Mom always said the best way to learn good lessons was to make mistakes and then learn from them. This might be true, but as a business owner, one big unnecessary mistake could be very expensive. I've worked with hundreds of small business owners through the years so I've seen some common mistakes that are easily avoided, so here are my top 5 silly, nonproductive things small business owners do...but shouldn't!
1. Selective Hearing and Memory: Yes, we know you are busy and whatever is on your mind right now is the most important thing in the entire world. Well, at least your world. It's important to put out real-time flaming fires as they arise, but it is even more important to listen to your colleagues, individuals on your teams who are on the front lines. This includes customers. Their input is valuable and acting upon it can help you improve and make adjustments for a successful future. Plus, it will prevent you from hearing, "I told ya so!"
2. Impulsive Overreacting: Ever heard of a CEO temper tantrum? They happen all the time and it's usually because a business owner didn't think through or understand all the facts of something they didn't like to hear. Remember the tone of the company starts at the top...that's you! Jumping to conclusions is not productive for anyone in your organization. Do you know what they say about the word, assume? It makes an ass out of you and me. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and respond professionally.
3. Poor Planning: "He or she who fails to plan, plans to fail!" It might not be the thing you enjoy most about owning your own business, but planning should be a priority. Review your business and financial plans frequently so you know where you are, where you've been, and where you want to go. Failing to do proper forecasting and budgeting can restrict your cashflows. Set SMART goals...specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Business ownership is like a roller coaster ride, sometimes you are climbing up the hill, sometimes you are on an awesome roll and others you are waiting in line, but if you have a strategic plan to follow you will stay in the game.
4. Not Consulting Staff: Your team is the most valuable resource in your business. Remember you hired them for their experience and what they could bring to the table...that's right your company's table. Business owners should consult them frequently and ask for their input and advice. They should also help them solve any problems that are preventing them from doing their jobs successfully. Their problems are your problems, too.
5. Forgetting to Delegate: I know, I know, you are the only one who can do it the right way! Smart business owners will learn to delegate tasks so they can focus on the business's future growth. Excuses like, "I don't have time to train anyone", and "it's easier to just do it myself," aren't going to make your business grow. Come on chief, let go of control and delegate tasks to your teams... they'll appreciate the confidence and give you the opportunity to focus on other things.
Don't let one big unnecessary mistake cost you - use these 5 tips to stay focused and on task. Ask us about this in your free 30-minute virtual coaching session. Just contact us at 949-484-6349 or fill out our online form.