Building a business is rife with challenges and can feel like an emotional and physical rollercoaster. As with anything you will have some incredible highs that are counterbalanced with some painful lows. What is more, if there is one thing you can guarantee it is that you will make mistakes along the way. This isn’t always a bad thing as your mistakes are an opportunity for you to learn and grow. That said, there are some mistakes that your business can ill afford to make. To help you avoid the pitfalls of business and to keep you riding high here are some common business faux-pas to be mindful of.
Failing to have a plan
One of the first things you will be taught in any business education course or resource is the importance of a plan. You need to have a plan as to where you want your business to be in 12 months and as far as 5 years. Further to this, you need to plan out the steps in which you need to take to get it. Your plan will help ensure consistency in your operations, keep you on track and give you measurable milestones to track your progress.
Failing to have a business strategy
If you have failed to implement a business plan then chances are you have failed to adopt a business strategy. A business strategy is key as it will help you uncover the path you need to take to insure your business is a success. Strategizing will ultimately help you realize your business plan.
In practical terms your business strategy should;
- Help you identify your business branding and core values.
- Help you identify how your business will operate,
- Determine your business priorities and how you will make decisions.
- Determine how you will generate business or custom.
- Identify and determine costings and pricing.
Planning and strategizing are the foundations of business building and before you can expect to get your business off of the ground and running successfully you need to take the time to build it from the bottom up.
Not seeking help
Another incredibly common error that is made by business owners is not asking for or taking the help. As a business owner, you can be inclined to think that you are the best person for the job, every job at that. You may believe that no one will undertake a certain task as well as you because it is not their business and they are not as emotionally, mentally, and physically invested as you. You are not alone in this thought process, even if it is flawed.
Although the temptation may be there it is important to remember that you cannot do it all. You cannot be in charge of accounts, head of marketing, and business lead all at the same time. By stretching yourself too thin you will not be giving 100% to any aspect of your business and things will be missed and errors will start to happen. Not to mention you will be looking at a very severe case of business burnout.
To avoid this and to help keep your eyes fresh and mind focused, do not be afraid to outsource tasks or delegate roles and responsibilities to staff. Taking your company accounts, for example, accountants train for years to be able to accurately complete, file, and advise on business accounts and with good reason. Your booking keeping is a serious and vitally important aspect of your business so it needs to be compliant and accurate. Accountants are professionals, so why not utilize their skills so yours can be deployed elsewhere, where it might be needed more?
Overlooking your staff
Speaking of staff, they are the lifeline of your business and their well-being in the workplace should not be overlooked or underestimated. The benefits of looking after, caring for, and valuing your staff are plentiful, and here are some of the reasons you cannot afford to overlook your employees;
- Improved retention rates. A business that has a high turnover of staff will be spending undue time and attention on recruitment, training, and settling in new members of staff. This is all time and resource that can be better spent on your business. What is more, the longer an employee remains in a company the more they are likely to contribute. They are also likely to make fewer mistakes and work more efficiently as a result.
- Improves efficiency and productivity. It is not only long-standing members of staff who are likely to be more efficient. Employees who feel valued and respected in the workplace are proven to be more efficient workers. This is because the right working environment will leave them feeling motivated and driven within their role, which ultimately reflects on your business.
- Improves company reputation. Happy and satisfied employees reflect well on your business. This is especially important if you are customer-facing.
Remember the overarching motto when it comes to your employees is if you be good to them they will be good to you. Here are some ways in which you can improve your employee satisfaction.
- Offer financial incentives and rewards. Staff will always be driven by financial gain and it is a great way to get the most out of your staff. What is more, they will be more inclined to perform if their efforts are recognized.
- Appreciate your staff. Just saying a simple ‘thank you’ or ‘job well done can go a long way to boost morale and leave your staff feeling appreciated.
- Employee wellbeing app. Consider using apps that can encourage your staff to undertake activities and exercises to improve their wellbeing at work. It could be to enable one to ones or to encourage breaks or physical activity.
- Consider flexible working as this can help harbor trust.
- Encourage a healthy work/life balance
- Be mindful of how stress can impact an employee and whether they are likely to be experiencing stress in their role.
- Organize social events outside of the working environment.