Top 5 management issues in small businesses

by Jul 4, 2016Management

The benefit of being the ‘external Maui Business Consultant’, is most of all to NOT be emotionally tied to a small business’ vision and management techniques. It gives me the ability to see the broader picture, and mostly the things business owners are refusing to see, as it is too painful for them to go through the “purifying process” called change.

Change is a tough experience of transformation and most of us are scared of it, because it involves clearing behavioral patterns (often trans-generational), and many power struggles and corrupted needs accepted as reality.

From that external position, I am able to observe those recurring patterns I called top 5 issues, happening in most projects I worked with as Maui Business Consultant, but also in different European and Asian countries.

My goal is to gently support open-minded business owners in that hardcore transformation process, but also to be firm with them regarding the different ways their resistance mechanism could trick the process in order to avoid the necessary change; blame, doubts, self-sabotage, mental projections, lack of confidence, changing their minds about the goals, and so on… those are my enemies and they are finding their energy in the following top 5 issues.

Laurent Zahnd

Laurent Zahnd

Maui Business Consultant @ 3 deep breaths LLC

" I love to support open-minded business owners with creative ideas and productivity tools "

“Holding space for such transformations to happen in the management patterns is not an easy task. Ego is battling for the survival of the old paradigm, deeply affecting the ability for the leadership to be harmonious; totally sabotaging the Business growth potential.”

Lack of Mission - Maui Business Consultant
—01 Lack of Mission

It is like a ship cruising without destination, it is not sinking just because of the intense energy the management’s Ego is wasting to keep control of it.

It will sink as soon as the management will have an issue and stop putting so much energy into it. The crew is just on the ship because they can’t go anywhere else, so they are just pretending to do stuff to please the management, deeply knowing that there is a big problem in different areas of the business, but saying nothing to not upset the boss and risk their job.

After disengaging their energy from this craziness, they are just half-present and won’t give their life to save the ship. In case of any danger they will save their own butt first.

Especially as a conscious Maui Business Consultant, I came to know that it doesn’t only apply to Business, but to all the different aspects of life; love, friendship, independence, self-growth, accountability, and much more.


To help my partners understand what I am going for – being Maui Business Consultant – I have to communicate my Mission: “3 deep breaths is an agency offering creative services for businesses and non-profits in the areas of management, marketing and events. We are a team of experienced freelancers mostly active online, and we develop partnerships & markets on 3 continents; America, Europe and Asia.”


—02 No Customer Profiles

It is the common cliché for many businesses to target the largest possible crowd and say that “our product/service is designed for everyone in the World”.

It is the greatest way to waste countless marketing resources.

Marketing is about finding out who are the segments of population needing the product/service you offer to solve a problem in their life. How can you define a specific strategy to reach out to your customers without knowing what they do in their lives? How can you know which market is the most profitable one to focus on, without diligently gathering factual data and validation from your potential customers?

If you aren’t able to define who your customers are and what they do in their life aside of buying from you, then in my mind; you are not customer oriented, nor connecting to your customers’ emotions, which is key when you want them to give away their money or personal data.


My Customer profile for my Maui Business Consultant activity is:
-Small Business Owners with at least 3-5 employees
-Male, 35-55 years old
-Business operating on Maui Island for at least 3 years
-At least $250k/year
-Located within 15miles from Kahului-Maui

And then it’s crucial to refine the profile, in order to identify appropriate marketing channels to reach those people and find stellar partnerships with businesses already in touch with them!
-they have kids, probably at a private school if they are successful,
-they probably go to the Gym or do some physical activity to stay on top,
-they are probably part of some kind of entrepreneur club or association,
-they probably shop in healthy and/or classy stores
… and so on, the more imagination based on facts, the more creative ways to reach your targets, and more chances to get noticed in the ocean of solicitations.

No Customer Profiles - Maui Business Consultant

“My ally for transmutation is team building with a safe group container to hold space for everyone to seamlessly go through painful self-awareness processes. It is essential to support each other and create a strong bond based on emotional connection, empathy, breath and common Mission.”

Absence of Marketing Strategy - Maui Business Consultant
—03 Absence of Marketing Strategy

You have a running business, and you know it took you efforts to get there, but you are not clear at all about the very details of how it did happen.

Who exactly are your customers? And what are the most efficient marketing actions that you executed in the past? Without knowing those basics, how can you possibly know what to do to grow your business in the most efficient way?

The common response to your Maui Business Consultant is that; “you don’t care because you have many ideas and you have a good instinct.” Well yeah, but that is not a strategy, and nobody in the team can really get involved in that awaken dream of yours. The risk is that you will end up lonely, experimenting and experimenting new ideas, without any valid process you and your team can rely on to create repeatable success.


My Marketing strategy for this month is:
-Nurturing my leads with benefits of e-commerce in a special e-mailing campaign
-Promoting e-commerce monthly rental including ongoing SEO content and maintenance; ‘we own all the different problems, you keep the growing sales’
-Getting out for 2 social gatherings of entrepreneurs
-Publishing a free e-book offering information about e-commerce components and pricing
-Optimizing my website conversions by offering the e-book using a pop-up e-mail signup form with A/B testing
-Improving my SEO ranking for the keywords ‘Maui Business Consultant’ and ‘Maui Webdesign’ by publishing 2 blog articles

I am now writing a 6 pages e-book for my clients, with simple tools and techniques to avoid those 5 issues.

Would you like to get it for free when I’ll be done writing it? Just sign-up using this form!

9 + 11 =

—04 Goals that are not S.M.A.R.T.

S.M.A.R.T. means goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable and time bound. Usually the goals I see are all but that, and therefor nobody is able to achieve them, …EVER!

When you set a goal that is too general, you are not giving your team members real clarity about what we are going for and how we are going to process. Not being specific enough is just going to give you what you can expect; vague results. Now imagine your goals setting based on a dream vision, nothing in your Goal is measurable, it’s all about being the best in the World and dadida. How do you factually know when you’ll reach your goal? If you can’t, then your Goals aren’t achievable Goals, they are just a mental masturbation.

Are you frequently underestimating the amount of work and deadlines? The result is repeated failure to achieve goals, generating a complete loss of motivation from your team. Being realistic is a major problem for dreamers-entrepreneurs. Ask yourself if people with your resources and skills are achieving such type of goal every day. If not, what makes you think that you are better?


My Goals for this week are:
-Spend 2hrs both on Tuesday and Thursday evening to finish and publish this blog article, using my WordPress Blog Post editor.
-Before Friday at noon, I will call 3 of my top leads on the phone during Business hours, and ask them what their most important need is at the moment. I will then use my resources and toolbox to provide a free advice and promote the benefits of my monthly plans. I will repeat that information in a follow-up e-mail on the same day, offering an extra discount for one of the 3rd party services I’m affiliated with.

Goals that are not S.M.A.R.T. - Maui Business Consultant


Poor Emotional Leadership - Maui Business Consultant
—05 Poor Emotional Leadership

The so-called ‘Spirit of your Business” is a reflection of your own spirit. What is the purpose of your business; money making or benefit for the community? Are you open-hearted or controlling? Do you care about people or are they just targets? Are you having fun with your employees or just controlling them?

From my experience, all those responses deeply impact your ability to run your business with ease and lightheartedness; deeply impacting the potential of all your interactions with your team, your customers and your partners.

Being a controlling person will make you miss countless opportunities, most of them due to your unpleasant interactions with people. Who wants to be used? People aren’t dumb, they like to be included, respected and valued, just like you do.


A way to use Emotional Intelligence (intro about the subject here), will be to develop a way of creating connection within your team.

A really simple exercise with tremendous connection results is to implement a daily appreciation break. For 10 minutes, all co-workers would walk around the room and connect with others, simply saying: “what I appreciate in you is ….” and the other person just responds “thank you”, then they go to the next person. Or we can do it in circle so everyone has to appreciate everyone, but that is more once the group feels a little more connected, to not add pressure in an already broken or unstable group.

The Maui Business Consultant :

Laurent Zahnd

Maui Business Consultant @ 3 deep breaths


” I love to support open-minded business owners with creative ideas and productivity tools “

Maui Business Consultant - Emotional Intelligence Coaching

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