No one — not even the most seasoned entrepreneur — is immune from bad, productivity-busting, habits. Here are ten of the most common bad habits entrepreneurs have and how you can avoid falling into the same trap:
There are many ways this can be spotted, from missing deadlines to burning out. Take the time to know what your limits are and avoid exceeding them. After all, clients want your expertise not your weariness to shine through.
Taking Unnecessary Risks
No business can succeed if the owner is not willing to take on a risk or two. However, taking on too many at once (or picking the wrong one) can doom the company. The best way to prevent this is to always make certain your company can survive a bad result and make certain there are multiple proverbial “irons in the fire” to keep your financial sheet in the black.
Not Thinking Long Term
It is easy to get caught up with concerns about making payroll or handling debt obligations. Do not stop that from allowing you to think beyond the next fiscal quarter. A good company has plans for two or three years down the road. Protect your interests by knowing where your company is headed both next week and next year.
Not Stepping Back
As an entrepreneur, it is easy to get distracted handling every detail of your business. As it grows try to delegate certain tasks to other employees. After all, a successful company is the result of a team effort at the end of the day.
Not Having Quantifiable Goals
The right piece of data can make or break your company. Make certain that you have stated, verifiable, goals for every project and fiscal period. By knowing if your company is being successful in each of its tasks you will be able to make changes that improve the efficiency and profitability of your enterprise.
Ignoring the Outside World
No company exists on its own. Unless it has a total monopoly on the market through legislation or capital outlay, there is always competition floating around waiting for a chance to increase its market share. Make certain to know what your competition is and aggressively work against it in advertising and product development. You must always keep one step ahead of your competitors!
Not Upgrading Your Systems
“If it isn’t broken don’t fix it” only works with door hinges and exercise routines. When it comes to business, even the smallest detail can be leveraged to give the competition an advantage. Make certain to regularly update your equipment and work process to make it easier to meets client’s expectations in a rapidly changing world. Something as simple as an outdated website can turn away clients and encourage employees to send out resumes!
Not Reinvesting in Your Business
Profits are vital for viability, though if you take every penny out there will be nothing left to grow your business. Take the time to determine what level of reinvestment would be suitable for your company and stick with it. After all, if every dollar you invest nets you two or three more down the road then it is worth sacrificing short term liquidity for long term gain.
Neglecting Personal Well-Being
Burnout has sunk more companies than anything else in the business world. It is easy to get so caught up in making your business work that you forget how vital it is to focus on your own health. The result is reduced productivity due to excessive stress, risk of illness, and general bad mood. If you feel your personal productivity is beginning to suffer take some time off. You will come back with a fresh mind and more energy than you know what to do with!
Putting Off to Tomorrow What Should be Done Today
It is easy to keep putting small items on your todo list on the backburner, though if enough build up they will impact your ability to tackle the big things. Make a point of never allowing items to go unfinished for more than a day or two, even if it means staying after closing time on occasion. This will help your company develop a reputation for meeting its obligations and putting customer needs at the forefront.
These are just a few of the bad habits you should avoid while starting and managing your own business.