Enjoy this guest blog post about business leadership from Derek Goodman. It brings back memories from when I started Scott Consulting and Infrasupport. I followed all the links; they go to website advice articles and seem safe. Especially the links to my content. (Insert smiley face here.) Contact Derek via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Having an entrepreneurial mindset is a beautiful thing. You’re a self-starter who isn’t afraid of a challenge. But being a go-getter isn’t all you need for success. Here are a few common issues that may hold you back, courtesy of Greg Scott.
Not knowing your business
When you’re launching a new business, you should, at the very minimum, have a basic understanding of what that business does. While you don’t necessarily have to be an expert in the beginning, you should be invested enough in your company that you are willing to expand your knowledge base.
For example, are you starting an online store? You’ll need to know about inventory management, payment processing, and how to manage customer complaints and requests remotely. Are you opening a restaurant? Be sure you’re aware of not just operations, but legal issues like local license requirements and noise ordinances.
Lax cybersecurity on your business website
These days, just about every business — whether a brick-and-mortar or online company — has a website and corresponding email address. Unfortunately, the internet provides plenty of opportunities to scammers to hack into your files, which could cost your company big time. As an example, ransomware costs businesses over $75 billion every year! That’s why it’s critical you take all of the necessary cybersecurity precautions, such as encrypting your data, securing your wireless network, and installing a firewall.
Lack of self-improvement
There is absolutely nothing wrong with confidence. However, the most successful entrepreneurs strive for self-improvement every day. If you’ve let your business or other skills get weak over time, consider taking steps to rectify this. You might, for example, go back to school to earn your MBA. This will also go a long way toward improving your knowledge while refining and redefining your management skills and business strategy. Earning an MBA will also teach you about leadership abilities and ensure that you are constantly assessing yourself so that you are more self-aware.
Business strategist and advisor Howard Lewinter clearly points out that indecisiveness costs businesses money. While making a bad decision may result in some losses, not committing to a choice at all may render worse consequences. This is because you won’t have an opportunity to fix a mistake or reap the rewards of a good decision. Remember, as a business owner, it’s up to you to make the tough calls that will push your business forward.
Poor hiring practices
Hiring the wrong people is a chronic mistake for many small business owners. We often get so excited to offer our friends and family positions within our organizations that we forget that not everyone is cut out for certain jobs. Before you commit to any individual, friend or not, schedule a team interview and ask lots of questions. Not hiring someone is a much easier personal hurdle to overcome than having to fire them down the road.
Being a business owner means evaluating yourself constantly. The five issues listed above are easy enough to remedy, and taking care of them now may help perpetuate sustained success for the long haul.