Top 10 Most Common Mistakes that Entrepreneurs Make
- No Business Plan – If you rely on instinct to guide your business instead of a written plan, you’re headed for trouble. A plan helps you see where your company is, where it’s going, why and how you’re doing along the way.
2. No Sales Plan – Without a sales plan, you lack the ability to assess the financial growth and progress of your business. You need a realistic map for where the sales will come from, how they’ll come, from whom, how often as well as: how much selling is needed daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually!
3. No Marketing Plan – A marketing plan creates the kind of attention you need to get in front of the right types of people, companies, etc. It’s what attracts people to you!
4. No Support – A MasterMind or facilitated peer support group is like an unpaid board of advisors who have similar, related, successful businesses, which are noncompetitive. These professionals are positive, somewhat like-minded, and open-minded. They are an excellent resource, brain trust and support system.
5. No Cash Reserve or Real Cash Flow – During the excitement of starting a business, it’s easy to overlook the gap between making the first few sales and banking the money. Often, the wait can be too long and without some cash reserve many companies may stall or even fail without any planned cash flow coming in!
6. Ignoring the Numbers – As an entrepreneur/business owner, your primary goal is to make a net profit. If you don’t know how you’re doing until all the money is in and the bills are paid, it may be too late. You need to know where you stand on a regular basis, especially with regard to income versus expenses. Having a timely system in which you can record the appropriate key data and quickly analyze the information, is of the utmost importance
7. Not Being Automated – With the low cost of personal computers today and the very positive productivity impact they can have on your business, it’s essential to become automated. With a computer and access to the internet, a wealth of information is at your fingertips. With an e-commerce presence, you can extend your reach globally.
8. Not Knowing Your Customers – Changes in your customers’ preferences and your competitors’ products and services can leave you in the dust unless you get to know your customers well, what they want now and will likely want in the future, what their buying patterns are, and how you can be a resource for them even if you don’t have the right products or services for them now!
9. Ignoring Employees – Motivating, coaching and managing your staff is probably one of your toughest challenges as an entrepreneur/business owner. Without your patience, persistence and “people skills,” your problems can multiply quickly. Morale, productivity and profits can easily be destroyed. Be sure to get help if you assess objectively that these are not your strengths.
10. Being the Star – You might be the key to everything BUT you cannot DO everything and grow at the same time. Even modest success can overwhelm you unless you do the following: hire the right staff and delegate responsibility, work with a business coach or mentor, and finally, create several positive business exit options for the future to make the ultimate transition smooth and planned!
Michael Shapiro, Dynamic Management Solutions, Inc.