The Afro Coach Operations Agency

3 Ways Poor Management Hurts Your Online Business

Marketing, offer structure, and sales are often discussed as the main definers of your business success

But I’d throw in the ring that one of the biggest definers of how your business will succeed is by how well you can manage the resources, processes and delivery within it. When we have a gap in our management of not only our teams, but our time, within a business you can be crippling your success before you’ve reached your full potential.

No one sets out to be a “bad” manager, and I want to note this now before you finish this blog that this isn’t written to call you out for being one. Poor management isn’t something we strive for (I think we’ve all had a bad manager once. But having trouble managing/tracking what happens in your business can implicate bigger problems down the track for your business.

Coincidentally, a LOT of what we are taught to build an online business is focused on growth-first-and-fast and doesn’t give enough emphasis on how those practices can make management very difficult. By taking steps to unlearn and eliminate poor management issues can not only increase your overall efficiency but give you a sense of control over how your business trajectory tracks.

By the end of this blog, we’ll cover some unapparent, yet common, signs of poor management in your business, and how to fix them (or avoid them altogether)!

Ways Management Hurts Your Business
3 Tell-Tale Signs of Poor Management (+ How to Resolve them!)

3 Ways Poor Management Hurts Your business

Even if you are a team of one, poor management can take a toll on your business progress. Here are just a few ways I’ve seen they can impact your hard work: 

1. It slows your process: Ever felt like you were moving in slow motion when it came to your growth? Like you would see it come in, but not nearly as much as you were expecting based off ALL the work you were doing? Having a disorganized management process can make it difficult to pinpoint what is slowing you down, and, take so much of your time it actually causes you to work more hours to cover all the tasks required to keep business running.

2. It keeps you from making intentional decisions for your business. When you are inefficient with the management in your business, it can cause a pause in making decisions that will support you in your business. When so much work is on your plate, you begin treating everything as a priority and make decisions in the moment, without having the right data or tools to ensure it’s in line with your longer-term goal

3. It spurs a multitude of other problems. As we build a business from the ground up, it’s very likely that some systems that were set up to work “in the moment” are now outdated and doing more harm than good. A LOT of frustrations in business can be tied back to inefficiencies or ineffective processes that were set up.

I’ll break down what some of those frustrations can look like below, and how we can avoid them!


3 Tell-Tale Signs of Poor Management in Your Business (+ How to Avoid Them)

  1. Your team constantly need to go to you for basic information.

    You are already busy a it is, so how frustrating can it be to have to constantly step in and re-explain how to do something in your business? While being the one who knows your business best is important, being the SOLE person with all the knowledge of how to do every task, process and decision in your business doesn’t do you any favors.

    How to Avoid: Democratize the process by documenting your processes and making them available to your internal team. This not only will help your team not have to go through you to complete every task, it empowers them to take responsibility and ownership of the processes they are in charge of, and make decisions in alignment with the process you document. If you currently don’t have a team, this can help you prep for one and standardizes your process so you aren’t reinventing the wheel trying to remember how to do a task. Documenting the process also gives you an opportunity to catch inefficient steps early and update them!


  2. Business runs only when you do.

    Ever try to take a vacation, and have to shut down your store or close inquiry forms because no one will be handling them while away? If growth is a goal of yours, having your business stop and start based on when YOU are available is not only sustainable, it’s overwhelming. When we make ourselves the sole energy source of our business, it means there is no other support that can be relied on to keep your business afloat; that’s a LOT of pressure!

    How to Avoid: A growing business can’t be run by one person’s capacity alone. Diversify your resources to 1. Take the pressure to do all and be everything for your business and 2. Increase the overall business capacity to accommodate the growth you’re after. Diversifying resources can look like automating tasks that need to be done repeatedly, hiring contractors/ in-house employees, or tweaking processes to fit into the previous categories.

  3. Service/Project Delivery is always on the fly.

    Does every project feel like a circus to get through?
    That you have several things you forget to do, timelines are non-existent or no one seems to be fully confident on what to do?
    While the results may be good, the amount of effort it takes every single time doesn’t feel organized at all?

    Having no consistent process to deliver your offer, complete a project, or execute a task can be a time and money suck that makes managing so much harder. 

    How to Avoid: Standardize your delivery process and solidify a repeatable experience for your clients and internal team. That includes your onboarding, all steps required to deliver the results to your client (think project management, communication with your team and client, the information needed to properly deliver, etc), and offboarding.


Here’s a quick recap of the tell-tale signs:

  • You are the encyclopedia of your business, and team, clients constantly need to go to you for basic information.

  • Business runs only when you do/you’re over-resourced.

  • Delivery is always on the fly (no process with consistent result).

Did any of these have you nodding your head? Thankfully, poor management doesn’t need to be the Achilles’ Heel of your business; it can be an opportunity to add support in your business to make things better!

Getting your processes documented, simplifying and creating clear repeatable processes, and diversifying your resources to increase your business capacity is the quickest way to rectify poor management. Need help with the next steps? Take my FREE QUIZ to see what next step would be great for you based on your phase of business.

I’m Elisabeth—
I live in Melbourne, Australia, but I’m from the States (Washingtonian through and through). I’m a cat-mom, wifey, and in love with a good workflow; it gives me that warm, fuzzy, Christmastime feeling. My goal is to help hard-working service providers stop having to choose between creativity and productivity to build a successful, sustainable business.

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