Habits That May be Hurting Your Business

Even with the best business plan and greatest product, entrepreneurs sink their businesses all too often. In the article, Your First Five Years of Business, we gave some tips to help your business thrive in its most pivotal time-frame. Here, we are concentrating on habits that recurrently cost people their businesses. Some of the habits are easy to execute while others may require more cultivation.

  • Scattered thinking: Have you ever been busy all day but felt like you’ve accomplished nothing? Having ideas and thoughts all over the place serves no one. I’m a big believer in keeping lists. The key to lists is prioritizing the items on the list. This goes for small tasks as well as big projects. Not only will a list help you feel accomplished, but it will keep your vision in the forefront.
  • Tunnel vision: The opposite of the above can also be harmful to the entrepreneurial mind. While it is necessary to stay focused, we must also remember that there are many facets to running a successful business. Having a huge goal but not thinking of the steps it takes to get there, from all angles, doesn’t get you any closer to said goal. Furthermore, it’s important to think outside the box of how you’re going to get the results you’re ultimately looking for.
  • Having a system: It’s vital that you have systems/rules in place included in your business plan. You need to have an outline of the way things run at your company. Those systems might include your workplace design, what you expect from employees, etc. Equally necessary is knowing when and how to pivot. If you see something isn’t working to the level you want, within a reasonable amount of time, knowing when to shift your system can make all the difference in your success.
  • Unrealistic promises: We may have the best of intentions, but when we make promises to customers or employees that we cannot fill, we lose credibility. When credibility is lost, so is business. Always strive to offer the best there is while being realistic in translating your guarantees.
  • Big vision: In correlation to the last bullet point, being realistic is necessary. But that doesn’t mean your vision shouldn’t be sizable. It’s been said that if people don’t laugh at your goals, they aren’t big enough. Big vision is what keeps us moving forward with something to move towards.
  • Failure to delegate: A list is great. Having to do everything on the list ourselves? Not so much. Delegation is key to results! Control freaks, like many of us in leadership roles, have a tough time with this particular subject. Delegating tasks to others allows us to focus on the things that only we can and to do them accurately.
  • Foresight of obstacles: As you well know, things don’t always go according to plans. Part of your business plan should include a strategy for when things go awry. There’s nothing worse than when things go off course except not having a backup plan when they do.
  • Focus on more than money: Let’s face it… we all work to make money. However, on the hard days; the ones where the money isn’t flowing and we hit a roadblock, we need another reason to keep going. The passion we have in life and work make it possible to get back up when we get knocked down. Perhaps the idea of helping people, be it employees, customers, or our families, keeps you going. Maybe it’s setting a good example for your kids. Have a purpose bigger and more significant than money.
  • Not rewarding yourself with time away from the office: Working hard is admirable. Working hard is necessary to be successful. Working hard pays the bills. On the other hand, working hard isn’t everything. It’s imperative that we have time away from our professional lives. Our careers should afford us a life and not just a living. We need time to refresh and refocus to be the best version of ourselves when we are at work. After all, “All work and no play, make Jack a dull boy”.

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