Whether you have been in business for years or just getting started, you must recognize these costly mistakes before you can learn how to avoid them.
These are the deadly traps in which too many small business owners fall:
1. Marry an idea and keep it for a long time. Do not stay married for life with just one idea. Ideas are the currency of entrepreneurs. Play with as many ideas as you want to discover which ones create money and lasting success.
2. Operate without a viable marketing plan: a winning marketing plan captures the attention you need to surround your company with the right caliber of people; Employees, customers, suppliers. There may be 100 different ways to market your business, but an exclusive viable plan implemented effectively, efficiently and consistently will be driven by results, eliminating guesswork.
3. Not appreciating market forces: changes in customer preferences and advances in competitive products and services can leave you stranded unless you bother to get to know your market and your customers well. It is essential that you appreciate what customers want now, what they probably want in the future, how their purchasing patterns are evolving and how it can become a constant resource for them, even if you don’t have the right products and services for them in this moment.
4. Ignoring your cash position: customers do not always respond to superior products in the term you think they should. You will need a lot of cash to keep the operations in the meantime. Cash is king, so keep a watch on how it flows in and out.
5. Ignore employees: the management and motivation of staff is one of the biggest challenges facing the business owner. Without patience, persistence and social skills, problems multiply rapidly, and morale, productivity and profits can be easily destroyed. Always make your people your first priority.
6. Probability confused with reality: the successful entrepreneur lives in the world of probability but spends money in the real world. Be realistic in all your business enterprises.
7. Operate without a sales strategy: without a sales strategy, there is no effective way to measure the financial growth and progress of a business. You need a realistic map that identifies where sales will come from, how they will come and from whom.
8. Play Lone Ranger without backup: you are the key to everything, but you can’t do everything for yourself and keep growing at the same time. Even modest success can overwhelm you unless you hire the right staff and delegate responsibility.
9. Operate without a master mind on board: most small businesses expand faster when there is someone around with some gray hair to occasionally take a look at general activity. Your senior statesman could operate for you as an executive director or part-time consultant.
10. Renounce: not all successful entrepreneurs do well the first time; some fail several times before reaching the central formula that does it for them. Then, if it is failing, continue and fail. But fail fast and learn from experience. Then try again with this new wisdom. Never give up and never suffer either.
Knowledge is the key
The birds of the air have the knowledge (and wings) to arrive from one destination to another in time, always. They do not need travel schedules, passports, currency exchange, traveler’s checks or any other restrictive man-made paraphernalia to stop their progress. Swarms of swifts, for example, rely so much on their sailing skills that they retain the wing on trips that span thousands of kilometers.
They have an instinctive fail-safe route plan.
He will also do so when he learns to avoid the ten deadliest mistakes when dealing with his own business.