7 Critical Mistakes Business Owners Make and How to Avoid Them

At one time or another, we all make mistakes. Some mistakes are bigger than others. Some mistakes are more forgiving than others. The most important take away from a mistake is to hopefully learn from them so you do not make the same mistake twice or even three times. Often, we do not know what we do not know until we realize what we don’t know shows up in ways we would not rather remember.

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.”
― George Bernard Shaw

There are several business owners who think I will build it and they will come. I was one of those people. I have learned many lessons along the way about attention to detail to making decisions based on cash flow to remembering to hit the record button when doing an interview for a new product or podcast. All mistakes have a consequence whether it be in loss of time, money, resources, or even reputation. All mistakes can teach us a lesson. Mistakes are an opportunity to make better decisions and take different actions which lead to different results. There are many critical mistakes that can be impacting your bottom-line.

No clear vision. You need to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with your business. If you do not have a vision, you cannot expect to take actions the will create meaningful results. You cannot expect your employees or customers to follow you if do not have a clear message around your vision. Everything in business starts with a clear vision! Get clear on what you are wanting to achieve before you invest a ton of money and time.
No goals or plan of action. If you do not know where you are going how do you expect to get there? You need to get your ideas and plans out of your head and onto paper. Write out your SMART goals – they need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Once you have the goal, you can come up with strategies to achieve it – otherwise, you will wander aimlessly.
Not tracking your numbers. We all love it when money is coming in and the bank account numbers get increasing; we do not always love it so much when the numbers are decreasing. Keep a simple spreadsheet and track the flow of money coming in and going out of your business. It can be very eye-opening. When you track your numbers, not only to you see what is working and what is not working, you can make decisions about you need to stop doing or what you need to start or to continue doing. Keep doing what works – sounds obvious but if you are not measuring it you will never know.
Do it all ‘solo’. One of the biggest mistakes as a business owner or entrepreneur is that you want to do everything yourself. Your business or start-up is your “baby” and no one can look after as well as you do. In the beginning, you may do everything. As your business grows, you can only stretch yourself so far before you will need to start delegating to be able to meet the demands of the marketplace. Initially, do everything is an asset. You understand what needs to be done and you can also set expectations around how you want it done or not done. Start delegating small projects or tasks and as you feel comfortable delegate more. You need to focus on your strengths on what you do well.
Not looking for ways to improve. Too many people when they hit success get complacent. They fail to see that they need to be on the look out for new ways to do things. It may be streamlining systems and processes to become more proficient. It may be implementing ideas discussed with a mentor or something you read in a book. Try new ideas. Test new ideas. You never know when that one tweak increases customer demands.

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
― Albert Einstein

Looking for ‘get rich’ quick strategies. There is no ‘magic’ pill or ‘get rich’ quick strategy that is going to grow your business. Many people are drawn to this type of marketing because of the promise of a quick fix to a problem ailing them. Cookie strategies do not work. If you want your business to grow, you need to build relationships, let people know what you are doing, and take the actions necessary to make things happen. You may need to sacrifice outings, lattes, and shopping sprees in the process. A sustainable business takes time and patience to grow. Put in the work and reap the rewards.

Not celebrating success – big or small. You might jump out of the gate with great vision and focus on building your business. If you do not stop or at least pause and acknowledge your smallest wins you will not notice the big ones. You will run out of motivation and the steam to persevere through tough times. Tough times can happen but they do not last. The duration is even shorter when you celebrate and are motivated to continue to take action before halting production. Therefore, you hear about people who quit too soon.
Avoid making these critical mistakes. It was Maya Angelou that said, “When you know better, you do better.” If you have been making these mistakes, you need to make a change to get the results you want. There is no turning back once you have this awareness. Your business success depends on you learning from your mistakes.
DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. Her writing has been published in a variety of print and online magazines. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. Sign up the Success Secrets Newsletter and get your free mp3 download today! www.debrakasowski.com

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