You started your business with great intentions. You have an innovative idea, an excellent product, and an eye for business trends. You raised the capital to get it off the ground, and you feel like you’re on the way to a successful business future.
However, owning a business isn’t just about having a great idea; you must also model the correct leadership and management traits and skills that create a sustainable future. There are several bad habits you must avoid because they cause business failures across all sectors. This article will detail some of these dysfunctional habits, so you can spot and eliminate them from your practices and behaviors.
Businesses don’t run themselves, and you can’t expect them to grow and be profitable if you aren’t around or uninvolved. Too many business owners get caught up in the belief that if they hire the correct people, they don’t need to be present.
As an owner, it’s your job and responsibility to create a healthy organizational culture that is customer-centric, employee-empowered, and results-oriented. The culture must propel the company to profitable and sustainable, and you, the business owner, are the caretaker of the organizational culture. Your organization will have a culture; however, without your uplifting presence, the ad hoc culture will not serve you and your people well. Personify a healthy culture and be present to establish and perpetuate it.
At start-up, you had big goals and even bigger dreams. Your innovative idea and your commitment to a waiting market excited your imagination and fuels robust optimism. Your initial excitement makes it easy to over-promise to prospective customers and clients. However, the malady of “over-promising and under-delivering” earns unhappy reviews of your business and possible business failure.
Customers’ satisfaction with and conclusions about your new enterprise will shape their testimonials. You cannot afford negative reviews. Know what you are pledging in your brand promise. Ensure it is realistic and then deliver that value. Deliver on your brand promise to turn customers into raving fans quickly.
Trying to do it all on your own
When you began your business, you felt the need to have complete control. It’s understandable. You invested a lot of time and money into this venture, and you want to make sure everything is running correctly.
The problem arises when you don’t delegate. You hired great people. Train them well and let them do their job. Remember, it’s impossible to run an entire business by yourself. If you try doing it all by yourself, your ability will be the company’s limiting factor. If you train, equip, empower, and properly hold your people accountable, you expand the enterprise capacity.
Being a micromanager
You can’t nitpick at every tiny detail. As a business owner, it’s your job to examine the big picture and the long-term sustainability of your business. It’s also you job to train and empower your leaders and to allow your managers to do their job without getting in their way.
Micromanaging suppresses initiative, breeds distrust and resentment, erodes healthy morale, and drives away talented people. Rather, people respond to trust, effective communication, respect of their talents, and appreciation of their sincere commitment. Give your people clear instructions and goals, needed resources and training, and appropriate room for initiative. Study Blanchard’s situational leadership model and learn when to be highly directive and when to coach, support, and delegate. The details are important; the keys are to learn which details are important at each level of leadership and to avoid crushing people’s spirits.
Never taking a break
Some business owners never take a break. Whether it is fear-driven or excellence-fueled, an owner’s seemingly tireless drive or indefatigable focus can easily become unhealthy physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Such behavior that is devoid of renewal and refreshing leads to burnout, which is a state of exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.
Taking a break or vacation away from your business allows your mind time to reset and your healthy emotions to recharge. When you return, you’ll be refreshed and rejuvenated and be able to look at things with fresh ideas.
Lacking a solid plan
It’s great to have big ideas and dreams for your business; however, without solid plan, you’re destined for business failure.
Your plan doesn’t have to be perfect, but you do need some sort of guide to follow. Make sure your business plan includes these elements:
- Measurable outcomes
- Reachable goals
- Achievable timelines
Planning is the intellectual process of arranging events, physical efforts, and resources in both time and space to accomplish the desired outcome. Sound business plans define goals and objectives, assign actions and responsibilities, and allocates resources. A good plan captures and describes anticipated market conditions and describes how the company will sustain its strengths and mitigate its weaknesses.
Additionally, good plans are adaptable because no plan can anticipate everything about the future. Good execution requires monitoring progress and modifying or updating the plan. It is best to depart from a well-written plan rather than having no plan. It is the combination of proper planning and vigorous execution that lead to business success.
It’s tough to lead a business. With all the pressure you put on yourself to succeed, you often find yourself with more questions than answers. However, staying away from common bad habits that lead to business failure is a sure place to start. Use this article to avoid missteps and consider meeting with an experienced business consultant to give your business the extra boost it needs. These professionals leverage years of experience running successful companies and can provide you with the guidance and dependability you need.