In business, there are things you should do and things you shouldn’t do. It’s that simple. If you consistently do the things you should do, you’ll most likely succeed. On the other hand, if you consistently do things you shouldn’t do, you’ll most likely fall flat on your face. Make sense? I’m here to help you identify business mistakes to avoid.
Generally speaking, if you avoid some of the things discussed in this article on a regular basis, your business might be at risk. After reading them, you’ll probably think of them as “common sense” laws of business. You’d be surprised at how many people fail to do the most obvious things. Be smart and learn from other people’s mistakes.
You Avoid Sales
This may sound funny but let me explain. Obviously, every business needs sales or they wouldn’t be in business. I imagine most of us enjoying closing deals and driving more revenue, but a lot of people don’t like some of the basic actions required to get to that step.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll have to wear many hats…some of which you’ll like more than others. Business owners often spend too much time worrying about the details of their website, marketing, or other things that are less important than the bottom line. If you find that you’re spending a large majority of your time on things other than sales, you could be subconsciously avoiding it.
Some people don’t like selling. I’m one of those people. I don’t like talking prices, I don’t like negotiation and I don’t like asking for money. For whatever reason, it makes me uncomfortable. When I operated my first small business years ago, I realized that I was avoiding it. I would spend eight hours perfecting a template for an email marketing campaign, but in hindsight if I spent the equivalent amount of time on sales, I would have been more successful.
I imagine people don’t avoid sales on purpose. They just do a million other things until they wake up one day and realize that the business has no income. I read an interesting article from Dana Consulting titled “Why do Entrepreneurs Avoid Sales.” It reads in part:
“There’s the Compelling Product Myth where entrepreneurs believe their product is impressive enough to sell itself. And then there’s the Myth of the Superhero Salesperson; this is the belief that a salesperson with an extensive network of broad, personal contacts will ensure success.
The fact that many of the acknowledged reasons for startup failure are connected to sales, it is clear that a significant number of entrepreneurs to fall for these myths. The root of the problem is a deep fear of sales, which is deeply embedded in our culture and, frankly, the nature of being human. “
You Avoid Taking Action
Let’s face it. Everyone wants to be the “President” or “CEO” who gets to focus on the bigger picture items rather than physically do the work. The problem is, when you fail to do the work, nothing gets done.Too often we see business owners planning and innovating with a ton of great ideas. As you know, “an idea without action is just a dream.” Whether you mean to avoid taking action or not, you need to put systems in place to make sure the bad behavior stops.
A long time ago in a leadership development class, I learned about something called a “by when”. Whenever I said I was going to do something, I forced myself to associate a “by when”. There’s a huge difference between saying, “I’m going to publish an educational post on the blog” versus “I’m going to publish an education post on the blog by 3pm on Friday.” Such a small thing like adding a “by when” can make a world of difference.
You Avoid Discipline
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you want to work for yourself for the freedom it affords you. You don’t want to conform to the norm and work the typical 9-5. Although I see the value in that lifestyle, the one thing you can’t avoid is the discipline that a “typical job” might give you.
As I said earlier, you have to consciously work towards making sure that each area of your business is getting the attention it needs. That requires discipline. You have to talk less and take more action, holding yourself accountable with things like a “by when”. That also requires discipline.
As a general rule, you should always try and be just as disciplined with your business and entrepreneurial lifestyle as you would if you were working for another employer. If you had a job you would never sleep until 12pm, so don’t do it when working for yourself. If you had a job you would never skip your daily tasks or what’s required of you, so don’t do it when working for yourself!
Something as simple as shifting your mindset and being disciplined in everything you do can and most likely will change your life.
It important to be self-aware in reading an article like this and while you’re navigating through your day. I understand that most people don’t intentionally avoids sales, taking action or having discipline. They key word is “intentionally”. Sometimes we fall into bad habits without realizing it. I encourage you to take a hard look at how your operating your business and if you find yourself avoiding any of the items mentioned in this post, make necessary adjustments.
What other things do you think people avoid that could result in a loss of business? Leave your comments below or shoot us a quick message.