Are You Making Any of These Mistakes? BY: Jackie Smith

I have been reading many articles lately about the common mistakes business owners make and not surprisingly all of the articles basically say the same things. Please read the following and keep an open mind. Are you guilty of any of these? If so, take steps to make a change. If not, read it again. You are not perfect and maybe you missed it the first time.

Trying To Do It All 

If you are an entrepreneur, you probably think you can do it all. Well, guess what? You have strengths and weaknesses just like anyone else. You need to identify your “talents” Things you do well. “Great companies are built on the foundation of exploiting a few strengths, not trying to be masters of everything,” says Mike Mechelowing, author of ‘The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.’ Hire people who have the strengths you are missing. Don’t feel threatened. These employees will help you grow.

Being A Weak Leader

If you are afraid to hire someone who has the strengths you lack, you are a weak leader! Great leaders set the goals of the company, communicate those goals and inspire employees to get to the next level. Steve Price, Small Business Administration states, “It is so basic, but so many people open businesses without any kind of planning. You must have a business plan for at least a year in advance.” You cannot lead if you don’t know where you are going. If you don’t know where you are going, how can you expect anyone to follow you? Stifle the urge to micromanage. Prepare job descriptions for your employees. Train them and give them the freedom to do their jobs. You can then focus on growing your business. You need to never quit learning about your business/industry. You need to regularly attend Association meetings to keep a pulse on what is going on in the industry. In addition, you need a professional support team: CPA, an attorney, an insurance broker who specializes in your industry, and a good computer system.

Don’t Balance Business Are With Personal Life

With economic times such as these, I know many of you have taken up the slack and are working more and more hours. You need to approach your business as though you are running a marathon. You need to train: Get proper exercise, eat right and spend time relaxing. Spend time with your family. Do not neglect your personal life. You will be happier.

Cutting Prices

When we encounter tough times such as these, it is an instinct to lower prices. DON’T DO IT! More customers at lower prices does not mean it is good for your business. Many of you do not correctly evaluate the true cost of producing your product. Do you know how much it costs you to produce a pair of pants? I would guess that many of you really have no idea of the cost. On, they acknowledge that many business owners tend to undercharge for what they sell. “First they don’t know how to correctly set an effective price, and second they think they need to have the lowest price in order to get business. Both circumstances result in low profits and poor cash flow.” Study your costs and determine if your prices are in line. Cutting prices can mean the necessity of cutting in other areas that can leave your venerable.

Having No Clear Marketing Strategy

It is so important to present a consistent, clear message. You never get a second chance to create a first impression. Do you want to market outstanding customer service? Then you better live up to that standard. You must be willing to go beyond the industry standards. That will be the difference between mediocrity and success. Take stock of your business. When your employees are not expecting it, walk in the front door and imagine you are a new customer. What do you see? Every time a customer walks through your door, you are marketing your business. Is this what you want them to see?

These are just a few areas to be aware of. Success means to quickly identify your mistakes, learn from them and keep them from happening again. I have confidence in the fact that you will learn from YOUR mistakes.

Happy St Patrick’s Day. I always handed out green carnations on this day. The customers love it!

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