go through all the content inside your course, why should they continue paying for access?

If you sell one-off service (e.g transformation package), you can increase your customer loyalty by focusing on relevant cross-sells. Customers who have purchased from you at least once are far more likely to purchase again, so make fostering repeat business a part of your marketing strategy.

4. You’re Not Taking The Time To Work On Your Business

It’s important that you set aside time to work ON your business. It may feel like a luxury you can’t afford because you’re too busy, but it’s not a luxury; it’s a necessity. If you want to grow, you must allocate time to focus on navigating around each of these roadblocks.

The solution? Set aside a few hours a week to think about what it will take to grow your business and accomplish the action items above. This is tough at first as it requires focus and critical thinking. Don’t just think day-to-day tasks; think strategy. How are you going to get to where you want to be?

Creating a focus day is one of the best ways to do this. Schedule a block of time on your calendar and let the team know in advance that you will be unavailable during those hours. Treat it as you would any other meeting or obligation on your calendar, and use that time to focus on the project that will remove the limits from your business’s growth.

It may be tempting to reply to emails or questions from your team during this time — don’t do it! If you ever hope to create a business that is truly scalable, you and your team must get used to consistent delegation of responsibility and time management.