As a business owner, I am a firm believer that it’s ok (in fact important) to make mistakes in your business…with TWO conditions: The mistakes you make must never put you out of your house or out of your marriage.
All of the mistakes that I’m about to explain to you have come from my own personal experiences as a business owner. Once I recognized that I was making these mistakes I was able to turn these mistakes into valuable lessons that continue to be a reflection and reminder to me as ways to help my businesses improve and grow.
1...The very first piece of advice I want you to know about mistakes is… make them.
2...The second piece of advice I want you to know about mistakes is… recognize when you’ve made them.
3...The third and final piece of advice I want to you know about mistakes is… learn from them and don’t make the same mistake again.
Here are BIG mistakes (1-5) that business owners make, as well as the solution for improvement:
Mistake #1: You’re taking too long to make decisions.
Solution: Strive for perfection but don’t let it paralyze you.
In everything you do as a business owner, do your very best, and strive for perfection, but also understand that there is no such thing as perfection. Sometimes, “good is good enough” especially when it relates to new systems and processes. It’s impossible to predict and forecast everything in your business. Sometimes you just have to get things started and make adjustments as you go. Too many entrepreneurs (especially new ones) try to make things perfect before they begin. Strive for perfection but don’t let it prohibit you from taking action.
Mistake #2: You’re not investing enough money in marketing and advertising.
Solution: Invest more money in marketing to get more customers.
Marketing, my friends, is king. I don’t care what your product or service is. If you put the best chef in one shop and the best marketer in the other shop with an okay chef, I guarantee you every single time the marketer’s shop will win. If people don’t know about your product and service, then it simply doesn’t matter how good the food is. You must constantly focus on your marketing, your messaging, your brand, and your customer relationships in order to win in business today. Don’t be afraid to spend money on marketing. Marketing is what gets your phone to ring. Marketing is what gets customers to come back and buy from you in the future. Marketing is what tells your story and builds brand awareness and brand equity. Be willing to invest more money in marketing to get more customers, then keep investing money in marketing to build your relationship with them over time.
Mistake #3: You’re too dependent on ONE source of revenue.
Solution: Your business needs MULTIPLE revenue streams.
If you sell one product or service in your business then this is very dangerous because if marketing conditions shift and your entire business is based on one source of revenue from one product type, then you are setting yourself up for failure. You should always be looking for other ways to generate revenue with the assets of your business. Can you take what you have that is working now and find another use for it, another market for it, another customer type for it?
This type of thinking is fun, because it forces you to think outside the box. There are multiple income streams within your business, you just have to find them and then capitalize on them.
Mistake #4: You’re not focusing on growing revenue.
Solution: Focus more on growing Revenue instead of Cost control.
It’s easy to get distracted in your business. It’s easy to lose sight of what matters most…REVENUE. There are shiny objects and other vendors fighting to earn your business every day, some of which may provide new value, but most of which are just noise and distraction.
As the leader of your business, the most important thing you can be thinking about every day is growing revenue. Whereas most other business owners are thinking about ways to cut cost and lower expenses (important, so don’t misinterpret the point). I believe that it is more important that the majority of your energy and efforts are geared towards a healthy obsession of growing revenue over anything else. Make this your number 1 priority.
Mistake #5: You’re trying to do too much yourself.
Solution: Do what you do best and then delegate the rest.
Yes, you must wear a lot of hats as the business owner or executive, and this will never change. You’re supposed to just be the CEO, but depending on the day of week you sometimes end up also being the COO, CMO, HR Director, Customer Support Manager, CFO, Shift Supervisor, etc.
No matter what your title is, your true role is being the CLO or Chief Leverage Officer. It’s important that you understand how to do most of the things in your business, but in order for your business to grow you also need to understand the importance of getting out of the way so your business can grow.
No matter how talented you are, it’s impossible to grow if you take on more tasks then you can handle. You must be willing to give up a bit of control here and there and delegate tasks in order to get things done faster.
Believe it or not, there are people smarter than you (new employees, consultants, or third party service vendors) who can help you grow because the skills they offer are specialized in particular areas.
Don’t be afraid to delegate. Your business will grow much faster if you find ways to delegate specific tasks or roles to other people or other companies. Then use your new free time to focus on new ways to scale and grow revenue. Understand what your strengths are and only do what you do best and then delegate the rest.
Volume 1-5; In closing
don’t ever be afraid of making mistakes because at the end of the day “there are no mistakes there are only lessons.” You learn by falling down, getting back up, and then taking a moment to understand why you fell so that you don’t fall down the same way again.
Interested in learning about the next 5 mistakes a business can make, read Volume 6-10, as well as the solution for improvement.
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Brian Evans - President