It's not that you're doing it intentionally, but if you're a stressed-out small business owner there's a chance that you're sabotaging your own business.
Not all the work you do for your business is necessarily helping you move forward. Putting in all the overtime and taking on all that work may actually be setting you back. That's obviously not the goal.
But it's hard to fix a problem if you don't know what you're doing wrong. To help you out, here are some of the more common forms of self-sabotage that can happen to business owners:
- Sending the wrong message. You can't be all things to all people, no matter how great your business model appears. Attempting to do that will just confuse people and may make it hard to grow your customer base. Decide what you want your company to be about and then make sure to follow that.
- Not reading the fine print. Businesses involve lots of paperwork, which means a lot of fine print. It may seem like a time saver to use boilerplate contracts for employment and incorporation, but in most cases those won't address your specific needs. Take time the read the fine print and better yet, have a professional go over it with you.
- Overpromising. High expectations can be a good thing, but if you fail to perform it will significantly hurt your reputation. Don't set yourself up for failure by promising something you can't deliver. Instead, plan for some extra time in case something comes up to prevent timely action. It never hurts to overdeliver.
- Failing to delegate. It doesn't matter how organized you are or how much time you have to devote to the business, at some point you have to share the work. That doesn't mean overall quality has to suffer. Get someone else to do the task and then check their work to make sure it's up to your standards.
- Not having a support team. You expect your clients to trust you as an expert, but that also means you should trust experts when you need them. Dealing with accounts and filling out legal paperwork can get pretty complicated, so work with professionals like an accountant and a business attorney to protect your interests.
- Growing too fast. It's great to feel like your business is growing, but if it grows too fast you may have to skimp on quality to make up for it in quantity. When deciding to expand your hours, offer new products, or order more merchandise, first take the time to think about whether growing so fast will set you back financially.
- Failing to take care of yourself. As a small business owner, you are the heart and soul of the company. If you're not staying healthy, getting rest, and taking a break once in a while, your company won't be doing so well either. Take some time to yourself so you can get things done in the office.
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