Mistakes to Avoid If You Want Your Business to Succeed

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Starting, managing and growing a business are hard enough without having to worry about making mistakes that you could have avoided. Still, being aware of some business mistakes that you could have avoided saves you time, stress and money in the long run.

Here is a list of mistakes that even the best in the business have been guilty of making at one time or another. Maybe you can learn from their experience and avoid making the same mistakes:


Mistake #1: Going in Without a Business Plan

There may be businesses that have succeeded without a business plan, but it is indisputable that they  would have done even better with a well-developed business plan.

Stakeholders – including employees and partners – of a business that does not have a proper business plan can fail to see the bigger picture, which causes them to work aimlessly. Such organizations suffer from a lack of purpose, which obstructs innovation, stellar business growth and meaningful success. With a business plan in place, it becomes easier for all to visualize the road ahead. Continuous planned efforts can then be directed toward this vision.

An actionable business plan defines both the short- and long-term plans of your business. Long-term goals visualize your business’ future while short-term goals define actions that enable you to realize these long-term goals. A business plan is also a valuable tool for attracting investors if you are seeking funds for business expansion or a product launch.

Be sure your plan is tailored to your industry. For instance, if starting a construction company, use a construction business plan template that incorporates trends in the construction industry, documents the best marketing strategies for construction companies, and has financial projections customized to the financial needs and realities of the market.


Mistake #2: Making Business Decisions Out of Fear

You made a decision to open a new store in a new location even when your instincts and research were telling you that doing so would result in a loss. Still, you decided to go through with expansion, out of fear that your competitors might gain a market advantage.

Decisions such as the one in the example above are made on the basis of fear, and will prove costly in the long run. Avoid other decisions made out of panic, as well, like panic hiring, or a panic product launch. It is important to trust your own instincts, and to heed what you discover in your market research. 


Mistake #3: Making Expense-Based Hiring Decisions

Hiring someone because they are cheaper on the payroll and not because they are qualified is obviously a bad decision. Hiring such people usually costs you more in the long run. These employees will impact productivity and team morale if they are not equipped with the required skills. Furthermore, if such hires do not adapt to your work culture, they will not have the motivation to succeed, which can hurt organizational growth. Remember that it costs money to replace an employee. It is better to hire the right person the first time around.


Mistake #4: Expanding your Team Too Quickly

While it is good to have the right team backing you in growing your business, hiring too many people too quickly can result in financial crunch, resource depletion and chaos. Cash flows that go into such hiring can be utilized for things that will add value to your company, like resource training and building a better work environment.

Hire only as much as your cash flow allows. Long-term growth must always be the focus in business. A short-term growth burst should never take precedence over long-term success.


Mistake #5: Not Enforcing the Rule of Accountability

Without accountability, deadlines can be missed and projects can go awry. And worse, there would be no one to take responsibility for the failure. Accountability breeds success. Every employee in your organization must know what he or she is responsible for, and the impact of their lack of accountability. Accountability smooths the project completion process by making responsibilities clear for everyone and making it easier to identify bottlenecks.


In Conclusion

Major business mistakes are easy to identify and avoid. Subtler, yet too-real, business mistakes such as those outlined above may be more difficult to identify, which can prove costly. Be well-informed so that your success is not delayed by such mistakes.