7 Business Pitfalls to Keep Top of Mind

Here are seven costly yet all too common business mistakes which can impede your success.

 

When running a business, it’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day concerns and lose sight of the big picture. Here are some costly yet all too common mistakes to avoid:

1. No plan

A formal business plan is not necessary, but there must be a sense of direction and purpose to guide the company and the people who run it.

This doesn’t mean mapping out every step and detail in advance. It does mean having a goal to work towards. You should have a plan.

2. Wrong business partner

Choose your partner based on the qualities he or she brings to the business, but do not neglect the person’s character. If you and your partner have trust and mutual respect, you have a foundation to build on.

Choose your partner as if you were choosing a spouse.

3. Not enough money

Many businesses run out of money before the operation really has a chance to get off the ground.

It costs money to start, operate, and grow a business. Keep costs low. Don’t buy gadgets you don’t need.

Establish a line of credit with a bank before you need it. Have enough cash available to get you through the lean times.

Stretch those dollars.

4. Trying to do it all yourself

Do what you’re good at and delegate everything else.

When deciding what to delegate, ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time?”

Your company will not grow if you attempt to do it all yourself. Hire responsible people and delegate to them.

5. Not seeking professional expertise

To save money, small business owners often avoid seeking professional advice.

I was recently approached by a new client who wanted to sell a retail building to another business entity he owned. He didn’t realize that he would have to pay taxes on the sale. By spending $300 consulting with me, he avoided paying $92,000 in taxes.

CPAs, attorneys and other professionals can be pricey, but not getting their advice can be much more expensive.

6. No policies, procedures

Develop policies and procedures that employees, vendors and customers understand.

Make sure that employees know and observe your company’s standard procedures. This makes for a more efficient and cost-effective op

7.  Not investing in technology

Many small businesses don’t adequately invest in computers, software programs, telephones and other technology basics.

The fact is, you can’t build a high-quality product or provide a high-quality service without the right tools. Technology can increase your efficiency and you make the right decisions quickly.

Businesses that become successful are invariably led by people who continue to learn. Study what you are doing and how you are doing it. Learn from other successful businesses and apply their methods to your own company.

It’s your business. Make the most of it.

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