How to avoid the roadblocks to growth that have challenged countless companies? It’s an issue that’s given every CEO more than a few sleepless nights.

In 25 years as a business owner, MB founder and CEO Steve Klein has helped hundreds of clients achieve their sales goals and boost their bottom lines. In that time, he’s learned a lot about why successful companies consistently hit their growth targets and unsuccessful firms don’t. In Klein’s view, here are the eight biggest obstacles to growing a business, and what companies can do to overcome them:

Lack of a Simple, Achievable Growth Objective

Too many companies are content to drift along with no clear direction, Klein says. Consequently, their employees lack a sense of purpose and don’t feel invested in their work. “The company can’t even tell you, ‘We want to grow 10 per cent this year.’ Teams without an objective are teams with no context; they don’t have a foundation for success.”

A company must clearly articulate its goals to its staff, he says, adding that those goals must be simple and easy to understand, yet still challenging enough to inspire a workforce to strive for more. SMART Goals, for example, are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Klein suggests holding regular retreats, podcasts, or webinars, where employees and management get together to discuss the business’s short- and long-term objectives, and what each person can do to help make them happen.

Communication Breakdowns

Too often, the CEO knows what his or her objectives are – but everyone else in the company is in the dark. “The people doing the work, they’ve got no idea what the CEO’s goals are because he or she hasn’t communicated them. Most of us are terrible at communicating our goals,” Klein says.

His advice? Make sure your staff know exactly what you want the company to achieve. Klein is a big fan of the Scudamore huddle – a short, intense, daily meeting popularized by 1-800-GOT-JUNK founder Brian Scudamore. The entire workforce attends, “huddling up” for seven minutes each day to discuss company news, share sales numbers and other metrics, and get up to speed on where the business is heading. Klei