There are mistakes every entrepreneur makes when he or she is just starting out—and there are mistakes even veteran business leaders make time and again. The key is reducing or eliminating costly errors that can stifle the growth of your business.
Business Leads, pay attention to the following
Here are some errors we see on a fairly frequent basis:
1. Trying to do everything yourself.
Some entrepreneurs and business owners get it right away: you can’t do everything yourself. Others persist in trying to run the business single-handedly, in the face of clear evidence that such a practice is not only exhausting but self-defeating. Make 2014 the year you master the invaluable art of delegation.
2. Neglecting the growth of your workforce.
The chances are good you’ve got some very talented and ambitious employees in your business. Are you doing everything possible to nurture that talent? Ignoring the needs of employees can be costly in terms of a loss in productivity and morale—which leads directly to a loss of profits and revenue.
3. Taking your customers for granted.
Even if you’ve had a great year and you feel you’ve got your finger on the pulse of your customers, complacency can set in and undo the great things you’ve accomplished. Customer tastes change over time, as do their buying patterns. Make sure you’re tracking how well your products or services meet their changing needs.
4. Failing to be aggressive enough in your marketing plans.
No matter how good your business offering might be, it’s not going to sell itself. In an ever-crowded marketplace, it’s vital to have a comprehensive plan to market your products or services, keeping them top-of-mind among your target customers. Don’t rely on a plan developed a year ago (or even six months ago). Take every opportunity to seize new opportunities for growth.
5. Taking a penny-wise, pound-foolish approach.
Of course, you have to spend wisely to keep your business afloat—but an excessively frugal strategy can lead to reliance on outdated technology and/or insufficient resources to handle unforeseen setbacks (or great opportunities). Look at new ways to spend and invest your profits, so that your business continues to grow.
6. Being overly risk-aversive.
There are smart risks and there’s reckless behavior. Understanding the difference is crucial for every successful entrepreneur. Always be ready to consider taking a risk to benefit your business, as long as you carefully evaluate the pros and cons and can make an educated decision about the value of any given action.
7. Ignoring the competition.
This is perhaps the most common failing among fast-growing businesses. When your efforts to dominate a particular market are successful, you may either forget to keep an eye on your competitors or simply feel it’s no longer worth the effort. But they’re working hard to undercut your success, through the development of new products or expansion to different locations—all of which can affect your future track record.
8. Failing to hold yourself accountable for decisions.
You’re the boss, so no one among your executive team or employee workforce is likely to call you out for an unwise decision. They’re also not positioned to demand that you follow through on the decisions you make. But without accountability, many entrepreneurs make one costly mistake after another.
In 2014, look into the cultivating a network of trusted friends and colleagues—or better yet, explore confidential peer advisory organizations like Catapult Groups, where you gain valuable insights into best business practices and someone holds your feet to the fire for the decisions you make. You’ll probably take no more important action to grow your business in the entire year to come.
We invite you to join other entrepreneurs, CEOs, and senior-level executives in a confidential group setting where you’ll be challenged and rewarded like never before in your professional life. Learn more about becoming a Catapult Group member today.