3 Mistakes That Will Certainly Tank Your Small Business: Are You Making Them?
As we quickly arrive at to the end of the year, I'm in goal setting mode. What is it we will do in 2016 that will move us forward from 2015? What will make the difference?
My wife of thirty one years and I launched this business five years ago. It started off as a way to supplement our income. I went from me working two fulltime jobs, my corporate and Larry Jacob job, to me fully dedicated to Larry Jacob two years back. Danica Louwe, team member number one, has been with us four years and Honeylyn, her fearless co-hort is coming up on two years soon. We have several others on the team as well.
We’ve made a lot of progress in a short amount of time and I asked myself, ”What have we done that drives our progress?” At the same time, I’ve come across a few mistakes we’ve avoided and that’s what gave me the fodder for the content of this article. What are those MAJORS we work to avoid because we know they will significantly slow us down or even fatally wound us and keep us from succeeding?
Here they are:
- Thinking You Can Succeed with No Outside Help
Years back, someone I knew told me, “I don’t want outside help. I want to make it big and be able to say I did it on my own.” It’s an interesting statement and one that isn’t a problem for him. I’ve tracked his progress over the years and he won’t have to ever say anything like that because he never made it big.
This mode of thinking is so flawed. Why work to re-invent the wheel when you can learn from others and learn from their experience.
In the Spring of 2011, I headed off to Phoenix for my first ICON. It’s Infusionsoft’s yearly user conference. I went there to learn about Infusionsoft and got so much more.
It was there that I met Bob Britton, the 2010 Infusionsoft Ultimate Marketer winner and Micah Mitchell, who is one of the top guys over at Memberium now. These two had been using Infusionsoft for years and knew how to make it work. I joined their Elite Mastermind to learn from the masters things it would have taken me years to learn on my own. Just as valuable, these guys analyzed my business and encouraged me to engage with others in the group. Together we shared best practices and insights. One person’s blind spot is another’s specialty.
The experience was priceless for helping me establish my business. Having the outside guidance, mentorship and accountability drove me towards success I would never have achieved without them.
- Focusing on Too Many Things and Mastering Nothing
I’ve been a part of groups where someone in the room yells out, “Squirrel.” The line is from the Pixar movie Up! There's a packs of dogs that can be really vicious, but a squirrel shows up and the dogs completely lose their focus.
As a business owners, I must avoid the bright shiny object syndrome too. I cannot go from exciting new idea to exciting new idea like a bumble bee bouncing from flower to flower. I have to:
- select the next best choice of actions,
- stick with it until you get it done or decide it’s not worth pursuing,
- evaluate what to do next,
I’ve run into so many business owners, that end up getting coaching from as part of my arrangement with them. They have 7, 10, 15 new projects in the works. They have so much going on that they stall, get overwhelmed and over worked. The worse part is they make very slow progress.
Do one thing, get it done or cancel it. Then go to the next one.
- Failing to Delegate
One thing I have learned is I cannot do it all. Not only that, I shouldn’t try to do it all. There’s only one of me and limitations of time. If I don’t focus on what I do best and delegate things I don’t need to be doing, my business will never scale. My business will forever be dependent upon me. I will be capped in what I can make and what I can accomplish.
What are the things I do best and how do I organize my business so those other things are done by others.
I can’t tell you how many times I’m doing something and I ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” Sure I can build websites and implement Infusionsoft campaigns. It’s what our business does. It can be because our team is stretched and I’ve got to jump in to lend a hand. But it’s done at the expense of the time I could be spending on sales and marketing for our own business. It means I’m working in my business and not on my business and that’s a big issue.
Sometimes the answer may be the he right one. It could be because I don’t have someone else on my team right now that I have available to delegate that task to. It does become something I put on my list of things I need to find a way to delegate.
Hope this helps.