Every business, regardless of their level of success, has barriers in place which restricts it from achieving that next level of prosperity. All businesses know these barriers are there but some of these hurdles are easier to identify than others. For instance, a distribution company may easily identify that the current amount of space available in their warehouse will not be large enough for the growth and development the owners envision for the company. This is easy to see, spot, touch and feel. However, that same company may look at the warehouse size as their largest hurdle for growth. This may not necessarily be the key barrier or hurdle in place. Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying, "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them," therefore, not only is the need for improvement critical in business, but a change in thinking to clearly decipher what is required for true improvement.

In order to correctly identify barriers that are truly holding a business back, it is important for owners and managers to take an introspective view of the company. Most owners have a mindset for growth and the proper management of growth but in order to achieve a higher level of success, a company has to look at what they are doing and find areas where a change can make a world of difference. In the warehouse example, if the owners review their internal business processes they may discover inefficiencies in their order fulfillment, purchasing and shipping processes that could be streamlined to eliminate the need to expand or build a new warehouse. This discovery would save their corporation hundreds of thousands of dollars and could be seen by looking inside for areas of improvement, as opposed to the costly choice of expansion.

The first step in overcoming most barriers facing companies today is a thorough business process review. In most cases, this task is performed by an outside consultant to document the current day to day operational procedures and the amount of time spent on each task. Once this documentation has been completed, the process of identifying inefficiencies is a smooth process. After these procedural barriers are identified, overcoming them may be as simple as re-training or more complex and may include a transition to a portion of the business management applications you have deployed.

The benefits of this analysis impact a multitude of areas across a company. Yes, the specified process will be refined and the day runs smoother but that is only the start of the benefits. By improving the processes in each area of business, the benefits will impact your total corporate efficiency, reduce costs, stimulate a strong work environment and ultimately improve profitability.

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