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Ten Deadly Business Mistakes

One mistake- that’s all it takes to crash your life down around you.

One dumb move… that’s all it takes.

And I absolutely hate it when I see smart people do dumb things!

You can spend your entire life building up your business and working your butt off just to see one dumb mistake cost you everything and leave your career derailed from its tracks. Or overlook one little thing and it could cost you your business, and it can be almost impossible for businesses to recover from failure. Your reputation is on the line, and not only is it vital to your success, but it can be easy to blow with just one screw up.

Unfortunately, it happens all the time in business. For example, you see smart marketers who never leave enough time for a proper launch. I’ve seen content providers who continually blow all their money by building out a product without any research or testing only to find out it is NOT a sellable product.

This one is my personal favorite – entrepreneurs who think they know it all and can do it alone. And, to me, this is one of the saddest scenarios. Why? Because so often their ideas are great! And they work hard, but they just don’t know what they don’t know. So instead of being widely successful, their businesses fail.

I have seen this a countless number of times over my 25 years of working with and watching hundreds of entrepreneurs. I thought about how I could help you prevent these stupid mistakes, so I put together a list of…

Ten Deadly Mistakes that Entrepreneurs Make That Destroy Their Profits, Morale and Reputation:

1) You Do Not Have Clarity of Vision:
If you do not understand why your business exists, then how can your customers, your team, vendor and joint venture partners? You need to create a mission statement. Your mission says why you do what you do. Your statement needs to pass the t-shirt test (when people would proudly wear it on a t-shirt). And never subordinate your mission in order to get money!

2) You Do Not Create Core Values for Your Company and Employees:
Your core values dictate how you do business everyday. Remember to never subordinate your core values in order to get money. You need to keep your morale in check and never stray from it.

3) You Do Not Understand the Need for an Org Chart:
An organizational chart not only adds structure and efficiencies to your business, but it clarifies who and where an employee should go to solve a problem or present an idea. You’re wasting your time and everyone else’s if no one knows this. I know so many entrepreneurs that have an entire office full of employees, yet the chart below still represents their hands on work responsibilities.

4) You Do Not Create Job Descriptions:
Entrepreneurs tell me all the time that they need help. Yet when I ask them what the person would do, they look at me like a deer caught in headlights. You cannot possibly hire the right person if you do not know what you want them to do.

So before you can initiate your search, you have to come up with, and write, a job description for the person you want to hire. If you have never done this before, start by writing down everything you think you want your new employee to do. List their responsibilities. And next to each responsibility, write down the necessary skill. Be specific.

Once you know the characteristics of your ideal employee and can define the job and the skills that employee needs… you start looking.

5) You Confuse a Passionate Idea for a Sellable Idea:
When people ask me for advice on what their business should be, I tell them two things:

  • Something you have experience in

  • Something you are passionate about

Once you have narrowed that down, you must confirm that your idea is sellable. Just because you love it does not automatically qualify it as a good idea. Your idea must be sellable – meaning, do people want what you are selling? To answer this, just do some simple keyword research. If you have at least 10,000 look-ups a month, then go for it.

6) You Do Not Pay Yourself:
Most entrepreneurs do not factor their own income into their financials and business plans. They live with the attitude that they will take whatever’s left at the end of each month. Don’t develop that attitude and make sure you’re giving yourself an income.

7) You Do Not Know Your “Keep The Doors Open Number”:
Most entrepreneurs have no idea of the “real” cost to run their business. This is a big problem because it leads to never understanding the health of your business. Are you growing? Is your business succeeding the way you want it to? Sit down right now and write out EVERY fixed cost you have, including paying yourself. Once you have done this divide that number by 365. And there you have it – the amount of money you need to bring in each day to keep your doors open.

8) You Suffer from Shinny Penny Syndrome:
If you have a tendency to bounce from one “cool” project to another, you are not alone. However, this will break your business faster than anything else. You see, when you have several projects 50% done, that yields you zero revenue. However, one project 100% done brings money in the door. So wait until a project is fully done before moving on to the next one.

9) You Don’t Understand the Value of Giving Away “Ownership” of the Company:
Now this does not mean for every person. It means for someone (or a couple) that will take the business to the next level. Think about it- you can’t get past that 2 million dollar level. If someone could come in and take you to 5 million the first year, it would be completely logical to give up 50%. It’s a numbers game, my friend! Just remember 100% of nothing is still nothing. Don’t let your ego prevent you from having a real business.

10) You Avoid Confrontation:
Too many entrepreneurs are way too concerned about being liked and have a hard time being proactive when it comes to uncomfortable situations in their business. If there is a problem you need to confront it. Better yet, if there is a potential problem, jump on it before it comes a problem. Letting problems fester tends to lead to:

  • Bad Deals

  • Bad Employees

  • Bad Company Morale

Remember, it is business and there are always ways to handle even the most uncomfortable situations with tact and respect.

If any of these situations sounds familiar to you you need to get yourself out of there as soon as possible. If that means bringing someone in to help you, then take advantage of the options you have available to you. Once you stop making these mistakes, all of which are completely fixable if you catch them in time, you’ll see an increase in your business success. People will want to work with you, your company’s morale will get a huge boost, and your profits will increase.

 

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MaryEllen Tribby

MaryEllen Tribby is the proud Founder and CEO of www.WorkingMomsOnly.com, the world's leading media company for the empowerment of the working mom and MaryEllenTribby.com, the home of her groundbreaking IMag, The CEO’s Edge. She is the best-selling co-author of “Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions for Your Business” and is just recently climbing the charts with her new book “Reinventing the Entrepreneur: Turning Your Dream Business Into a Reality.” Her proven method of creating wealth from a combination of passion and profitabillity is available at http://www.inboxempire.com/GC