We all make business mistakes. It is part of the growing process. And it is okay for an entrepreneur to make a mistake. After all, it is said that mistakes can act as teachers. But some mistakes should be avoided like plagues because of their dangerous repercussions.
Some really crazy business mistakes one must avoid as a business person include;
1. Avoiding creditors
Every successful businessperson will tell you that creditors have played an important role in their business journeys at some point. Do not ruin your relationship with your creditors. Take their calls. Reply their messages. Show up when there is a meeting. It will help you to have the peace of mind you need to run your business.
2. Avoiding the tax man
Some months ago, the manager at one of my business outlets called me in a panic. She said tax people were around. I told her to direct them to our corporate headquarters. She asked me if that’s not a bad idea. She said that will expose all our businesses to them and increase the rate at which we will be taxed. “Well,” I said calmly. “Send them over.”
I don’t need to state here that we are enjoying a cordial relationship with the tax guys. Ignorance breeds fear but knowledge is liberating.
3. Hiring out of pity
I made this Chief of business mistakes 2 months ago. The girl was homeless and desperate. I sent her to one of my supervisors and asked that she be trained and onboarded. She became a pain in our process flow. Clients complained about her and that was it! I fired her immediately. But alas, her mum and other relatives won’t let us be. They called all our customer service lines till I rehired her – but this time as a cleaner in the corporate headquarters.
That was the position she should have had in the first place. And even though the new position paid considerably lower than the first, she did it excellently well.
4. Being vague to stakeholders
Whether you are communicating with a staff, a supplier or even customers, you must avoid whatever distorts or compromises clarity. Job descriptions, expectations and penalty must be clearly stated. Verbal instructions are good in the short term but it is best everything is written down. My life as a business person improves in the proportion I am willing to have things written down.
As entrepreneurs, we have so much to get done. The tendency to procrastinate some stuff is usually very high. Do yourself and your business a favor and get things done Get things done quickly or pay more later. Get things done as soon as you need to and you won’t have to ever say “sorry” again. I think one of the best ways to get things done is to write down EVERYTHING you need to take care of. It doesn’t matter how long that list is. Write it all down. Delegate what must be delegated. Do what you can do yourself in the order of importance and urgency.
6. Not imbibing savings culture
If you don’t put a little something aside regularly as an entrepreneur, you will end up running a system that gets too strained. You will end up paying salaries and handling recurring expenses every month without actually making much progress.
A few months ago I told all the business outlets of one of my companies to start paying 5k each to a designated account. I called it “Asset Savings Account”. Within 3 months, we had so much money to start another outlet. But we used to spend all the money we made every month. This system of savings has helped us in ways we never imagined.
So, that’s it! Avoid the business mistakes above and you will be fine. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below.