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The Five Biggest Mistakes Business Owners Make

I was recently asked to identify the five biggest mistakes I see business owners make.  I have listed them in order of priority below:

  1. Missing the opportunity to measure and manage their businesses.
  2. Investing their time, energy, and creativity just to collect a check.
  3. Following the latest trends because everyone else is doing it.
  4. Jumping from one fad to another without determining the success they want.
  5. Claiming that external forces are the reasons why their business is failing.

Some might say after reviewing this list that it all comes back to the first entry measuring and managing your business.  That is for the most part true.  As one can measure and manage his or her business everything else should work.  I can list countless examples of this.  My favorite is my friend/client who owns a small pizza shop in Northern California.  He can tell you within a penny, from memory, the price per pound for all raw ingredients and for all his materials (measurement). The costs are controlled by his vendors.  His labor costs are controlled by him and what the market will allow.  Utilities are controlled by others.  Yet he has built a business such that he travels the world most of the year.  He sells more than all of the other franchise pizza shops COMBINED every day of the year in his small town of 30,000.  His location is at best obscure.  Every day he employs marketing systems that deliver proven results (management). His competitors have opened their small shops and have gone out of business yet he continues to THRIVE.  He does it by measuring/managing his business trends.

Investing our time, energy, and creativity when we start a business may be only for the purpose of making ends meet.  When first putting our toe in the waters of “entrepreneurship” we might only want to keep the lights lit and food on our tables.  After a while we want to be more profitable, maybe even getting to the point of living the lifestyle of the rich and famous.  Business owners often get stuck where they first start, losing interest in continuing.  They see no way to grow.  They sell off their initial success only to look back and see that someone else had a greater vision.  They bought someone else’s ideas and grew it into a greater vision of the original.  An example of this is an advertising specialties company that was successful keeping the lights lit and food on the table.  After 10 years the business owner sold the business.  The new owner, with a greater vision and an additional 15 years in business has taken the business to a place where she is now a nationally known award winner for her industry.  Her products become keepsakes for her clients and their customers.  The original owner may have lacked the talent and definitely lacked the vision.

The old question that my mom used to ask, “If everyone were to jump off the bridge would you?” frequently rings true with every changing technology and ability to communicate on the Internet.  I am a proponent of, “Done is better than perfect.” I believe that we still need to do some due diligence before we invest our time, energy, and creativity in the latest concept/trend.  Today I had a dear friend and client ask me to join him on a new Internet “connect” link.  Rather than refusing to do so, I want to know how he and I might benefit from investing our time, energy, and creativity through this connection.  What is my return on investment of time?  Here is a guy who continues to struggle partially because his focus is on two businesses, one full time job, and multiple Internet ‘social media’ activities.  He does everything that everyone else is doing hoping that something will provide him a pay check.  He is very frustrated pointing to outside influences as the reason why he continues to struggle.  He speaks of his boss, his heritage, and time in the industry as the reason why he has yet to realize his financial potential.

For those of you reading this article looking for self help I recommend finding someone in your industry that is successful.  Do exactly as they are doing to duplicate their success.  Those who are looking for an economical way to develop a greater level of success, find a mentor from a successful business to help you.  Beyond that, hire a consultant with a proven track record that guarantees results.

Gerry Rose runs INTEGRITY Networking Solutions in Oceanside, CA.  He works with people in business who want to attract the right prospects and generate more referrals.  More than 10,000 businesses have been presented the INTEGRITY Networking Solutions system in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange Counties.

Gerry’s stimulating presentation Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals is ideally suited for small business owners, home-based businesses, and independent professionals who want clearer direction and want to attract more prospects, develop dynamic systems, and strengthen their companies’ accountability.  Gerry does one on one consulting, conducts a range of keynote speeches from thirty minutes to full-day education workshops.

His book series, Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, are available on the website, www.integritysd.com.

Gerry has more than 20 years’ experience directing business owners how to grow their businesses.  He is a networking dynamo.  Those who know him will assure you that he does a great job of bringing people together—which is why he started IntegritY.

Involved with networking organizations since 1984, Gerry is a Distinguished Toastmaster, a member of Toastmaster International, and has chaired numerous chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations.

Are you truly committed to attracting the right prospects and generate more referrals?  If so then contact INTEGRITY Networking Solutions for availability and information.  You can contact Gerry by mail at 1610 Quiet Hills Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056.  Direct dial (760) 439-4623; e-mail to gerry@integritysd.com.  For more information, go to www.integritysd.com

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