Mistakes? What Mistakes??
In today's competitive business world, you have to do everything almost perfect. Right? It can't be perfect as perfection is never truly perfected! So, what are common mistakes made by businesses these days? What can we do to recognize those mistakes? How can we make sure we avoid those stumbling blocks and make sure if we do fall in to it, how do we get out?
Here at Innovative Business Strategies, we pride ourselves in helping small businesses recognize trouble when they appear. As you read on, I will point out some mistakes and follow it with some simple solutions.
- THINKING SOMETHING IS NON-NEGOTIABLE - In business, everything is always negotiable! Remember that!It's a mindset you have to form in order to not just be a good negotiator, but to become a great one. Too many times we even talk ourselves out of good business leads or even out of potential income. When dealing with other businesses, remember no matter how big they may be, they are looking to do the same thing you are, to get a good deal and bettering the bottom line. If you are working on a deal and you don't like what you see, negotiate yourself a better term. If you are looking to sign a contract on a particular deal and you see something that doesn't make sense for your situation, negotiate your terms. Every deal should benefit you, don't compromise on this, your business deserves the best from you.
2. NOT TRULY ASKING FOR WHAT YOU REALLY WANT - Always, always, always ask for what you want! There is just no compromise for this mistake. Over the years, I remember when I struck a deal and after it was all said and done, I would tell myself, "Damn, I should of asked for this or that" Truth is, if you are negotiating something, be sure you ask for exactly what you want or forever hold your peace! Seriously, no lie, it has happen many of times to me and to many of my clients. Don't be a statistic.
3. TALKING WAY TOO MUCH - This is a simple one, STOP TALKING!!! It's also a perfect way to kill a deal or ruin a relationship. Simple question, have you ever been to a store to buy something and you ask for information, then you get the person that just won't shut up and just kills the urge to want to buy anything? Yeah, well, the same works for you. Say enough, then just be quiet. Let the deal roll and answer questions as they come up. Over selling is just as bad as underselling and this can go the same with certain relationships.
4. CREATING GOALS - Creating goals are one of those things that truly escapes many of us, I can't seem to understand why. "Oh yeah, I have goals, my goals are right up here" pointing to their head. Having goals in front of you all the time is one of the leading ways to actually accomplishing one's goals. I am a huge fan of Tony Robbins and in his book "Awaken The Giant Within" which I have read and love it. He describes how to take immediate control of your mental, emotional physical and financial destiny. Tony's approach is simple and actionable in a short period of time. As a business owner, you have to have that keen, mental toughness and setting goals, writing them down is absolutely paramount for your success. Don't skip out on this process.
5. LACK OF CONFIDENCE - This is one that is actually lost in translation. Often times, the lack of confidence is replaced with arrogance which is an ugly word for someone with no confidence. Usually a lack of confidence is picked up real fast by competitors, by your staff, your clients and or worse, your customers. Many times, the lack of confidence has lead companies down an ugly and dismal path. You have to recognize this right away or if you're lucky, you'll have a business coach to help you see it. But, what if you do see it, what do you do? How do you get out of this? The truth is, in this particular aspect, it will have to come from within you. You have made the leap, gotten the courage to open a business, there is a level of braveness in that, so stand tall, be yourself and treat others as you want to be treated and most importantly, be prepared to take on any task. This is a good start.
6. DISCONNECTING FROM WORK - Here is a mistake that unfortunately a lot of entrepreneurs make, even myself. When you become a business owner, the business is in essence your baby, your child. You want to make sure you are taking care of it 24/7, but you have to be careful, because then parts of who you are starts to get affected. Your days with the family become affected, your time with friends start to get affected, and time for yourself, start to get affected. Remember to disconnect every time you get home. Learn to disconnect when you are trying to spend time with friends or family, give your time to those that love you so that they continue to support you. Going into business doesn't have to be a lonely world, make sure you share your time appropriately between work and home. Finally, don't forget about yourself! There is no point in going 100mph in business if you don't even have your health to let you do the things you want.
7. SIGNING DOCUMENTS WITHOUT READING THEM - This is a doozy... Before you sign anything, for God sakes, read over everything. If there is something you don't understand, ask someone, preferably your lawyer! It happens way too often that business owners in an effort to save time, feel that they have to skim read through important documents and just sign the thing in the hopes of not getting screwed, just to find out later that what they signed wasn't what they thought it was. Yes, it does happen, maybe you are reading this and feel you may be one of those people. No matter how long a document is, take the time to read it. If you are in a meeting, ask for a follow-up meeting so that you have a chance to properly go over the documents. Better yet, if you know you are going to be signing important documents, ask the person you're dealing with to send it to you in advance so that you get a chance to go over it. It's best that you are prepared than to sign something in haste and regret it later.
8. NOT BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS - How many of you attend networking events? How many of you walk the room collecting business cards like it's candy? Come on, you know who you are! How many of you have a hard time sitting still and having a meaningful conversation with a total stranger? Listen, I will be the first to admit that I am very shy and have a hard time meeting new people in general. But, when it comes to business, your mindset has to totally change, or, you will have a very difficult time succeeding. If you are like many business owners that do attend networking events, stop for a minute and start to take your time. Learn to know someone and learn to build new relationships. Not only while you're at the event, but even post event. This critical area is one of the biggest mistakes many business owners can make. I have learned over the years that when I slow down, and meet maybe 2 or 3 different people at an event and learn about them and learn who they are, I find more success in not only getting new business from them, but at getting referrals from them as well. Now, I did mention post event, what do I mean by that? I mean that after the event, maybe a few days later, email those people you met, or maybe call them to follow up with them. Perhaps you can have a one on one meeting. Now I did say meet only about 2 or 3, that seems very little, but truth is, if you go to enough networking events, you start to see many of the same faces, so trust me you are not going to miss on meeting on any one person, unless you have your eye on meeting someone specific. When you're diving into meeting someone, stay away from business, listen to their story, people tend to want to talk about themselves more than they want to know about you unless they ask. Chances are also, that your chance to interject will come up quick. Obviously, telling them who you are and what you do will be on the top of what to say, but from there, get into areas of conversation that you both can have common ground. If you keep it all business, people tend to get turned off or get bored, even if you are at a networking event for business.
9. NOT DOCUMENTING ALL BUSINESS MATTERS - This is another big one. As you go through you day to day, dealing with clients day in and day out, can you truly remember what happen with client A on X day when they discussed with you a possible agreement? If you haven't been documenting those instances, than there is a good chance that you're going to have a problem. I'm not foreign to this, I was one that would always say, "I don't need to write that down, I have a great memory!" a couple weeks go by and guess what, I'd remember part of it, but not all of it. So now, I document all of my conversations that deal with a client. Now, I don't document word for word, but here is an example of what I mean. If I'm doing a consulting job with a client that owns a company that sells widgets, and I'm having a conversation with the manager regarding some performance improvement processes. I will have documented that I spoke to the manager on X day and offered suggestion for improvement on X process and given a timeline to complete. Or, I maybe coaching a business owner, I would document that I had spoken to the owner on a specific date and a summary of what the conversation entailed. Let's say you are contractor, and you are meeting with a subcontractor to go over a project, you would want to document what was spoken about and if there was a task to be done, who was doing it and what timeline you gave yourselves to do it. Documenting is also important when you and a customer or another business come to an agreement about doing something together, like a contract.
I can certainly come up with a good number of other mistakes we as business owners make on any given day. But these are the ones that can really put a damper on your success. If you are a business owner, you should be striving to be learning each and everyday. The evolution of a business owner never stops. If you think it does, then your days are numbered before you close your doors. Be on your toes at all times, there is always someone out there wanting to do what you do and do it better. Minimizing your mistakes are one of many key attributes to having a successful business. Innovative Business Strategies really takes pride in educating the business owners on the what would be the right strategies in succeeding.
Thank you for reading and if you have any feedback, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. Have a successful day.