Five Common Mistakes Business People Make

“No one is perfect.”  We’ve all heard this before.  Yes, we do all make mistakes at some point, but successful business people know how to minimize the mistakes they make.  Successful business professionals do not let their mistakes keep them from their goals and successes.

Here are five common mistakes that keep people from building the business they dream of:

1.             Underestimate Capital Requirements

It takes money to start and build a business.  Since no one knows exactly how long it will take to make their business profitable, it is common for failing businesses to run out of money before they reach that point.  All of the sales and financial projections don’t mean a thing if you run out of money 1 day before you would reach your breakeven point.

Plan for the worst possible case scenario.  Then, pad it!  Talk to as many people as you can in your field.  Learn from their mistakes.  Where did they need more funding then they thought?  Where in their experience would extra capital come in handy?  What were their funding sources?

If you have more money than you need, great.  You definitely don’t want to run out.

2.         Underestimate Commitment Needed

Just how committed to your success are you?  Everyone always answers, “Oh, I’ll do anything to be successful.”  The truth is that most people end up quitting when times get tough.  What is your staying power?  We talked about staying power in term of funding, now we’re talking about mental and emotional staying power.

Can you emotionally keep going when people tell you, “I told you so?”  Will you be able to work hard even when your return seems small?  Can you work the hours and make the personal sacrifices that may need to be made?

Find out from your mentor or other trusted advisor what their experiences were.  Don’t think for a minute that it will be any easier for you.  It may even be tougher! 

3.         Lack of Expertise

Many people fail in business because they simply don’t have the expertise required.  Oh sure they may know their products inside out, but what about sales, service issues, accounting skills, management skills and the list goes on.

A lot of people go into business because they have a passion for a particular product or service.  They have product experience but lack business experience.  It is critical that you be educated in all the facets of running a business if you are going to be successful in that business.

Being educated on your products and services is critical.  You must also invest the time and money to be educated on what it takes to be successful in business.  Look to your community college, mentors, and trade associations for additional education.  Life-long education is the ultimate key to continued growth and success in business.

4.         Not Fully Aware of the Product Value

What is the true value of your products and services?  It can be common to underestimate their true value.  In some cases business professionals totally misunderstand the real value of the products and services they deliver.

The greater the value of your product, the greater the chance for building a fantastic business.  The value of your product can best be gauged against the needs of your potential clients.  The more your product can solve your clients needs and the greater the intensity of those needs the higher the chances are that you’re on the right track.

Also, do you understand the true value of your products to your clients?  You don’t just sell insurance.  You are selling peace of mind to a family.  You don’t just sell tires.  You are making an automobile more safe for family and loved ones.  You are not just selling candles.  You are giving someone the tools necessary to create the environment they wish to enjoy in the privacy of their own home.  Get the picture?

5.         Don’t Know When to Get Outside Help

It is easy to try and do everything ourselves.  As entrepreneurs we feel like we have to wear all of the hats.  Instead of outsourcing time consuming tasks, we bog ourselves down and reduce our productivity.

What do you do best?  You should know this.  What is the value of your time?  What is it that only you can do, or you do better than others?  What are you doing that almost anyone could do?  What can you train others to do?

You should only be involved in high yield activities, activities that only you can do or those activities that provide the greatest return on your time.  Delegate and outsource everything else.  This may be the single most important key to rapidly building a successful company.

Think about it.  If you only spend 10 percent of your time on high yield activities how fast will you grow?  What happens if you can delegate and outsource so that now you are spending 70 percent of your time on high yield activities?

Look at your daily task list and make those changes now!

Pay attention to the details of your business and the elimination of these five most common barriers — you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz.


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